What a bachelor's degree tells employers

What a bachelor’s degree tells employers

Joe M. is not unlike several other students I’ve met considering returning to complete their degree and here’s what he shared with me...

Joe completed his AS in radiography, and has enjoyed a long career working directly with patients to perform medical imaging/x-rays. His work is stable but he sees opportunities to manage the team and earn a higher salary. Joe’s chances are non-existent without a bachelor’s degree.

All other things being equal, his years of experience working with patients may not be enough to be considered for the management position supervising his colleagues. Joe’s skills with patients are exceptional, but he knows little about managing a team or a budget. His supervisor will expect him to deal with employee conflict, change, motivation, group dynamics, and departmental budgets. Even Joe knows he’s not entirely comfortable with what do in those areas.

Why is “Bachelors Degree Required to apply” so common?

The hospital Joe works for strictly abides by the “Bachelors Degree Required to apply” formality. He can’t apply for this job even though he has more direct patient experience. During an impromptu lunch in the hospital cafeteria, Joe discusses a similar scenario with a current nursing student. She works at the hospital but not as a nurse, yet. Joe’s realization… he’ll need to complete his bachelor’s degree. Not only for the potential positions that open up in the hospital for which he is currently employed (they really do know how good he is!), but also for a chance at a higher salaried position in other area hospitals.

Here is some of what I shared with Joe about why investing his time and money to complete the degree was worth it—

What is it that employers typically think about the candidate that’s completed their degree? First, they know that this person knows how to learn and how to communicate their thoughts in writing. Most often that person interviewing a candidate is college educated as well. They achieved a goal, they persevered through times of discomfort, and they were self-disciplined. They pushed themselves to study, complete a writing assignment, or a detailed project. So, the college educated interviewer sees this same thing in other college graduates—that they completed something to the end, and had the capacity to endure. The student learns new, relevant information and how to communicate it to others. Not unlike something also required in a management role.

Perseverance and persistence will shine through

A college degree is more than just a diploma to be framed to those that have earned it—sweat and tears, hours doing something other than the thing they’d rather do. Wouldn’t you want this kind of person working for you? Not to mention the applicable skills and knowledge you learn along the way. I think you can see why Joe elected to return and get it done, and why I am here to help students like Joe navigate the journey!

Robin Tew, Success Coach

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