Attaining a master’s degree is one of the best ways to achieve your professional goals. But do you know that there are other ways to take your career into the next level?

Work Experience in Another Field

An individual can obtain experience when in another field. Companies often look at a candidate’s attitude and track record to determine whether the person is qualified for the promotion. Most of them prefer an applicant with a strong history of success and references over a former accountant with an MBA who has taken a few marketing units. Knowledge and experiences are obtained beyond the four walls of a classroom. So, a two-year experience in a particular field can be highly considerable, as a professional learns the nitty-gritty in that area.

Leadership Development Programs

Normally, larger entities conduct management or leadership development programs for young professionals that exhibit great potential. The programs can be general programs or for specific functions. Professionals are also rotated around different jobs and responsibilities every six months or year for them to be exposed in different facets of the business. Those who undergo such programs will gain experience in various aspects of the firm.


It takes leading and managing teams, and reaching organizational goals to score a higher position in a company. You may prepare for various designations to get additional responsibilities and skill sets. There are several certifications offered in any field of business. Such certifications allow you to remain employed, which will show your competence in a given area of interest. Some companies shoulder the cost of getting these certifications, which you can use to earn higher salary and be promoted.

For accounting and finance, some examples of certifications include Chartered Financial Analyst, Certified Management Accountant, Certified Merger and Acquisition Advisor, and Certified Public Accountant. Certifications for consulting-related are Certified Information Systems Analyst, Project Management Professional, and Six Sigma Black Belt.

Executive Programs, Corporate Trainings, and University Extension Classes

Universities offer numerous development programs for executives and managers, which can be taken on-site during evenings and weekends. Some organizations sponsor if directly related to their employee’s job. Unlike a master’s degree, such trainings and classes enable you to study areas you want to improve. In other words, you can tailor your learning based on your needs. Topics covered include industry-specific discussions, leadership, marketing, negotiation skills, public speaking, and strategy, among others.

There are other ways to improve your career aside from the above-mentioned options, such as getting a seasoned mentor from your company, doing an independent study, and attending seminars and/or conferences.

At the end of the day, it is still up to you if you want to obtain an MBA. Remember, not everyone needs a master’s degree just to get a higher paycheck, and there are other ways to get promoted, especially that we live in the technology age and heightened competition among young professionals.