For many careers, the degree you chose might not have a huge effect on your employability. However, if you have a degree related to the position you're working, then your chances of moving up the corporate ladder are greatly increased. While a degree in any subject is important to getting that first job, you still need to get a degree in your field if you want to rise to the top quickly.
Some career fields require high-level applicants to have certified expertise. If you have a bachelor degree in safety or emergency management, you're likely going to rise to the top ranks of FEMA before someone who only has a degree in business administration. The degree offers a stamp of approval that you're knowledgeable in a specific area. This can go a long way to helping you gain more recognition.
People without a degree often harp on the value of experience. The problem with experience is that it tends to be very narrowly focused on a particular skill. Someone who has a degree might not know how to operate the latest machinery, but with the right experience, can surpass someone who never learned the underlying mechanics that make the machine work. Intensive and in-depth knowledge is gained through a hard-fought education while experience gives you the hands-on practice needed to become a true expert. You need both to rise in any career.
Companies want knowledgeable employees, and part of becoming knowledgeable is the ability to perform research. A degree teaches you how to present your ideas in front of a classroom and defend your ideas in front of knowledgeable professors. The coursework in degree programs refines your analytical thinking skills, which might not always be possible to learn by working your way through the ranks of a company.
If you have a degree, you have more opportunities to market yourself. You can be pickier about the positions you choose, especially if you have solid work experience. When you obtain a degree in your field, you show that you have the work ethic to complete a program and are responsible. Companies value these attributes and are more likely to hire you as a result.
Getting a degree can help your career and get you a promotion. People who have at least a bachelor's degree tend to make significantly more income, and are able to choose less physically demanding jobs. A degree offers a path toward a better lifestyle and using it correctly, you can definitely rise through the ranks.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.