“Everything you do in life, you do the best … If you put more into it, you get more out of it. You learn more to take with you on the journey.” Those are the powerful words of Story Musgrave, born in 1935 to humble beginnings on a Massachusetts dairy farm and who later went on to become a NASA astronaut, a trauma surgeon, a landscape architect, an artist and a professor, among his many other achievements.
Now, consider Mr. Musgrave’s sage advice in terms of your professional path: What choices can you make to get more out of your own career? You may discover that a business degree is the right fit, because it empowers you to take the knowledge you’ve already gained on the job along on your journey, as Mr. Musgrave says, toward a fulfilling future.
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) tracks the connections between college degrees and employers. In 2017, the NACE ranked “business” as the third most likely degree an employer would look for from a new hire.
Additionally, according to a recent survey of small-business owners published by American Express’s Open Forum, 61 percent of respondents said they believed having a college degree was important or necessary to succeed in business.
Experienced professionals may think, “I’ve been working for years — why should I get a degree now?” While hiring managers will recognize your valuable experience, many industries and companies require validation of that experience with a formal degree in order to make a job offer or award a promotion.
Let’s consider the value of an undergraduate business degree for sales and service professionals and administrative support professionals:
- Sales & Service: Undergraduate degrees may be the rule rather than the exception for sales professionals working with business-to-business (B2B) companies and scientific and technical products. Many employers hiring service professionals are also looking for new hires to possess the technical knowledge or expertise that comes from college-level business courses.
- Administrative Support: To provide the support needed by executives setting the strategy and vision for a company, in-demand administrative support professionals are expected to be knowledgeable themselves. They need to know how operations run, what role each division and department plays and how to support collaboration. A bachelor’s degree in business provides that knowledge.
The bottom line is that job seekers and professionals looking for promotions in sales, service or administrative support can set themselves apart from the competition with a bachelor’s degree in business.
According to the most recent College Board report, individuals with a bachelor’s degree earned a median of 67 percent more than those with a high school diploma over their lifetime. Even within the same industry, people with college or advanced degrees traditionally earn higher salaries than their peers with less education.
An undergraduate business program, such as WGU, empowers you to excel in your career. This unique opportunity to practice, learn and grow in a dynamic environment enables you to build upon the work experience you’ve already gained. Guided by talented educators and mentors, you can explore new concepts, expand your skill set and network with valuable contacts outside of your current circle.
As you consider your options, keep in mind that online degree programs are more widely accepted and well respected than ever. In contrast with traditional programs, the flexibility, accessibility and convenience of an online degree means even the busiest working adults can earn a degree on the timeline that works best. Online programs also tend to be more cost-effective than traditional degree programs.
At WGU, students complete their coursework when it's most convenient. Business degrees from WGU also typically cost substantially less than the national average. WGU students pay a flat tuition per term rather than per course or credit — and they complete courses as soon as they can prove they know the material. Though the timeline is flexible, students typically complete their undergraduate degrees in less than three years. The cost-effectiveness, combined with excellent program quality, is why “University Research & Review” named WGU a “Best Value School” for four consecutive years.
Experienced professionals know that success in business takes hard work and dedication. Building a successful career also takes hard work. That’s why pursuing a business degree is a really an investment in yourself. When choosing a degree program, give extra consideration to those that are flexible, cost effective, nationally recognized and well respected — like those you’d find at WGU. With the right education, you can gain both the credentials and the real-world skills it takes to realize your career aspirations for the future.
As you contemplate making the leap, just think about NASA astronaut Story Musgrave. Though he didn’t finish school on the typical timeline, throughout his life he attained seven graduate degrees (in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature and psychology) and has been awarded 20 honorary doctorates.
No matter what career path you ultimately choose, the focus and dedication you put toward your goals will make all the difference. As you envision your future, contemplate Mr. Musgrave’s unique path to success as well as his words of wisdom. What exciting possibilities could unfold for you through the power of the right education?
"You always give it your best shot ...
You have to give it your best shot, because you'll learn more". - Story Musgrave