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December 26, 2007 > How your resolution to make more money can become a reality

How your resolution to make more money can become a reality

Submitted By ARA Content

(ARA) - "Earn more money" and "advance my career" are common New Year's resolutions. But when the goals appear on your list year after year, it's time to take action to improve your attractiveness to employers, both current and potential.

Americans admire self-made millionaires whose degrees come from the school of hard knocks. The reality of the work place, however, is that the more education you have, the more you are likely to earn - and the more job satisfaction you are likely to enjoy. According to United States Census Bureau data, workers with a bachelor's degree earn on average about $25,241 more per year than those with only a high school diploma. And those with a master's, professional, or doctoral degree earn on average about $25,257 more per year than colleagues with only an undergraduate degree.

"Whether your plan is to finish a degree you started long ago, pursue an advanced degree or add a professional certificate to your resume, heading back to school can open the door to a better-paying job," said Stephen Semprevivo, president of "Education can help you command a higher salary from your current employer, earn a promotion or find a new, higher-paying, more satisfying job."

Professionals heading back to school will find a wealth of educational opportunities tailored for busy people. From night classes at traditional brick-and-mortar schools to online courses and accelerated degree programs, the options are numerous. Sites like can assist prospective students in finding the degree or certificate program best suited to advancing their professional goals.

For those looking to earn a degree relatively quickly, accelerated degree programs can be particularly appealing. Offered for a variety of certificate and degree endeavors, these programs typically compress the course workload into a shorter time frame. For example, courses might span 20 hours of class time in just five weeks, as opposed to more than 40 hours over 16 weeks. And "class time" doesn't necessarily mean sitting in a classroom at a set time every week. Many accelerated programs are offered online, making it even easier to fit learning time into a busy lifestyle.

An accelerated degree program can make financial sense as well. Fewer semesters as a student could translate into fewer tuition payments. And by earning a degree quickly, you can have more time in the work force at your new higher earning potential.

Remember, however, that compressing an entire degree into a shorter time period can mean pressure that is even more intense than what you would experience pursuing a degree at a traditional pace. But take heart, even if you don't perform well under pressure or at an accelerated pace, there are still other ways you might be able to speed up your educational process:

* Transfer, transfer, transfer - Check with the registrar to see whether previous college courses you have completed can count toward your degree requirements elsewhere.

* Life experience counts - Some degree programs will grant you credit for knowledge acquired through work experience. You may have to pass an exam that measures your level of expertise and familiarity with the subject matter, but this can still save you time, and tuition money, in the long run.

* Go online - Many degrees or certificates can be completed partially or entirely online. The flexibility of taking classes online may enable you to complete the program faster and will almost certainly allow you greater control over your time commitments than you would have in a traditional class structure.

"Whatever path you choose to further your education, the resulting degree may mean finally crossing those job-related items off your resolution list, rather than seeing them show up year after year," said Semprevivo.

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