In many industries, an advanced degree is a reliable way to jumpstart your career. That’s because the process of earning the degree is just as important as the degree itself. Here are five career boosters you’re likely to gain along the way:
- 1. New skills: Concrete skills, such as fluency in a programming language, can beef up your resume. Harder-to-quantify ones, like group facilitation and public speaking, may prepare you for new roles by polishing your professional demeanor.
- 2. Helpful mentors: There’s no substitute for experience, and mentors typically have it. Even if you’ve been working in your industry for a while, a good mentor can provide useful advice and help you navigate tough situations with aplomb. Mentors who inspire you are worth their weight in gold, whether you’re seeking employment in a difficult market or craving confidence during the interview process.
- 3. Bigger, better network: Grad school is an ideal place to meet and learn from your industry’s current leaders. It’s also a great venue for finding its next superstars. Even if you don’t nab your dream job immediately, a classmate might race up the career ladder and then want you as a colleague — or business partner — a few years later.
- 4. More job opportunities: Getting to know professionals at a broader set of organizations can lead to more job offers. So can connecting with more people in decision-making roles. Grad schools host mixers, lectures, and other events that make it easy to exchange ideas — and business cards — with numerous industry leaders.
- 5. Enhanced perspective: Taking time to reflect upon your professional experiences can help you strengthen your weaker areas and develop your leadership potential. Dissecting thorny professional issues with others is an excellent teamwork exercise, plus a chance to tone your problem-solving muscles.