Building a career is no easy task. Having a job is one thing; building a resume that makes you uniquely appealing to hiring managers in certain spaces is another thing entirely. To move up the ladder and make the most of your opportunities, you’ll have to work hard, learn a lot, and network wisely. Along the way, you may have the chance to improve your resume and boost your earning power with degrees and certifications. That’s what we’re here to talk about today.
Kick-starting your career with a degree or certification
In the case of many career spaces, you’ll need a degree or a certification right from the start. Even if one is not strictly required, you’re likely to enter your career space in a better position if you can prove that you know your stuff, experts say.
Whether you’re getting an undergraduate degree or a certificate of some kind, the point is twofold, explain experts who run automotive, diesel and collision repair academic programs in New York. You’re learning the skills that will make you great at your work, and you’re obtaining documentation that will convince would-be employers that you know your stuff. Your foundational degree or certification is what will jump-start your whole career.
But you aren’t necessarily done just yet, experts say. Sure, you know how to fix a diesel engine (or write a computer program, or balance a company checkbook), but things change: new innovations will change how engines work (and so on), and you’ll need to keep up with the times.
Staying on top with certifications
Sometimes, you’ll be able to move up your career ladder by heading back to school for a new degree (and we’ll talk about that in just a moment). But, more often, you’ll just have to learn new skills and new ways of doing things as your industry changes around you. In many cases, you’ll be able to get certifications that prove that you’ve kept up.
Take network certification exams, say the experts from AlphaPrep who help professionals with a CCNA practice test and preparation programs. You can go to school and learn such skills, but that’s not your only option. With independent study (or just a quick refresher course, depending on your background), you could learn key network and programming skills, take a test, and earn a certification.
Particularly in spaces like tech and finances, this strategy can be a powerful way to improve your earning power and beef up your resume without having to take time off of work to go back to school. Certifications that you can get through tests can validate the skills that you’ve earned by learning on the job, and they are worth the investment in many cases.
Back to school
Sometimes, you’ll want to do something a bit more drastic than just build out your list of certifications. In cases when you want to make a big jump in your career — or change careers entirely — it may pay to go back to school for a higher degree or, in some cases, a new bachelor’s degree.
You’ll want to be careful about this decision, of course; consider the cost of going back to school, including the income you might lose if you take a break from your career. But thanks to low-residency programs, online schools, and part-time options, you have ways to make your career work while also pursuing a new degree. And if you do your research and get a degree that will boost your earning power, going back to school could be a decision that pays for itself.
You’re smart and you’re talented, but no would-be employer has psychic powers. If you’re going to build your career, you need to build your resume, too — and that means locking down certifications and degrees that will set you apart.