The ROI Of Continuing Your Education

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In a world that is rapidly evolving, the pursuit of higher education has become more than just an avenue for academic growth; it’s a strategic investment in one’s career. By specialising your education to a postgraduate level, you open opportunities for promotions and increased wages, increase your marketability and allow yourself to direct your career transitions. This coupled with the opportunity to achieve something great, provides ample return on investment.

What is ROI?

Return on investment (ROI) is a tool used to calculate how much you expect to receive on any given investment. It is often used in the finance setting to calculate how much money is expected to return given an investment in, say, a stock option. However, this conception is too narrow. ROI can be used to understand the returns on anything one may invest time and money into, even education. This article outlines both the career/financial returns and the personal returns on the investment in postgraduate education.

Specialisation

Firstly, what goes into postgraduate education? You can think of the modern education system as a triangle. During high school, students gain a broad education in many different fields. In university, students choose a number of majors to focus on. Each of these majors has a number of units or topics. In postgraduate education, students specialise in these specific topics, learning all the ins and outs. The upshot of this is expertise and mastery over the content beyond almost all of the broader population.

In recognising the benefit of highly specialised individuals, contemporary higher education has become more flexible in its course attendance options. With the option of now completing postgraduate courses online, it means that students are not beholden to the in-person synchronous nature of classical education. As a result, these opportunities to specialise are now accessible to more people.

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Career Benefits

A number of significant career benefits follow specialisation through postgraduate education. A brief glance at just a few will reveal the extent of ROI possibilities.

Promotion and Wages

There are two ways to progress your career, ‘up’, and ‘sideways and then up’. Whilst it is clear, as will be outlined below, that this latter form of career progression is enabled by further education, postgraduate courses also provide a way of moving up within the firm you are currently in. Higher qualifications often lead to better job positions and a corresponding increase in wages. This is why many firms encourage their employees to pursue postgraduate education. Simply put, they want these specialised people to work for them. What this means for the prospective postgraduate student is an increase in earning potential compared to  the high school or undergraduate level competition. This increase in earning capacity over time can significantly offset the initial cost of further education.

Career Transition

As mentioned earlier, the second way of progressing your career is ‘sideways and then up’. Postgraduate education also provides an avenue for career transition. If you have hit what seems like a glass ceiling in your current firm, looking to shift to a different industry or a new career path might be the best way to overcome this. Postgraduate courses can provide the necessary knowledge and credentials to make this shift stick.

Marketability

In an increasingly competitive job market, having a postgraduate qualification enhances your marketability. Employers often view additional qualifications as a sign of a candidate’s commitment to their field and their ability to handle complex tasks and responsibilities. This makes you a more attractive candidate, opening doors to more job opportunities and career options.

A Great Achievement

A final note worth considering is that we often get lost in the discussion of career progress. Whilst this is necessary and important, pursuing postgraduate education is a rare path that allows you to both check the career box and pursue an achievement you can be proud of. In itself, a postgraduate qualification demonstrates dedication, discipline and a commitment to both personal and professional development. Whilst, the ROI of postgraduate education is clearly realised in career growth and opportunities, it is also the product of personal determination, and is thus, a wonderful achievement. Therefore, whether it’s for a career change, a promotion or personal growth, the investment in higher education pays dividends in a myriad of ways.

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