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The Importance of Post-Secondary Education in Furthering Your Career

Aug 18, 2007
For a great number of reasons, having a post-secondary education is vital to furthering your career-- no matter your field or profession. In today's business world, your options for career advancement can be limited --or sometimes eliminated-- by not having a post-secondary education. Many types of careers actually require post-secondary education as a prerequisite for entry to that particular field. Even in those occupations where a higher education is not a mandatory prerequisite, it is certainly viewed in a favorable light by employers.

When employers go through the process of screening job applicants, they look to find candidates who have the skills and knowledge to effectively perform the essential functions of the job that is available. However, employers also want to select candidates who are likely to have long-term success within the company, giving them reason to remain with the company for a long period of time. In other words, employers try to reduce the potential for turnover by hiring highly qualified candidates who not only have a genuine interest in the job for which they are applying, but also an ability to grow and expand to new and higher positions.

When you have completed a post-secondary education in your chosen field, you demonstrate to employers that (a) you have formal training that has prepared you with at least entry-level skills related to that occupation and (b) you are committed to pursuing a long-term career in that particular field. The fact that you started and completed a continuing education program gives employers confidence in both your qualifications and your commitment. Because of this, the completion of the program in the field is often the deciding factor in the hiring process.

Even if you were able to gain employment in the field of your choice without a higher level of education, it is certainly in your best interest to pursue continuing education if your want to advance your career. By pursuing advanced education related to your career field, you will acquire skills that help you perform better in your job. Additionally, your actions will demonstrate to your employer your continued commitment to your chosen profession.

Having a post-secondary education can also benefit you financially. Without this education, there are a number of jobs for which you will not even be eligible for consideration. For many positions, the starting salary differs depending on the level of education that you have completed. Many times, pay raises and promotions are also tied to completion of continuing education programs. Therefore, while you might be able to gain entry to a particular occupation without a post-secondary education, you can't move up --or make more money-- until you complete additional studies.
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