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Maximize the Value of Your Degree


online education degreeBy Robert Gordon
Program Director, Reverse Logistics Management at American Public University

Many studies have shown that there is a significant difference between wages earned by people with bachelor’s degrees than those with just a high school diploma. A quick look on any job site will show that an advanced degree is a requirement for many jobs. But it is not enough to get a degree to earn more; plan a degree program that involves courses that will help you with your career, now and into the future.

In most degree programs, there is an amount of latitude with elective credits. Many students choose the easiest classes to fill these elective credits to lessen the workload or to boost their GPA. These classes are often unrelated to their focus and the knowledge gained in these classes will be forgotten shortly after the class has ended.

Instead of falling into this trap, have a plan for what you want to do after graduation. Take the courses that help round out the knowledge needed for your goal. Focus on taking classes that will be helpful long past graduation.

For example, an accounting or finance class will build skills in that area. A project management course will provide more experience with running a project. An entrepreneurship class can be helpful if you plan to start your own business.

[Related: How to Incorporate Your Online Education Into Your Work]

Experience and knowledge are critical when looking for a new job. Practical knowledge that others might not have will help you stand out from other potential candidates in the job market. Plus, you will get more from your education. In the end, if you follow these steps, your transcript should read like a resume for your dream job.

About the Author: Dr. Robert Lee Gordon is the program director for the Reverse Logistics Management department at American Public University. Dr. Gordon has over 25 years of professional experience in supply chain management and human resources. Dr. Gordon earned his Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership and his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix as well earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from UCLA.