Should you Earn Money or go to School?
The Earnings Gap
Formal statistics aren’t really necessary to confirm what modern managers already know: the more highly qualified you are, the more you earn. Nevertheless, US Census Bureau figures show how wide the gap is between degree-holding managers and colleagues who do not have a formal degree. Bachelor degree holders earn, on average, 43% more than their non-graduate peers. Master’s degree holders earn a further 13%.
The Status Gap
Of course, money isn’t the only measure of success. Position and status in a company can be as important for many people. Frequently, companies prefer to promote formally qualified individuals as a safer bet for the future. While experience counts for a lot, a higher degree demonstrates a level of intellectual achievement and dedication that managers without a degree may only claim to have. Census statistics show that nearly 60% of executives, managers and administrators have at least an Associate degree. In contrast, only around 25% of individuals without a higher education reach these managerial levels. Individuals with no formal degree (about 75%) tend to remain at administrative support and clerical staff levels, whatever their level of competency.
The Career Conundrum Defined
Thus, it is clear that to advance your career and increase your earning potential, you need to gain a higher degree. However, the combination of losing income for a significant period, plus finding college fees, make attending a traditional campus college unfeasible for many working managers. Family and location commitments may also make moving to a university town impossible.
The Solution — Learn as you Earn
Fortunately, in the 21st century, managers can have their cake and eat it, too. With the advent of online technology, earning a degree is no longer the onerous financial and time-consuming burden it used to be. Anyone who has access to a PC with Internet connectivity can complete a degree. In addition to 100% online colleges, many respected campus schools offer online versions of their tried and tested degrees, so valued by employers. Completing an online degree while working means you continue to gain on-the-job experience often lacking in new graduates from a bricks and mortar’ university. Many employers look favorably on the dedication and initiative shown by an employee willing to work and educate himself at the same time. If this isn’t true of your current employer, then you can be sure that there are others who will be ready to reap the rewards of your new qualification by giving you a position with a better salary and a higher status.
The Methodology — Any Time, Any Place, Anywhere.
Most online degrees can be completed on any computer connected to the Internet. If you have access to up to date equipment, although not necessarily state of the art, then you should have no problem. Usually, there is no requirement to attend classes at a particular place or a particular time. You can receive information and assignments online, at times and places to suit you. Similar to campus-based programs most online programs include interaction with professors and other students and encourage information exchange. Web-based degrees programs provide flexible and accessible learning opportunities for thousands, maybe millions, of managers who thought that a degree was out of their reach.
The Conclusion — What Conundrum?
An individual no longer has to choose between earning a degree and earning an income. Learning while earning is a reality of the new millennium and is here to stay. If you are an ambitious, able manager but you do not hold a formal degree qualification, you owe it to yourself to check out the multitude of online degree learning possibilities available from respected institutions. The only choice you have to make is when.