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Education: To pursue or not to pursue, that is the question!Girl, get that degree

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Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 4:45 pm

As the economy continues to change, we must be ever more vigilant, innovative and creative to stand out and succeed in an increasingly competitive world. During the industrial era, people with high school diplomas could make a fairly decent living. A bachelor’s degree was considered a huge accomplishment and could usually guarantee even higher wages.

Now we’re in the Information Age. M, many of the manufacturing jobs were out-sourced years ago. Therefore we must be more academically prepared with skill -sets critical for 21st cCentury jobs. A That said, a bachelor’s degree may no longer be enough, and so many are heading back to school for graduate degrees.

I Simply put, it’s crucial to be more competitive, personally and professionally. Strategic thinking and lifelong learning are imperatives for a high- quality life and personal growth.

We possess a multitude of talents (many untapped);, however, researching various schools and programs fitting our natural aptitudes can be challenging.

The following are some things to look for wWhen considering a school, look at: the programs and disciplines offered; eligibility requirements; location (on-ground or on-line) and the duration of the program, in other words, how long it takes to graduate. Also, cConsider the frequency of meetings, deadlines, benefits, accreditation, how to apply and any fees associated with the application fees. Don’t forget about prerequisites such as the GMAT or GRE, which are standardized tests for admission to graduate schools.

The schools’ accreditation is vital, because if it’s accredited you have the option of transferring credit hours. Additionally, companies and organizations frequently recruit from accredited and more prestigious schools. This is why if Harvard is on your résumé, you’re almost guaranteed a high paying job. Most colleges or universities are accredited through the Higher Learning Commission. The process was created to develop high standards of academic excellence.

With working women looking to leverage work-life balance, on-line learning should be considered and is increasingly popular. Learning in the classroom is still a viable option and high-touch is still considered by most accounts more effective than high-tech. Yet, classroom learning means that a person would have to find a school that would be convenient and match their schedules. On the other hand, oOn-line classes are more convenient, and students with hectic schedules can better balance family, work, school and other responsibilities. Many students take both types of courses.

Internet coursework with no face-to-face meetings has grown at an astonishing pace in ways unanticipated. Part of this growth is attributed to busy people who’ve learned to multitask. When students elect to take classes electronically, there are similar expectations, just as if they’re in a classroom setting.

Whatever you decide, pursuing more education is a personal and professional undertaking and will most likely result in a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Women are frequently considered caretakers and pressure is often put on them to maintain these traditional roles;, however, they should also consider taking care of themselves more. So, go ahead, get set and pursue that degree.

Alyce Herndon is a member of the Professional Organization of Women (POW) and assistant director and academic advisor at Webster University’s Downtown Campus. She is also a doctoral candidate with Northcentral University.

To learn more about POW, the Professional Organization of Women contact us at empower@powinc.org, or 314-963-5287 or www.powinc.org.

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