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Forgo the Advanced Degree & Keep Acquiring, Refining Skills

Posted on 7.07.2014

Thinking about heading back to school for an advanced degree? You might want to save some time (and money) and just keep working.

According to the Glassdoor U.S. Q2 2014 Employee Confidence Survey, 72 percent of employees believe specialized training to acquire specific skills is more valuable than a degree in the workplace.

When it comes to what's most important to advance their career and earn a bigger paycheck, more than three in five (63 percent) employees report learning new skills or receiving special training, compared to those who report receiving a college or graduate degree (45 percent), transitioning careers or looking for a new job or company (38 percent), and networking with professionals (34 percent), among other options.

In addition, a specific degree may not translate to getting hired or career success, as three in four (74 percent) employees believe their employers value work experience and related skills more than education when evaluating job candidates. In fact, half (48 percent) of employees with a college degree believe their specific degree is not very relevant to the job they do today, and four in five (80 percent) admit they've never been asked about their college GPA (grade point average) during a job interview. Fifty-three percent of employees also believe a graduate degree is no longer necessary to be offered a high-paying job.

"The national conversation about the value of higher education and gainful employment is a topic alive within companies. While education is still valued as one piece of the puzzle for a successful career, we're seeing a shift in the workplace in which most employees feel gaining the latest skills relevant to their job and industry is more valuable to help advance their careers, and they're feeling it's what employers are truly seeking to really help move business forward," said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert.


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