Some High School: A lot of places will hire students currently in high school as part time employees. Typically, these are jobs that require little to no special skill, such as light retail environments, fast food restaurants, movie theaters, and sometimes department stores. Many of these locations will also hire fulltime employees that do not have a high school diploma, although this is not as common. You don’t need a degree to apply here, but having one helps, especially if you want to move up into a supervisory or management position in the future. Working on your GED while in one of these positions can be helpful for career advancement.
High School: Many employers prefer that their applicants have at least a high school diploma or a GED. It’s not necessarily that the things learned in high school are necessary to be successful in this career, but having finished this part of your life shows that you have a certain level of maturity and that you are able to stick with tasks through completion. Many companies will not promote you beyond the most basic of positions unless you have completed a high school degree, so this is a big milestone to achieve. Most entry level positions require a high school degree, including department stores, pharmacies and drug stores, home furnishing stores, and most professional level jobs.
Associate’s Degree: An associate’s degree is a big foot in the door in most careers. When you have this degree, you can pursue jobs in nursing, the hotel and hospitality industry, paralegal work, and much more. It also helps if you ever want to move up into management in the future. An associate’s degree is a mark that you are hardworking and that you have a basic idea of what career path you want to go down.
Bachelor’s Degree: A bachelor’s degree is a must if you are going into a professional job. Many companies also require these as a bare minimum requisite for management and upper management roles. Having a bachelor’s degree shows that you are of above average intelligence and that you can handle complex tasks. There is a lot of specialization in a college degree, but there is also overlap. For example, if you have a degree in economics, the attention for detail that this requires is likely to help you in a career that might not directly relate to that field.
Graduate Degree: A graduate degree, such as a master’s or a doctorate, show that you are serious about your career. This is a highly specialized degree, and can help a hiring manager to see that you are far more qualified than other applicants. For example, someone with an MBA will likely be better equipped to be a manager than someone without a master’s, granted that all other qualities are equal. If you want to get a job in education, as a doctor, lawyer, or any other high level area, having a graduate degree is necessary. Most employers will want to move you into management quickly if you have a graduate degree, too, since this implies that you have spent a lot of money on refining your career and you will probably not be happy for long in an entry level position.
Remember, it is possible to have your education work against you. While employers want you to have basic levels of education obtained in order to show an ability to complete basic tasks, sometimes, having too high of a level of education can disqualify you from a job. Someone with a bachelor’s degree is not likely to accept a minimum wage job at a fast food restaurant and stay happy for long. In this case, your education indicates that you are a risk for leaving the job after a few days or weeks. In an effort to reduce turnover, hiring managers will be less likely to hire you. This is why it is important that you pursue a career that matches your education level to an extent. Not only will this make you happier, it will help you to create a more stable career into the future.