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5 Ways a Bachelor’s Degree Can Advance Your Career

By Scott Key
January 31, 2023

Want to accelerate your career? You graduate high school, go to college, and land your dream job—simple, right? Realistically, the path to your dream career may not be this straightforwaed, as life tends to get in the way. Generally speaking though, career advancement does start with your education.

While it’s possible to advance your career without a college education, a bachelor’s degree accelerates your ascension. So much so that 47 percent of Americans claim a higher education is crucial to getting ahead in life, while 66 percent who didn’t graduate from college wished they had.

With industry rapidly evolving, companies need employees who can keep up with their roles’ changing demands. As a result, companies hire and advance employees who demonstrate drive and the willingness to grow. With your bachelor’s degree in hand, you can move to the top of any company list. Keep reading to see how a bachelor’s degree can fast-track your career. 

Top 5 Ways a Degree Advances Your Career 

Earning your bachelor’s degree puts your career in motion. Here’s how.

1. It shows you’ve got leadership potential.

Employers want workers that’ll go above and beyond their job description. They actively seek out people that’ll contribute value to the company, bring ideas to the table, and take them to the next level. And earning your bachelor’s degree—no matter what your degree is in—helps you become a prime candidate. It also says a lot about your commitment to your career. 

  •       Shows you took the initiative to expand your knowledge.
  •       Sets a positive example for your co-workers.
  •       Prepares you to take on more responsibilities.

Often, a college degree is the only thing standing in your way from getting that promotion you’ve been after. Employers will recognize you’ve invested time and sometimes money into improving yourself and are willing to reward your efforts. Similarly, when placed side-by-side with another candidate for a promotion, you’ll stand out and impress a hiring manager if you have a bachelor’s degree. In fact, “the potential for advancement is far greater for college graduates.”

To advance your career, you must seize every opportunity that comes your way. Earn your bachelor’s degree. Pick up new skills. Broaden your perspective. And most importantly, never stop learning. 

2. You’ll gain real-world experience.

With the right bachelor’s program, you can gain professional work experience through hands-on learning opportunities such as co-ops and project-based work. Co-op, also known as cooperative education, gives you the best of both worlds. You get to further your education while gaining professional work experience in the job you want. There are thousands of leading companies worldwide that are ready to employ students eager to prove their worth. Some of these companies include:

  •       Apple
  •       AT&T
  •       Boston Consulting Group
  •       Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  •       Facebook
  •       General Electric
  •       Google
  •       Microsoft
  •       Nike
  •       PwC
  •       SpaceX
  •       Thomson Reuters
  •       Verizon
  •       The Walt Disney Studios

Through your co-op experience, you’ll enhance your personal growth and set yourself apart in several ways, including:

  •       Putting your classroom learning to the test. 
  •       Exploring various career paths risk-free.
  •       Receiving a potential job offer from your co-op employer. 
  •       Boosting your salary potential and level of responsibility. 
  •       Networking with professional mentors and gain valuable contacts.
  •       Discovering new personal strengths and skills.

As reported by AAC&U News, “Nearly all executives (93 percent) and hiring managers (94 percent) would be more likely to hire recent graduates who have experience with an internship or apprenticeship with a company or organization. Employers are also more likely to hire students with other applied or project-based experiences.”

No matter how you look at it—experiential education benefits everyone involved. The employer benefits from the fresh ideas students offer. And students receive hands-on experience in their chosen field of study.

3. Your employer will value you more.

Employees with college degrees are in high demand. In fact, 9 out of 10 new jobs go to degree holders, even if the position doesn’t require one. While earning your bachelor’s degree arms you with many skills, some of the most coveted by employers include:

Communication and Innovation

According to Forbes, employees with strong communication and problem-solving skills are on the wishlist of every company. Problem-solving, also known as critical thinking, is the foundation of innovation. And without it, our economy wouldn’t grow.

Hiring employees with communication and problem-solving skills is critical. We live in a competitive world. Companies are continually looking for ways to set themselves apart. With a workforce of highly-skilled and educated employees on a company’s team, there’s no limit to how far that company can go.


Employers need to have a productive workforce—and it starts by hiring employees that’ll be team players. College provides the perfect learning environment for students to collaborate on projects, brainstorm ideas, and present their conclusions. As a result, college graduates tend to catch employers’ eyes because they’re more experienced working in a group setting and toward a common goal.

Strong work ethic

Getting your bachelor’s degree is a big commitment. When you decide to go all-in, it demonstrates your sheer determination. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, statistics show that a strong work ethic ranks fifth among the key attributes employers value in employees.  


College teaches students how to master emerging technologies. Whether it’s artificial intelligence, the internet of things, or quantum computing, college prepares you for the 21st century and beyond. So much so, these terms become second nature to college graduates. And employers can never have enough employees who can think digitally.

4. You will become a fountain of knowledge.

We live in a high-velocity world. What worked yesterday is no longer applicable today. Now, more than ever, it’s important to continue learning. College teaches you how to think analytically and understand complex projects. So when you complete your bachelor’s degree, you enter the real world future ready. 

Three hidden benefits of continuing your education include:

Improved social skills: When you’re in a classroom with other students, you develop your social skills. Continuing your education helps you interact with other students, but it also helps you gain confidence, making you a more effective leader.

A renewed excitement for your work: Learning new skills, insights, and techniques to apply to your job makes it more interesting.

A longer career: With up to 50 percent of jobs becoming redundant because of automation by 2025, continuing your education may help you remain relevant in your career and keep your job for the long haul. Whether you’re starting your career or returning to college to build upon your years of experience, pursuing your bachelor’s degree keeps you moving forward.

5. You will take control of your future.

A high school diploma is no longer enough. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a college degree is the best way to build a successful future. The employment options are shrinking for people who only have a high school diploma. Many high school graduates work in the service industry, in low-paying jobs that don’t offer many advancement opportunities. On the other hand, college graduates tend to have skills that qualify them for a broad range of employment in fields that offer upward mobility. 

For instance, 20 high-paying careers that require a bachelor’s degree include:

  1. Advertising Manager 
  2. Paralegal 
  3. Public Relations Manager 
  4. Police Officer
  5. Compliance Manager
  6. Training Manager
  7. Marketing Manager
  8. Operations Manager
  9. Loan Officer
  10. Electrical Engineer
  11. Natural Resource Technician
  12. Information Technology Specialist
  13. Art Director
  14. Human Resources Manager
  15. Web Developer
  16. Purchasing Manager
  17. Business Analyst
  18. Sales Manager
  19. Pilot
  20. Social Media Manager

Once you earn your bachelor’s degree, you’ll be eligible for these high-paying jobs, among others, and there’s no limit to how far you can take your career. 

Advance Your Career

Want to increase your chances of becoming a manager? How about improving your career outlook? These are just some of the many reasons for exploring a bachelor’s completion program. Regardless of your reason, you’ll quickly discover earning your bachelor’s degree can help advance your career.

Take the next step and request information on earning your bachelor’s degree today.

About Scott Key
Scott Key is a content contributor for the Enrollment Management team at Northeastern University.