School yourself to a better job

Nancy Anderson
Posted by

When I was an administrative professional at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the big concerns of the group that represented our interests before the administration was how to rise within the organization. While there is a career ladder for administrative professionals, with positions like office manager and executive assistant that carry more power and prestige, for the bulk of office support staff, the key to advancement often becomes acquiring new skills and knowledge in order to pursue other career paths.

That's where college comes in. You may already hold a college degree, but that doesn't mean that you couldn't use additional education. Fields like accounting and human resource management have their own body of knowledge and skills one must acquire in order to succeed in them. Many colleges and universities offer undergraduate and master's degree programs in these and other fields that provide that knowledge.

And the good news is that you can pursue this knowledge while holding down the job you have, if you have one. Most schools now offer online programs that let you take classes on your schedule and at your pace, and even the traditional classroom-based courses are offered at times convenient to working adults.

If you're not employed, enrolling in education and training programs may enable you to continue receiving unemployment benefits, and grants and other forms of financial aid are available to help meet the tuition.

Many working adults find that for-profit career colleges like the University of Phoenix and DeVry University offer the type of education that positions them for future advancement; sites like provide comprehensive information to help you make an informed choice. Community colleges and traditional four-year colleges and universities also offer both career-focused and traditional academic programs that might work for you. Do a little homework before you take the plunge to make sure you have all the facts you need to decide whether a return to school makes sense for you.

By Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is an award-winning writer and editor who has spent most of his career in public relations and corporate communications. His work has appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia CityPaper, PGN, and a number of Web sites. Philly-area residents may also recognize him as "MarketStEl" of discussion-board fame. He has been a part of the great reserve army of freelance writers since January 2009 and is actively seeking opportunities wherever they may lie.



Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

  • You Might Also Be Interested In

article posted by Staff Editor

Jobs to Watch