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Four Ways to Take Your Career to the Next Level

Listen to the business news and you’ll hear companies lamenting about a shortage of skilled talent. Search the popular job boards and you’ll see hundreds of openings for candidates with advanced degrees. Read about the nation’s aging population and you’ll realize that millions of experienced workers will soon retire, leaving a major talent gap.

All of these signs point to increased opportunity for professionals who are ready to take their careers to the next level. So, how can you make sure you are one of them?

Get an Online MBA

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC), a global nonprofit education organization of leading graduate business schools, conducted a year-end survey of employers in 2015. The goal was to gauge their hiring projections for MBA graduates. The news was encouraging, with 75 percent expecting to add MBA graduates to their staff. A majority of companies also expect to raise salaries for new hires. The value of an online MBA education continues to show itself across multiple industry channels, particularly within companies with more than 25,000 employees.

Participate in an Internship

This same GMAC study also polled employers regarding internship opportunities for MBA students. Findings showed that 82 percent of companies surveyed offer programs specific to MBA students, with 92 percent expected to maintain or add to the number of interns they hire. US-based companies are slightly more likely to offer formal internships than companies based elsewhere. Many companies have internships on a year-round basis, with opportunities for students to experience real-world MBA challenges in finance, marketing, leadership, global business, and more.

Volunteer for a Good Cause

If you’re already working full-time and studying for an MBA degree online, the idea of an internship might not be practical. That’s where volunteering comes in. You can look for a chance to work with not-for-profit organizations that hold a special place in your heart. There is always a demand for people to help with events, marketing, and business operations. Not only can you add to your experience, but you can also build your network among other volunteers. Don’t overlook this avenue as a career growth opportunity, especially if your employer offers volunteer time off.

Grow Your Network

For many of us, our earliest lessons in networking go back to our first summer job, when a parent or teacher knew somebody who was willing to hire us. Today, the value of personal relationships during job searches is even more significant. The good news is that it is easier than ever to grow your network, with social media tools that can connect you to a wide group of people from around the world. That includes recruiters, current co-workers, former colleagues, and even classmates. Of course, face-to-face networking still has its place. Going to industry conferences, association events, and informal meet-and-greets keeps you visible in the marketplace when it’s time to elevate your career.

For more resources and tips for advancing your career visit Pepperdine University Online.