It used to be that just getting a high school degree was enough for you to get most jobs. Some people would skip out on high school to learn a specific trade, such as working on a farm or in the logging business. If you did not know exactly what you wanted to be already – many people followed in the footsteps of their fathers – you had to go to school so that you could have the education that you needed to get a different job once you decided what you wanted to do with your life.

Over time, this shifted so that a high school education was expected. Even if you were learning a trade, you would go to high school first and then learn it. Those who wanted a further education could go to college, putting them ahead of everyone else when they decided that it was time to go out and get a job. For a while, a college degree was thought of as a guarantee that you would be able to find work. This is why people were so willing to take out loans and go into debt in order to get one.

These days, things are shifting again. A college degree is expected for most young people. The lack of jobs in recent years has contributed to this. For one thing, it made college look more appealing to those who could not find jobs and did not know what they should be doing with their lives. On the other hand, it made it so that people with college degree were now taking simple jobs – like shelving books at the library – that used to go to people without college degrees. These people who only have high school diplomas were the ones most hurt by the decline in available jobs.

If you want to put yourself ahead of your peers today, you have to get an advanced degree, such as an executive masters in health administration. This is a way of advancing yourself beyond a typical college diploma. Right now, if you have a masters, you can assume that there will be more jobs open to you than there would be without it. Is it going to be this way forever? If history can tell you one thing, it is that this process will continue, and even more advanced degrees will eventually be needed.