Each week on TheCubicleChick.com, I will tackle your career and/or Human Resource questions. This week’s question comes from Jane in St. Louis via LinkedIn:
Are companies in St Louis looking for experience or degrees? I am trying to go back to school and finish my degree, so I have been trying to find a good job that the pay is within my budget parameters but is also flexible enough for a full time student. I work as an office assistant now but there’s no way I can go to school and work here at the same time. I know I will never be able to find a better job without finishing school. So I’m kinda stuck. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Jane, first off, I think this is a relevant question for anyone, regardless of the city they live in. I honestly can say that it always pays to have a degree and/or experience in the field you are looking to work in. Depending on the field, a degree may be necessary in order to work professionally. It has been my experience that a well-rounded candidate with a great skill set and a stellar resume weighs just as much as someone with a degree, but a candidate with a degree, the experience, and the skill set will more than likely get the job.
There are many options for you that would allow you to work and attend school. In St. Louis alone, there are eight colleges that I can think of off of the top of my head that offer evening and weekend classes. Some of these colleges offer degrees in an expedited manner, so you get it in half the time. When I got my first degree, I worked as an Administrative Assistant, just as you are now, and I attended classes in the evening twice a week for three hours each night. I earned my degree in about two and a half years (I also attended sessions in the summer).
You could also attend college online which would also work around your schedule.
The employer you work for now may also offer tuition reimbursement. This is also a great option that encourages you to attend school. By doing this, your employer hopes that after you finish school, you will continue working for them in some capacity.
My suggestion to you is find the best school for you that offers classes based on your needs and schedule. These days, a degree is not a guarantee that you will land a good paying job in your field, but it does better your chances professionally.
I wish you luck in whatever it is you decide to do!
If you have a career or HR question, you can email it to me at info (at) thecubiclechick (dot) com. You can also tweet it to me at @TheCubicleChick.