‘Tis the season for giving back, but for many, giving back is a 9 to 5 endeavor! If you’ve discovered that you’re inspired and invigorated by volunteer opportunities, consider one of these humanitarian careers… that pay!
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, which wreaked havoc on the Northeastern United States, it’s only natural to turn our attention to the emergency management professionals who have been so skillfully assisting people in crisis. But what exactly do emergency management professionals do? And how can you become one? Read on to find out…
According to a recent New York Times article, master’s degrees are now outpacing bachelor’s degrees. The number of people earning bachelor’s degrees is certainly greater, but the master’s degree has become the fastest growing. Just look at this leap: In 1990, 6.7 million people had a master’s degree; in 2009, 12.3 million had a master’s degree.
The suggestion, then, is that a bachelor’s degree is no longer enough to help you get hired – you need a master’s degree just to get in the door. While this can certainly be true in such traditional liberal arts disciplines as psychology, art, and history, there are plenty of great professions you can enter without a master’s degree, including software engineering, personal financial advising, and athletic training, to name just a few.
Unless you’re locked into a profession that absolutely requires a master’s degree – like a physician assistant – there are lots of ways to leverage a bachelor’s degree and get the job of your dreams:
>> Cultivate experience. Bachelor’s degree programs offer tons of opportunities to get real-life experience in your field – the key is to take advantage of those opportunities. Yes, we’re talking about internships. Not only do internships provide you with great work experience and help you figure out what you really want to do with your life, they also show employers that you can handle the rigors of the real-world workplace.
>>Make connections. A master’s degree program is not the only place to create a professional network. In your undergraduate work, you’ll have access to professors who can mentor you and also help you get your foot in the door at various organizations. Without connections, a candidate with a master’s degree might just trump one with a bachelor’s degree – but if you commit to establishing a strong professional network in your bachelor’s degree program, you might find that, when push comes to shove, credentials matter less than connections.
>>Keep up with industry trends. If you’ve been out of school for a while, don’t let the dust settle on your education. Information is everywhere, but you have to commit to getting it. Join a professional organization, read news articles, and attend workshops and conferences in your field. These actions can boost your resume and prove that you have up-to-the-minute information and ideas, no matter when you earned your bachelor’s degree.
>>Market yourself. When hiring, most organizations are seeking candidates with a specific skill set. And just knowing that a candidate has a degree – bachelor’s, master’s, or otherwise – doesn’t guarantee that he or she has what it takes to get the job done. So it’s on you to research the organization, determine the skills and qualities sought, and prove that you’ve got ‘em in spades. Make specific bullet points on your resume that address those issues, and prepare interview-worthy anecdotes to show that your skills are the perfect match for the position.
A master’s degree can be an excellent credential, but it’s not the only path to professional advancement. For many of us, bachelor’s degrees are still getting the job done. Don’t rest on your laurels, though – commit to learning something new every day, and you may find that you already have everything you need for career success.