For many working adults, life gets in the way of completing a four-year college degree. But at some point, they want to return to school and achieve their academic goals. After several years in the workforce, it typically becomes apparent that earning a bachelor’s degree is the path to career advancement.

In the past, this realization presented a difficult roadblock. Earning a degree required taking time away from work to attend college. Adults with families and professional lives had little time to devote to their education. Now, working professionals can finish a degree through an online degree completion program designed to benefit people in their position.

Enrolling in an online degree completion program (and planning for success) is a worthwhile commitment. The return on investment for college graduates includes higher pay, lower unemployment rates, and preparation for jobs higher up the corporate ladder.

How to Become a Manager

NMU Global Campus understands the circumstances of working adults motivated to complete their bachelor’s degree. To fill the need of “non-traditional” students, NMU created its online degree completion program. The Applied Workplace Leadership degree completion program gives students the flexibility of an online program combined with coursework that enhances their leadership skills. These skills include:

  • Critical thinking
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Goal-oriented communication
  • Incorporating observational and quantitative data in decision-making
  • Understanding how diversity improves workplace climate and productivity

Graduates from the program are prepared to take on management roles such as project leader, team leader, and department manager. NMU Global Campus also offers an Applied Workplace Leadership certificate for professionals who want to prepare themselves for leadership roles quickly.

Who Should Finish Their Degree Online?

NMU Global Campus built the Applied Workplace Leadership degree completion program for students who don’t have the time to attend traditional, on-campus programs. It’s designed for those who completed some college credit or earned an associate degree, a group that includes an estimated 36 million Americans. No college credit, no problem, the program is ideal for first-time students as well.

NMU allows online students to transfer credits easily. The university also allows students to request an unofficial degree evaluation. With this evaluation, prospective students know how much credit they will receive before applying. Credits earned at community colleges and other four-year universities are considered. Students can transfer a maximum of 90 credits.

There is no expiration on undergraduate credits regardless of when the student took the courses.

What Students Learn in Applied Workplace Leadership Programs

Students in the Applied Workplace Leadership program focus on honing the skills that make them better leaders. Students study effective communication that gives others a sense of purpose and fosters a culture of ethical behavior. They understand how to implement cultural and demographic diversity, creating an environment that invites people from all backgrounds to work together for a common cause.

Core courses in the online degree completion program include:

  • Effective Communication in the Workplace
  • Ethical Leadership in the Workplace
  • Assessment in the Workplace
  • Leadership in Diverse Workplaces
  • Systems Thinking in Workplace Leadership

The first four of these courses make up the certificate program’s curriculum.

Why Finish a College Degree Online?

Earning a college degree remains the best way to ensure success in a career. A bachelor’s degree opens the door to more challenging work and higher earnings potential.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that businesses across all industries will add almost 883,900 management jobs by 2031. The majority of those jobs require a bachelor’s degree.

The BLS also reports that workers with a bachelor’s degree earn an annual salary 39 percent higher than those with an associate degree and almost 49 percent higher than those with some college credits but no degree. As of 2020, PayScale lists the average salary for a bachelor’s degree holder at more than $55,260 per year. The salary averages vary by industry, with computer science graduates earning the most ($75,900).