Whether you have been out of education for one year or up to ten years, going back to college can seem like a counter-intuitive idea. You might be thinking that it is a better idea to stay in work as this is a sure-fire way to work up the ladder and to continuously get paid. However, returning to college can be a smart way to boost your career as you will retrain in many different aspects of your work, which could come in handy when you then return to the industry.
This is especially true for the tech industry, which can be very competitive, fast moving and needs you to really think outside of the box if you want to stand out. While a lot of famous tech entrepreneurs did drop out of college, with Steve Jobs being the most famous example, this is rather the exception than the rule, so their unexpected success should not be copied slavishly. This guide will outline several ways of how going back to school does not just mean knowledge for its own sake, but can be a crucial part of your professional development, resulting in a better career once you return. Read on below in order to learn more.
It Develops Your Soft Skills
Simply being back in the process of learning and working with others will make you a better professional once you return to your tech career. After all, university is not just about what you learn, but how you learn it. This often means developing a series of soft skills, which can then be easily translated into a workplace setting. These can range from honing your presentation skills to learning to communicate with other team members, or the talent of being able to unwaveringly focus on a task and see it right through to the end. With the tech industry often requiring a lot of jostling between ideas in a competitive setting (as well as long days and nights sprinting to get a project done), you may find yourself better able to cope with this lifestyle after studying a post-graduate degree like an online computer science masters.
It Allows you To Grow a Network
Networks are crucial for growth in the tech industry. It used to be why, up until very recently, most tech entrepreneurs all lived in the Bay Area. Proximity to other creatives is essential if you want to develop your ideas and bring them to fruition. That is how going back to college can really change the trajectory of your career, finding fellow co-founders or even potential employees. By working on team projects together, you will quickly be able to identify the types of people you want to work with in the future, as well as the types of people it is probably better to avoid.
It Shows You Are Dedicated to Knowledge
When you are in the tech industry, you never stop learning. Going back to college is a strong signal to the world around you that you are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge. Whether it is dealing with product development, implementation or troubleshooting, by learning from a wide pool of different resources, you will be better equipped to deal with whatever problem the industry throws at you. This is especially true if you study a master’s degree in a field unrelated to your bachelor’s, as you will then have a multidisciplinary background which can easily translate to the all-hands-on-deck approach of many start-ups during their first years.
It Gives You Real-World Examples to Learn From
The tech industry is filled with both huge successes, such as Apple’s rise to market leader, and epic failures. It is essential to learn from both the most inspiring stories around as well as some of the biggest failures to make sure that you follow the right roadmap to success. Further education degrees are structured in such a way that you learn from case studies, seeing how others have charted their paths in the industry before you. By understanding how they worked, you will be able to make sure that you repeat their successes and not their failures. Nonetheless, while talking about failures:
It Allows You To Experiment
Most master’s degrees in the tech industry allow you to try out new concepts, which can allow you to imagine how they might play out in a real-world context. This is an essential part of the learning process as it focuses on the creation of an idea and seeing how it can be implemented, thus allowing you to gain the necessary knowledge before trying it out properly once you are actually working inside the industry proper.
Most importantly, it allows you to fail, which is one of the most important cornerstones of the tech industry. As you probably know, very few great ideas were the first business set-up of any famous entrepreneur. Instead, they likely failed in their first few ventures, learning from these experiences when setting up their ultimate million-dollar idea. By being able to fail on your first few ideas at university, when you are out in the real world, you are much more likely to strike gold and come up with a world-beating tech idea!
It Makes You More Employable
Ultimately, employability is the most important part of any master’s degree. There is no point going back to further education for its own sake if you are not going to become a full-time academic; it is a means to an end, which is usually a job at a big company or starting your own. These jobs are highly competitive, however. Therefore it is very important to try and find an edge in whichever way that you can. A post-graduate degree is a strong signal to people around you that you went the next mile in learning more about how tech works and it will give you a strong boost compared to the people around you with only bachelor’s degrees.
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