Making a Career Investment for your Financial Future

By | November 23, 2011

You’ve got to earn money in order to put it to work for you, regardless of which investment track you choose.  You cannot make something out of nothing, and nothing is what many mid-career professionals find themselves working with after being laid off or outsourced out of a job.  The globalization of the economy has changed the playing field for millions of professionals who find themselves with a dated set of skills; that’s why large numbers of them are returning to school to brush up on the latest technology and practices in their fields.

The academic centers have responded to this widespread need for continuing education by developing a number of degrees and certificates offering some degree of academic certification in newly developed practices.  Some business professionals simply enroll in selected classes to gain the update they need.  Because so many adults are returning to school, dozens of universities have developed these programs in an online format, catering to people who have family or business obligations.

Learning the Latest Management Tools


Whether or not you consider them new concepts, many universities have developed courses that give a contemporary twist on some of the basic business functions that today have redefined parameters in the eyes of many employers.  For instance, Northeastern University in Boston offers online certificates in Organizational Communication, Human Resources Management, and Project Management.  This last category, project management, has taken on new meaning with regard to information technology – it would be a good choice for middle management professionals who have found themselves in charge of network management or expansion.  According to one database the average salary for a project manager in the U.S. is $87,000.  It’s not easy to leverage a salary like that without some specialized, graduate level training.

Investment Updates for the Finance Professional


The world of finance and investment is changing at warp speed, as the readers here are well aware.  It’s interesting to note that New York University offers the following areas of concentration for the MBA program: Finance, Corporate Finance, Financial Instruments & Markets, Financial Systems & Analytics, and Quantitative Finance.  That’s a lot of professional niches, any one of which requires specialized training.  The University of North Carolina offers online certificate programs in Business & Management and in several IT areas including analytics and information systems.  Several schools are now offering master’s degrees in quantitative mathematics and in financial accounting, separate from their MBA programs.

Options in the Growth Industries


Many of the high growth industries are also experiencing rapid technology changes.  Probably the best example of this phenomenon is healthcare, where both the methods of administration and treatment options are being reinvented on a yearly basis.  IT is at the core of medical services today; for that reason the University Of Illinois At Chicago has four options now available: Master of Science in Health Informatics, MS in Health Informatics Research Track, Certificate in Health Informatics, and post-baccalaureate studied in Health Management.  Most are available online.  Many universities offer similar programs, for healthcare professionals and for career changers wishing to transition into healthcare.  An HR director in healthcare earns an average of $79,000; an operations director in the field earns $78,000.

Another example of academic support for the so-called “evergreen industries” is the number of quality schools that have taken engineering programs online.  The University of Florida, University of Southern California, Virginia Tech, and Norwich University are four quality schools that have online programs in the various engineering disciplines.  Most of these degree programs are at the graduate level; several are also available in certificate format.  In all cases they are great opportunities for professionals who have already entered the engineering field to bring their educational credentials up to date with the latest technological developments.  And there are many fields – aerospace engineering, civil engineering, electronic engineering, and materials engineering for example – where technology developments in the last ten years have been vast.  An established civil engineer can earn an average of $92,000.

All of these options are simply illustrations of the type of educational choices available to adults seeking to improve their career chances as well as the traditional students designing an academic resume for entry into the job market.  If you’re struggling to get ahead professionally, you can likely improve your chances with some additional educational work, as well as demonstrate your resolve to a future employer.

About the author:
Bob Hartzell has been writing for five years about education and other life essentials on a variety of websites.  Much of his recent work has been about graduate programs online and their value in career enhancement, in recognition of the fact that the job market has undergone tremendous changes in the last twenty years.


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