Why you must consider your education when looking for a job.
So maybe you did not finish school, we completely understand. Our personal situations set our priorities and can sometimes slow our career progressions. Choices are made, life happens.
These days, if you find yourself on the job market, one thing is for certain: degrees DO matter. It is important to be candid here; a high school diploma, and sometimes even a college degree is no longer a nice to have, it is mandatory for most positions. While it may appear that there are plenty of open jobs to choose from, many companies set minimum education requirements that allow for no flexibility when it comes to hiring. No diploma, no job, no exception.
So regardless of your personal situation, one thing is clear: now is the time to stop dreaming about your next level of education and start completing it. A high school education (GED, HiSET, or Diploma) is a must, and some level of college education is becoming the norm. Without a formal education, you are crippling yourself in your job search. Companies demand that applicants have education levels in line with expectations for the job, and fewer and fewer companies are willing to consider experience as a substitute for education. Not being at a standard level of education is not something to be taken lightly.
We know that pursuing a degree at any level is not an easy task. Time and money are precious resources, no matter what stage you are at in your career. Sometimes returning to school just isn’t practical. However, investing in yourself in the short term will definitely pay off in the long term. One great thing to remember about returning to school; education lasts forever.
It is also important to note…there is still no guarantee of a job. Education is just one piece of the hiring puzzle that employers strive to solve when they are looking for new team members. Typically hiring managers follow a list of qualifications for each position, education level being just one of those qualifications. If you have the required education along with the other qualifications, you might be considered.
Our recruiters often hear that experience is far more valuable than a diploma or degree. While we cannot disagree, we must adhere to the wishes of our clients. If the requirements set a minimum education standard, no amount of experience will get you that position; you will never make it to the hiring manager’s desk!
Luckily, in the age of technological advancement, education has become much more accessible. With the introduction of the virtual classroom, students can take advantage of learning from home where they may need to be present to watch children, elderly parents, or take care of family businesses. Online education has proven to be an efficient way of learning and is now common in continuing education. Locally, here in the Monadnock area, we have resources such as Keene Community Education, where students can get a GED or a high school equivalency degree, known as HiSET, and can also provide college preparation classes to prepare you for the next level of education. Southern New Hampshire University offers respected online college courses as do other national virtual schools. Also local to the area, River Valley Community College in Keene and Claremont offer a number of areas of study including a tuition-free career readiness program as part of WorkReadyNH and Greenfield Community College In Greenfield Mass. offers full online learning programs once you have that diploma in hand.
So if you feel like your job search is stuck in a rut and you do not have your diploma or degree in line with your expected experience, we are sorry to say – things likely won’t change. With so many opportunities available, you owe it to yourself to invest in your education so you can get the job you are most suited for and once and for all be back on track with your life and career.