All the schooling in the world isn’t going to get you the experience you need to really compete in today’s job market. By the same token, years of experience without a degree may still leave you wanting. Applicants need both experience and the right degree if they really want to compete. Sure, a bachelor's or master's degree may get you in the door or at least get your resume past data aggregators that weed out the “qualified” from the “unqualified.” But, to many employers, having a degree says a lot more than whether or not you meet the basic requirements for the job.
In our recent Serious Talk Webinar about returning to school, Kate Wollensak, Director of Compensation for the Morton Salt Company shares her own insights into what a degree says about you.
Permanently hiring a new employee is not something most companies take lightly. New hires are investments that require money, time and training. In order for a company to take a chance on you, you’ve got to be more than qualified. You need to possess the qualities of an excellent employee. Here’s how getting a degree may demonstrate that you are indeed the whole package:
Worth the investment. Let’s face it; a college degree requires more than just commitment, it takes financial backing. Spending the money, applying for financial aid and competing for scholarships to get your degree tells others that you believe in yourself. If you are willing to invest in your own success employers, may become more willing to invest the time, training and resources it takes to develop you professionally.
Dedicated. Working, having a family, keeping up with a social life and going to school to earn a degree isn’t easy. Many college students juggle busy lives along with school, and that shows some serious dedication. Couple that with internships and volunteer work, and you may really impress a prospective employer who is looking for that level of dedication from his or her employees.
Hard-working. The most worthwhile pursuits are the ones that are the most challenging. By finishing your degree, you demonstrate that you have the work ethic and the smarts to get the job done, not just at school but in your professional life. Employers know that degree programs aren’t everything, but finishing a degree and getting the good grades that come along with hard work may show that you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and make progress on the job.
Goal-oriented. There are many steps to getting your college degree, and they always begin with a goal or a dream. Whether you go back to school to further your career or just for the intrinsic value of the knowledge you’ll gain, setting that goal in motion shows that you have the starting power and the long-term follow-through that it takes to make yourself and a prospective company grow.