Question: I have four years’ experience in the development and delivery of professional and continuing education, and my expertise is primarily clinical (as a therapist). I have a master’s degree with a specialty in human-resources management, and will shortly hold an M.B.A. with a specialty in health-services administration. After graduation, I’ll begin a three-year obligated tour with the U.S. Navy as a health care administrator. I know where I’ll be stationed, and I’ve made arrangements with a local university to begin its doctoral program upon my arrival. I’ve decided on the general direction I’d like to take in my professional career, but some things are unclear. Since I’m only 27, is it possible to educate myself out of the job market? I’ll be gaining practical experience as I complete my education, but will my young age, coupled with my advanced education, serve as a detriment to recruiters?
– Jim, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Jim: If your goal is to work in academics or in private practice after your Navy obligation, your path is right on target, especially since Uncle Sam likely is footing much (if not all) of your educational costs. But if you hope to work in a corporate environment in health care or a related field, you should re-evaluate the worth of a doctorate given the glut of underpaid, underemployed Ph.D.s now in the job market. The best approach is to identify people currently working in the field where you’d eventually like to settle, and ask them about the value of having a Ph.D., both in terms of hiring opportunities and future advancement.Does Too Much Education Make it Harder to Get a Job? by Granted Contributor