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Is More Education the Answer?

"Should I go back to school?" I get this question all the time. My answer is always the same, "It depends". If you are considering a career change, the thought of going back to school has probably crossed your mind. Every job has minimum requirements. This can be education, experience, or a combination of the two, but going back to school isn't always the answer. just announced the removal of degree requirements from over 700 eligible positions in an effort to reduce the barrier of entry and further support their core commitment to DE&I. In the era of the "Great Resignation," other companies will follow this example in order to attract talent. The need for higher education won't completely disappear, but this trend means that other forms of education and experience will be sufficient to land certain roles.

Ultimately, if you are struggling with this decision, you need to evaluate your current skills, education, and experience against the type of roles you want to pursue. If you're a paralegal looking to become a lawyer, more education and credentials are an absolute requirement. However, if you're an accountant looking to transition to HR pursuing an MBA with an HR concentration won't necessarily open a ton of doors into the HR field. Not that this will hurt your chances, but you have to weigh the benefits against the cost. Maybe instead, you pursue an HR certification and focus on your transferrable skills to break into the field.

Oftentimes, I find that clients use the need for more education as a crutch to keep them in their current comfort zone. Returning to school is a big commitment, especially if you're working a full-time job, raising a family, or concerned about the financial impact. All of these barriers can make it easier to push off your new career goals or decide not to pursue them entirely. But what if, education isn't even a factor? Then you're forced to face the fact that you're just terrified of taking the next step and getting out of your comfort zone. Believe me, I get it! We've all been there.

If you are contemplating this decision, do your research and ask yourself the following questions: What are the requirements for the roles I'm seeking? Do I have transferable skills and knowledge that apply? Does the position allow for experience equivalent to education? Can I demonstrate the required competency? What are alternatives to returning to school that will still satisfy the requirements? What other paths are available to reach my goal?

Partnering with a career coach can also assist with the process of developing your career road map and figuring out your next steps. Let's connect.

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