It is commonly known that higher education is an important component to building a career. With the economy being as rough as it has been for the last few years, people are increasingly looking for ways to get an edge on their competition in order to make themselves more appealing to potential employers. While a couple of decades ago it was enough to simply attend college and receive a bachelor’s degree, it is no longer sufficient just to have a basic undergraduate education under one’s belt.
Here are some options to consider when evaluating your current education level and contemplating your next move.
A Master’s Certificate is not a fully master’s degree though it has some of the core foundational components found in full master’s programs. Many colleges and universities offer a master’s certificate in varying areas and depending on your field, a certificate may be all you need to really legitimize your standing in the job market. A master’s certificate is not as expensive nor as selective as a full program so it is a great option for those looking to play the field and see what areas of graduate education may be right for you.
Graduate Degree Programs
A graduate degree is a commitment because most graduate programs are extensive and require thorough time and energy in order to complete. Graduate degrees like a Master’s or a PhD will help you specialize in a field and gain valuable education pertaining to your industry. However, these programs are more selective and expensive than a certificate program. Also, graduate degree programs may require a certain amount of work experience as well as strong academic work in undergraduate courses in order for the school to accept you into their program. A graduate degree is a good investment if you know that you are willing to commit to the industry in which your degree program is geared towards.
Government Funded Training
There is also the option of receiving government funded training for your higher education needs. Government resources are used to subsidize worker’s access to higher education and training. Popular areas of training are in human resources, research, public policy, management, and non-profit work. Some resources that may be helpful to look into are: http://guides.wsj.com/small-business/funding/how-to-get-government-grants-for-training/ and http://www.hhs.gov/grants/. These websites provide links which can help you find government grants that enable you to receive your higher education for free or at a reduced rate. Government employees also are eligible to have their higher education costs covered by the federal agency in which they work in. Often, these types of deals are to be negotiated during the hiring process. The private sector also contains the opportunity to receive subsidized education, but the practice is much more common with government workers.
Government funded training can also take the form of online resources which can be seen on this website.
With the availability of government grants and federally funded training, the plethora of options with graduate certificates and degrees, your foray into higher education can be as simple or complex as your career requires. It is just a matter of choosing the right option for your career needs.