The United States has a robust higher education system which millions of students use to earn degrees and prepare for jobs and careers. As wonderful as four-year degrees are, however, students can no longer afford to think of higher education as a “once and done” solution that fulfills all their educational needs.
1. A Rapidly Changing Marketplace
Many factors have led to rapid changes in today’s marketplace: advances in computing and robotics, the amount of data available for analysis, and an expectation that progress will keep marching forward day after day, just to name a few. The job you trained for just a few short years ago may not even be available now, or may have changed enough that your coursework is no longer sufficient training for the position.
2. Outdated Programs and Poor Choices
Getting a degree in a particular subject or major isn’t a guarantee that you have received the training you need to be qualified for a job in that field. Some four-year degree programs are outdated and don’t provide needed information and experience, and it may be almost impossible to know this until you actually have the degree.
Another factor in the effectiveness of a four-year degree is whether you choose to take the courses you really need to get the job you want in the end. As an undergraduate student, you may not yet have the perspective you need to understand which courses would be most helpful. You may very well end up taking the wrong courses and neglecting to take the ones you need.
3. New Ideas, New Courses
Even if you do take all the right courses and get a job you are well-qualified for, the field is bound to keep on changing as you work and build your career. Sooner or later, new ideas will enter the field, and you will need a way to access them and assimilate the new information in order to grow in your job.
In some fields like human resources and computer science, there are desirable certifications that can only be earned as you gain experience in the field, sometimes even beyond a four-year degree. While it is possible to earn some of the certifications without taking courses, coursework greatly improves the chances of success.
Continuing Education Options
Sure, there are traditional continuing education courses, but there are many other options as well. Online courses can provide flexibility, and microcredentialing allows students to get a series of smaller credentials over time rather than having to invest large amounts of time over years to earn additional degrees. Open courses offer another option for continued learning without incurring large expenses you can’t afford.
CCSU offers a number of continuing education options that could fit your lifestyle, even with a career and family. View open courses to see all the different courses we offer.