If you feel that your career is stagnating or you wish to change the direction of your career, you should think about enrolling in an advanced degree program in an area of your interest. Armed with a higher degree, you will have specialized knowledge and skills, which makes you a more attractive candidate to potential employers.
A doctorate degree serves as a stepping stone to personal and professional growth. It also can open doors to myriad opportunities. In a world that is evolving rapidly, continuous learning allows you to upgrade your skills to remain competitive and enjoy a successful career.
Significance of exploring career opportunities
Before you decide to pursue an advanced degree and change your career, it is important to research and understand the job market, future demands, and industry trends. That way, you can align your education pursuits with qualifications and skills that are in high demand. When you do this, you are well-prepared for the job market and you can increase your chances of finding a fulfilling and rewarding job opportunity.
Furthermore, while exploring different job opportunities, you can discover your passions and interests. Advanced education allows you to delve deeper into a specific field and discipline. This enables you to look at different career paths and find one that resonates with your aspirations as well as your skills and values. This process of self-discovery allows you to build a successful and satisfying career.
When you look at career opportunities after completing further education, it enables you to adapt to the changing job market dynamics. When you know about market demands, emerging industries and technological advancements, you can work to acquire the skills and knowledge that employers look for in potential candidates. This adaptability not only increases your employability, but also empowers you to navigate the complexities of the ever-changing job landscape.
Understanding the benefits of further education
If you are wondering why you should continue learning after getting a master’s degree, check out the reasons outlined below.
• Get specialized knowledge and skills
One of the main benefits of advanced education is that you gain a specialized set of skills and knowledge in a specific field. It enables you to dive deeper into your areas of interest and expertise. For instance, if you are interested in working in the field of education and taking up a leadership position to make a difference, you can choose to earn a doctorate in education and leadership.
Rockhurst University offers doctorate education programs that allow you to earn your degree in one of the four specializations – namely higher education, healthcare education, K-12 leadership and organizational leadership. These programs are completely online and cohort-based, and you can complete them in just two years. Not only do you learn about educational systems and policies, but you also get in-depth knowledge of instructional practices, curriculum development and applied research. The programs provide in-depth knowledge and help you gain leadership and change management skills.
This specialized knowledge enhances your understanding and allows you to transform into a subject matter expert. This boosts your confidence and increases your value in the job market. Employers want candidates who have comprehensive knowledge and expertise, and further education ensures that you acquire them.
• Develop your critical thinking and problem-solving abilities
Thanks to rigorous coursework, research projects and a learning environment that connects you with leaders in your field of practice, you are challenged to analyze complex issues, assess the evidence and think critically to come to conclusions. This ability is highly valued in the professional world.
When you enroll in a doctoral program, you learn to approach challenges from multiple perspectives. As a result, you consider many solutions, some out of the box, and then make sound decisions based on logical reasoning. These skills will help you in your career and also your personal life.
• Expand your professional network and access resources
Many higher education institutions such as Rockhurst University offer cohort-based programs and connect you with leaders in your chosen field of specialization. This enables you to expand your professional network and also get access to valuable resources.
A learning environment that is conducive to networking and collaboration allows you to interact with peers and professionals with similar interests and aspirations. This can lead to long-lasting connections and potential job opportunities.
You also get access to online databases, extensive libraries and research facilities. This wealth of resources deepens your knowledge and supports you in your academic pursuits. These resources help you conduct research, stay updated with the latest developments in your chosen field, and enhance the quality of your project work.
When you build a professional network and have access to resources beyond the classroom, your career prospects are significantly enhanced. Through your network, you can get job offers, mentorships and collaborations.
Job opportunities after getting your doctoral degree
Depending on the field you choose to specialize in, numerous job opportunities await you. Thanks to the internet, you do not have to stop working. You can continue working and still learn with the help of online advanced degree programs. Just make sure that you choose an accredited university, such as Rockhurst, so that you know that your chosen degree program is legitimate.
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that professionals with a doctorate typically earn just over $2,000 on average each week compared to around $1,600 that professionals with a master’s degree earn on average each week. So, not only can you find a range of job opportunities to suit your specialization and interests, but you also get a more lucrative job.
Here are a few job opportunities for people with an advanced degree.
• Professor or associate professor
If you are passionate about teaching and helping students acquire the right knowledge and succeed, you can become a professor or associate professor after completing your doctorate.
In this role, you teach undergraduate and graduate courses, conduct research and publish scholarly articles. You can participate in conferences or collaborate with government organizations and private entities to contribute to the academic community. However, one of the most rewarding opportunities as a professor is mentorship. You can mentor students to help them learn and become successful in their professional lives.
• Research scientist
Many research institutions and labs want professionals with a doctorate. Regardless of the field you specialize in, you always have the option of becoming a research scientist.
This involves leading and conducting cutting-edge research in your field, designing experiments, collecting and analyzing data, and publishing your research findings in reputable academic journals. You also get opportunities to collaborate with other experts and contribute to advancements in your field.
• Postdoctoral researcher
After completing your doctorate, you may want to further enhance your research skills and gain additional experience. If that is the case, think about taking up a position as a postdoctoral researcher.
As a postdoctoral researcher, you usually work under the supervision of established researchers on specific research projects. Your supervisor can be your mentor and help you grow professionally. Typically, a postdoctoral researcher works on projects and publishes their findings in reputable journals. You not only get an opportunity to collaborate with renowned experts, but you can also further specialize in your chosen field.
• School principal
If you are passionate about helping young people get access to the best learning opportunities, you can get an advanced degree in education and become a school principal. You would be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of a K-12 school and being a leader.
As a school principal, you would also be managing staff, developing educational policies and ensuring that the students in your school succeed. This is a wonderful opportunity to ensure that your school offers a more positive learning environment to students so that they are excited about attending classes every day. You can even include technology in classrooms to make learning more interesting and interactive.
• School district administrator
You may feel that you can have a bigger impact on the education system by developing and implementing policies and managing school budgets. If that is the case, think about becoming a school district administrator.
Here, you work at the district level and will be responsible for overseeing several schools within the district. You can actively change policies and ensure that school budgets are adequate to deliver the best-quality education. You also evaluate the curriculum and have a say in changing it. Above all, your support helps passionate school principals create a conducive learning environment.
• Education consultant
Many schools and districts often hire education consultants to provide guidance and support. So, if you are keen to help multiple schools and districts, this could be the right career path for you. After completing your doctorate in education, you can become a consultant and offer your expertise in curriculum development, assessment strategies, the implementation of educational technology, and teacher training.
It is best to remember that as an education consultant, you need exceptional communication and interpersonal skills. Persuasion skills will also help you, especially if you play a role in transforming the education system. You would need to convince stakeholders that your suggestions will move the system in the right direction and create a superior learning environment.
• Director of healthcare education
After the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare has undergone significant change. However, medical and nursing colleges are still trying to cope with this change and are working hard to transform their curricula and teaching methods so that healthcare professionals are equipped with the right knowledge and skills.
You can consider becoming a director of healthcare education after completing your doctorate in healthcare education. In this role, you would be responsible for education programs offered by medical and nursing colleges and hospitals. It involves developing the curriculum, managing faculty, ensuring compliance and striving for continuous improvement in healthcare education. It is an exciting field where you can make a significant impact on the healthcare system in the country.
• Healthcare education coordinator
Another interesting role in healthcare education is that of a coordinator. Rather than working with medical and nursing colleges, as a healthcare education coordinator, you work with healthcare organizations. Most of these organizations have educational and training programs that require training materials and proper delivery of the programs.
Your role would be to coordinate and facilitate programs and collaborate with different stakeholders to ensure that healthcare professionals get access to high-quality programs to improve their skills and knowledge. You would also be responsible for developing training materials for these programs.
• Chief executive officer
Advanced degrees equip you for leadership roles. For instance, if you get a doctorate degree in organizational leadership, you can become the chief executive officer (CEO) of a company. This is the highest leadership position in most organizations.
As a CEO, you are responsible for setting the strategic direction of your company to ensure its sustainability and growth. You would do this by making major decisions, managing resources and ensuring that departments meet their goals. In addition, you need to be aware of industry and market trends so that your organization is agile enough to adapt to the changes.
• Human resources director
Another role that awaits you after your doctoral degree is that of a human resources director. This role is vital in organizational leadership as a business is only as good as its employees. So, you have a direct say in the human capital of your organization.
You oversee recruitment, manage talent to prevent attrition, maintain employee relations, ensure that employees have access to learning and development opportunities, and comply with employment laws and regulations.
• Policy Analyst
If you want to bring about a change in society or your community, consider working with government agencies, think tanks and non-profit organizations as a policy analyst. In this role, you research public policies to evaluate their impact. Based on your findings, you then propose recommendations to improve those policies.
Not only will you play a role in developing effective policies that help local communities and other stakeholders, but you will also guide decision makers to implement solutions based on evidence you provide.
• Civil servant
You can also become a civil servant to serve the public interest and work across a variety of sectors, such as finance, law enforcement, transportation and healthcare. Civil servants work in government departments and agencies. They provide administrative, managerial and operational support.
You execute policies, enforce regulations, ensure the proper delivery of public services, and make sure that government operations function smoothly.
Advanced degrees equip you with transferable skills
Besides getting in-depth knowledge in the field you choose, an advanced degree also ensures that you gain skills that you can use in any field. That is the reason why many employers look for candidates with these degrees. They know that the candidates will have many skills that they have learned and honed during their education that can be put to good use.
Many of the vital skills that you learn when you enroll in a doctoral program are outlined below.
• Communication skills
Effective communication is essential in any career path. It enables you to interact and collaborate with others and build positive relationships. You learn not just verbal communication but also non-verbal cues, such as body language, gestures and facial expressions that enhance your communication.
When you pursue advanced education, it allows you to strengthen your written communication skills and convey your ideas effectively through writing so that others understand and interpret them correctly. You also learn active listening, which allows you to understand other people’s perspectives and respond appropriately.
• Leadership and management skills
Advanced degree programs are designed to create the leaders of tomorrow. You use these skills as a leader to guide and inspire others, make strategic decisions and manage resources effectively.
As doctoral programs involve analyzing information, evaluating options and making informed choices, they strengthen your decision-making and strategic thinking skills. You learn to assess risks, consider multiple perspectives and decide the best course of action.
Cohort-based education fosters collaboration and team building. This helps you when you begin working as it enables you to build teams, motivate members, delegate tasks, and encourage teamwork and open communication. This, in turn, also helps you if a conflict arises in the team. You can facilitate productive solutions and maintain a positive working environment.
In a world that is changing rapidly, it is important to constantly learn and upgrade your knowledge and skills. This keeps you relevant and allows you to progress in your career. When you choose advanced education, it demonstrates that you seek new knowledge and are willing to develop new skills. Employers look at this quality favorably.
When you opt for online education, you need to balance your time and overcome obstacles that hinder your learning. This resilience shows that you can bounce back from setbacks, persevere when you face a challenge, and still maintain a positive outlook. Learning from your failures and still staying motivated allows you to grow professionally and personally.
After completing your advanced education, you can use your network to find the right job opportunity. You can also use placement services that reputable universities, such as Rockhurst University, offer to find a job that excites and interests you. Remember that getting a doctoral degree can open up a whole new world of opportunities to suit your passion. The key is to choose the right advanced education program so that your path to your dream job becomes easier.