According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of industrial-organizational psychologists is projected to grow 53 percent from 2012 to 2022. Job prospects should be best for those who have a specialist degree or doctoral degree in school psychology.” While a bachelor’s degree was once considered adequate in many fields, the social sciences and psychology field is proving post-secondary education is critical to success.

(Photo Courtesy of Duncan Ward)

(Photo Courtesy of Duncan Ward)

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Duncan Ward, Director of Empowerment Programs at Loaves & Fishes Community Services in the Naperville suburb outside of Chicago, has a master’s degree in human services administration and is currently pursuing his second master’s degree in social work. Ward offers some insight into how his continued education has attributed to his career success.

How does your educational experience relate to your current role?

“My education and training enable me to identify the immediate needs of people, and suggest and implement the programs or services that will most benefit their lives. My education has guided and given me the administrative knowledge and tools to have both empathy and a solutions-orientated mindset. My master’s degree affords the opportunities to lead professionals, develop programs, and allow my voice and opinions to be heard and accepted when speaking for the best interest of others.”

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How has your education attributed to your success?

“It has helped to earn placement in management and higher administration level positions where I have learned to think ‘big picture’ about organizations. Just months after graduation, I was placed in a supervisory role, and a year later promoted to Director. I gained experienced creating and monitoring budgets, working closely with executive directors, and developing a networking source among board members.”

What advice can you offer others going into this field?

“Look into what sector you wish to go into, and research several sectors in the field. Begin networking, read books, and create journals or articles related to your sector of interest. Once you begin taking classes, you must further your education. A master’s degree must be obtained along with licensure certification for credibility in the field.”

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Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a bachelor’s in communication and is currently working on her master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.