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Business people shaking handsOf more than 2,300 employers surveyed by Harris Poll in 2016, 33% said that as job responsibilities grow more rigorous, they are hiring master’s degree-holders for many positions that previously required bachelor’s degrees.1 That’s great news if you’re in the process of earning a master’s degree online. And if your diploma is already in hand, get ready to leverage your knowledge and experience to land a great job. Here are five ways a master’s degree can benefit you in an interview:

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While completing your college education, there may have been times when you needed the arms of an octopus to tackle your to-do list: online courses, career and family responsibilities, and more. Though Merriam-Webster dates the earliest documented use of “multitasking” to the 1960s, the term is ubiquitous today on employers’ lists of job specs. In interviews, highlight how you have successfully navigated multiple concurrent responsibilities. Employers prize productivity, and your degree is proof positive that you’re a standout in the field.

Thinking Critically

When the American Management Association asked employers to identify the skills they deemed most vital for the future, many said “critical thinking.”2 Throughout your journey in higher education—regardless of your degree program—you’ve honed your ability to analyze and evaluate data to find innovative solutions. Prior to interviewing, think of a time in graduate school when you identified and solved a tricky problem using critical thinking. Then take the interviewer through your real-world case study, from problem to solution to success.

Experience Counts

And speaking of critical thinking … In deciding to earn a degree online, you likely searched for an accredited university that provided a range of flexible residency opportunities. You may have selected the program you did in part because it offered valuable in-person residencies and other fieldwork. When preparing for interviews, review these experiences to find a perfect example of how you applied academic knowledge to a real-life situation, and the meaningful results you produced.

Tech Know-How

One of the many benefits of earning your degree at an accredited online college is that you’ve become proficient with a wide range of digital tools and platforms. Most employers hiring at the master’s level expect a certain degree of technical competency. Of course, it varies widely by profession. If you hold an MS in Human and Social Services, you hardly will be expected to have the mad computer skills of a friend with an MS in Information Technology. You still have lots to brag about. In your interview, spotlight your experience with online learning and describe how your online school connected you with a global cohort of students and teachers.

Lifelong Learning

You didn’t stop at one college degree, which demonstrates your quest for knowledge and self-improvement—traits highly prized by a growing number of employers. “As companies build the organization of the future, continuous learning is critical for business success,” the Deloitte Insights 2017 Global Human Capital Trends survey concluded. Talk with interviewers about the educational credentials that led to your master’s, including your bachelor’s degree and any online certificate programs you may have completed. One way to further demonstrate your commitment to lifelong learning is to ask about any skills the prospective employer thinks will be critical to the company’s future. These conversations may well launch your next chapter in online education.

And as you prepare for job interviews, take the time to develop your own list of questions. You’ve worked hard to earn a degree. You deserve to find the organization that’s just the right fit—and the perfect place to hang that diploma.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering dozens of online master’s degree programs to help you take your career to the next level. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.

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Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission,

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