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Your New Degree is Not a Golden Ticket for Your Job Search

Taking more medication than you need is similar to over education. More isn't better; it takes time, and correct application to work, and what doesn't kill you makes you regretful. Or is over-educating a thing? There are a career pros who will attest to its reality.  


Yep. Since new grads young and old are using education as a bailout, the degree is an eruption and leading factor to unemployment. I can understand why: Parents miscalculated expectations, commercials show the illusions, and people won't let go of the education romance. Employers care about experience, not promises, which is all new grads offer in many cases.


Older new grads fail to show the relevance of their experience to a new field. They thought the degree auto-translate into new opportunities. Not quite.


In 2017, a degree doesn't guarantee you a job. It's a form of success. It's an accomplishment. Is it worth it? Can you make a job appear by earning a degree? This survey from PayScale last year indicates even JD and MBA degrees find underemployment faster than they do jobs in their fields.


When I earned a Master's in Education, I can't say I tested the job market enough to say it's true. My clients gave me sufficient evidence additional degrees guarantee little to zero difference in many cases. I know I made my parents proud. My dad cried. It was totally worth it for them. For me, I'm proud.


But there weren't a line of recruiters either to see how they could serve me. I expected it, but not for a job. Although my come-and-go aspirations to teach career development in a college setting continue to haunt me, I knew it wasn't the answer. But I digress.


A couple of my colleagues and I discussed how a degree is not magic recently. Here are some points we agreed on:


You must consider every possibility

Many people Chris Fields, founder of Resume Crusade states his "...clients are adding extra degrees but see little to no career advancement. Many of them come to a crossroad and the first strategy is to get another degree." Fields add even before people consider any other options people want to add college degrees thinking it will solve their lack of career happiness. More people need to get involved in professional communities on and offline and connect with individuals who succeed in comparable career paths.


You must research

Janine Truitt, founder of Talent Think Innovations says, job seekers should, " ...find the balance between traditional education and skills to scale your career." Use LinkedIn to contact professionals in your desired profession to see how people are landing in the industry. You may discover there are less expensive pathways to a new career. Consider volunteer work as a way to gain exposure, viable experience, and useful networking contacts who potentially can refer you.


You must be creative

Strategies such as informational interviews and networking are how many successfully change jobs and industries, and there are other ways to market yourself. See how you can feature your transferable skills other than your resume. Can you write an article for an industry blog? Can you record a training video? Or do a podcast interview displaying your expertise. These are ways to create opportunities for yourself and control how you like to be known.


You must have a personal brand

It's 2017, and most people are passive about the importance of having an online presence. It takes time to create one. Most people want to be noticed immediately. Where most fail is not creating consistent original content or ideas that stand out. It's hard work. But there is a return of investment worth waiting for if it resonates with employers or an audience.


You must join professional organizations

LinkedIn groups, or private Facebook groups in your industry. Creating value is the goal because people refer those who offer it. The intimate conversations provide the opportunity. Many of these groups often provide a safe environment for the respectful exchange of ideas and sometimes valuable job postings.


If you're underemployed, and you're interested in advancing your career, it's essential to approach your job search aggressively. Presentations are everything and mentors or coaches can help you. What he or she do is put you in the best position. Every stage of your job search post-graduation needs strategies. Without it, only your opportunities disappear like magic.

Last Updated: May 18, 2017
About the author

Mark Anthony Dyson

Mark Anthony Dyson is a career consultant, job seeker advocate, career writer, and founder of The Voice of Job Seekers. He helps the employed, unemployed, underemployed, and under-appreciated find jobs. Mark has published more than 400 articles on his blog as well as some of the largest career sites such as Recruiter.com, YouTern, and Come Recommended.