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Getting a Second Degree or Diploma: Is It a Smart Move?

Education is a good thing. Whether you want to make a career change or enrich your life, a second degree or diploma is one of the best strategies for self-improvement. If you pick a program that’s right for you, you will never regret going back to school.

When it comes to making a career change, getting a second degree can help you make the switch. To help you decide your next step, we have outlined three scenarios in which getting a second degree or diploma is a great move.

You Need a Change of Pace

Some careers seem great in the abstract, but don’t provide much variety on the job. When you’re not challenged, you don’t perform to your full potential. The day-in and day-out routine of the job begins to lose its lustre and it becomes simply a matter of punching the clock.

Sometimes your first degree is wonderful for you, but it may lead to boring jobs. Degrees in English Literature or Psychology can help you understand the human mind. Political Science and Sociology can help you become a better citizen and member of the community. No matter how these degrees enrich your life, they can sometimes lead to middle-of-the-road office jobs — jobs that don’t offer the challenges you need to stay engaged. Studies estimate that nearly 25 percent of all workers change jobs because there aren’t enough opportunities for training or learning.

A second degree or diploma can help you change direction. It will refresh and diversify your resume, and it will show that you have invested in yourself and gained a second area of expertise. Prospective employers will see that you’re ambitious and not comfortable settling for something that doesn’t inspire you. You will position yourself as a passionate candidate ready for any challenge.

You Need New Skills for a New Industry

Getting a second degree or diploma isn’t just about getting a new job. Sometimes, it’s about learning new skills. While many positions do the majority of their training on the job, a number of careers require you to master the position before you start. Getting a second degree or diploma is one way to ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running.

Many students go back to school to gain the practical, job-focused skills that their more general first degrees didn’t give them. While liberal arts degrees or programs in science or math can give us general knowledge, they don’t necessarily teach us the skills we need to learn how to repair HVAC or become a dental hygienist. A second degree can give you a laser focus on the exact skills you need for the next phase of your career.

You Want to Break Through the Dead End

Many workers find that there is a ceiling to their careers. You can only rise so high in a certain company or industry. To get promoted beyond that, you either need to wait a long time until the older generation retires, or you need connections and further education. A second degree or diploma can help you break through the dead end in your career.

Moving laterally can also be the best thing for your career. Changing jobs is becoming more mainstream, with the average American worker staying only 4.4 years at each job according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A second career can give you a unique combination of skills and experience that makes you stand out as a prospective employee. The right program can give you the education you need to surpass the limits of one career path and carve a whole new path for yourself in a different industry.

Which Degree or Diploma Will Help You Succeed?

Make sure you find a program that properly complements your first degree. A degree in Library and Information Science is a more natural choice for an English major than a Chemistry major. When you build a set of congruent, complementary skills, you’ll become a more well-rounded candidate for prospective jobs.

In other cases, there is particular complement to the new degree or diploma you’re considering. However, you should still consider making the change — in the long run, your passion for your new career will be strong and noticeable. Your current employer, or potential employers, may be impressed at your motivation and eagerness to make a sudden shift.

Whether you need more opportunities for inspiration or advancement, or you require new skills for a new position, a second degree or diploma can help you kick start your career. You’ll enrich your life as you gain the valuable experience and training to take on new challenges. Employers may even see the fruits of your passion and you’ll gain the confidence you need for your next great adventure.

CC Photo by Masternet Behavioral Health

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