Positioning Yourself for a Leadership Role

By William J. Mathias, Jr., Herzing University

By 2020, it’s estimated that more than 5 million students will be enrolled part-time at degree-granting postsecondary institutions. Many of those students are working professionals who are returning to the classroom to attain a higher degree and achieve personal and business success.

Why? Employers take into account continuing education and formal degrees when conducting talent assessments and identifying high-potential employees. By pursuing an advanced degree on your own time, you can demonstrate your aspiration, ability and engagement.
Here’s why taking the initiative to earn that next degree will help prepare and position you for consideration for pivotal roles across the organization: vertical, lateral or some variation.

1. Leadership is the necessary frontier
A recent CareerBuilder survey reported that 27 percent of employers are now recruiting candidates with master’s degrees for positions that once only required a four-year education. Many of those roles require essential leadership skills, such as critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making, which are vital to driving performance, improving one’s effectiveness as a coach and developing team members.

2. Help your organization face the future
When an organization or an industry is facing a critical skills gap, continuing education can open the door to more diverse opportunities and roles across an organization.

Consider the challenges facing today’s healthcare industry, for example, such as complexity of care, technology innovation and focus on better patient outcomes. At the same time as the demand for healthcare services continues to skyrocket, a shortage of available, qualified nursing professionals continues to grow.
Today, many healthcare professionals, often encouraged by their nurse managers and leaders, are going back to school for their BSN or MSN. Such programs are known to improve pathways to internal career opportunities. The knowledge and skills learned can better equip nurses to fill vital vacancies, manage the increasing complexity in nursing care and ultimately improve patient outcomes.

3. Your education on your schedule
More than one in four students take degree coursework online, with enrollment in steady growth for the past 13 years. Why? Flexibility. Today, working professionals get to choose to achieve both their career and educational goals.

Working professionals, like you, often share their stories of juggling career and family-related responsibilities. To meet the needs of today’s adult learner looking to achieve their career and educational goals, Herzing University offers flexible learning options, student focused support and scholarship opportunities that make it possible for busy individuals to fit higher education into their lives.

About the Author:
William J. Mathias, Jr. is the Director of Partnership Operations at Herzing University – Enterprise Learning.

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