Continuing Education and the Job Search ...
My name is Dr. C. J. Trayser. I was a Doctoral student at Pepperdine University from 2007-2009 studying the field of Learning Technology. I then spent a few years working on my dissertation. I would like to share a little insight about my dissertation study.
A few months after the 9/11/2001 event, the business at my firm declined to the point that many in my group were laid off, including me. I had years of experience and a bachelor's degree, so I expected a short job search. But much to my dismay, I found the job search to be a lot lengthier than I expected. After much trial and struggle (and a few short-term consulting jobs), my job search efforts paid off. But many that were in the same situation saw their job searches stretch to a year, two years, three years, or more.
Now, several years later, the unemployment situation still has not fully recovered from the latest recession -- yes, the unemployment numbers are down, but so are the good paying jobs and the number of people in the workforce. I still see many college-educated professionals struggling with extended unemployment. I work with many of these people in a volunteer role to help them find new jobs and careers. During my time with these job seekers, a common question often arises: "Would it help shorten my job search if I returned to school?"
In my job search back in 2002-2003, I found that job searchers with an advanced degree held a definite benefit in my profession, so yes, I returned to school which seemed to result in more interviews. But I could not draw viable conclusions from merely my single experience. To validate if continuing an academic education was truly beneficial to the job search, this question needed to be researched. Thus, my research and dissertation on this topic.