There are lots of reasons for going back to school. At KDS Staffing, we admire the dedication it takes to pursue a degree, no matter the motivation. For some, the goal is improving their career prospects. For others, it’s about changing career paths entirely. Higher education enables these people to achieve certain financial and professional rewards in exchange for the time and money spent on education.

Then there are those who study solely for the love of a subject. This mindset can often be observed among graduate level students, where various and sundry obscure degrees can be obtained that don’t necessarily relate to a specific job market.

What’s a Degree Worth?

At KDS Staffing, we have our finger on the pulse of the current job market, and we know the pressure is on to get a degree that can be parlayed into a viable career. Taking courses just because you love them can sometimes be perceived as impractical and perhaps even self-indulgent. This is mainly due to the number of employers who prefer higher education that directly supports a specific industry.

Some people believe the purpose of higher education is solely to learn specific skills that will ensure you are in demand in the job market immediately upon graduation. Others feel following your passion can eventually lead to job opportunities in many fields. The real question is . . .

What Do Employers Want?

Of 318 business leaders polled, 93% stated a “demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems” mattered more to them than the degree itself. Those kinds of skills can be learned by studying humanities, social sciences or other areas of liberal arts.

It’s not unreasonable to consider what sort of career may be waiting at the other end of your education. However, the current job market should not be the sole factor in determining the value of that education. The value of a degree is subjective to the person earning it.

What Do You Have to Offer?

If the skills acquired while earning your degree do not directly correlate to a specific industry, try another approach. Think about the personal value you gained through your education that can be applied in the job market. Did you become more dedicated, organized, better at time management, leadership, delegation, working as a team member? These are all qualities that add to your personal value and therefore to your value as a KDS Staffing candidate, and ultimately as an employee.

Where Do You Go From Here?

If you aren’t sure where to look for work, research the careers of people who completed a program in your field of interest. What are they doing now? Whatever your passion, if you can transfer the skills gained while pursuing your degree to the workplace, you can demonstrate value.

Michael Klein is a premier writer and speaker on all aspects of human capital. As VP Operations for KDS Staffing, Inc., he has achieved industry-leading success. Michael was awarded, The New York State Small Business Growth Award; presented by Governor George Pataki. Additionally, Michael has successfully grown and sold multiple firms. If you or your organization would like to discuss hiring needs, contact Michael at 646-350-3015 or