If your finances are taking a hit during this bad economy, one way you can help turn that around is by advancing your career through online education. As online degrees become increasingly more accepted, recognized and respected, now is an especially good time to get in the game.
1. Increased income potential
It’s no secret that promotions are often based on educational qualifications. By deepening your knowledge in a chosen field, you can put yourself a few steps ahead of your co-workers in the promotion line.
Studies show that more education translates into higher salaries. Figures released by the United States Census Bureau show that over a lifetime, a high school graduate can expect to make around $1.2 million. With even some college work, that figure reaches $1.5 million.
By earning an associate degree, that estimate rises another $100,000, but the big jump comes for those with bachelor’s degrees, who earn an average of $2.1 million. A master’s degree, especially in business administration or engineering, adds another $400,000 to the average, and a doctorate, particularly in medicine or law, raises the figure to $4.4 million.
Judging from these figures, online education can mean a huge increase in your lifetime earnings.
2. Enhanced skill sets
Even if you’re not pursuing promotions, online education can provide you with an employment safety net in the case of sudden lay-offs at work. By expanding and strengthening your current skill set, you can become a more valuable employee.
3. Changing professions
Sometimes career advancement requires career change, especially in a bad economy when certain sectors are hit harder than others. If you notice the people in your position at similar companies losing their jobs or see little chance of growth in your field, now may be the time to consider new opportunities outside of your current profession.
Pinpoint a career path you would like to pursue and consider going back to school to gain the background needed. The career paths that rarely suffer in bad economies include:
Some people mistakenly believe that online courses are easier than traditional classroom courses. Don’t be fooled: Online courses require considerable commitment, maybe even more so since you are entirely responsible for managing your time.