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If you’ve worked in the occupational safety field long enough, you may have considered going back to school for a degree in the field. But what can a master’s degree in occupational safety do for you? Plenty. Read on to see how the benefits of this degree go beyond what you learn in the classroom.
Colleges and universities that offer master’s degree programs in occupational safety realize that many of their students are already working full time. And so many programs are structured with evening and weekend classes or offered online to accommodate those schedules. These are usually 2-year programs that require a combination of classroom and hands-on experience. You may be required to write a thesis, although many schools now also offer a non-thesis track. Some schools allow students to choose an area of concentration within the occupational safety field. Coursework generally covers the latest developments in the field, giving you cutting edge knowledge and skills.
In some companies, those in management and safety leadership roles have extra education or experience that qualifies them for that job. A master’s in occupational safety can deliver the knowledge and skills necessary to move up in your company.
Education aside, completion of a degree program also proves to those who make the hiring and promotion decisions that you’re serious about your career field and your future in it. And if there’s no place to advance in your current company, this degree can give your resume an added boost when you sent it out to other companies.
Completion of a master’s in occupational health and safety may fulfill some of the qualifications to sit for professional licensing and certification exams. Some of the credentials you may be interested in are Certified Safety Professional (CSP®) and Graduate Safety Practitioner®. It may be worth looking into the qualifications for the professional credentials you’re interested in before applying to degree programs though, to be sure your curriculum will give you what these credentials require.
Having a master’s degree in occupational safety can give you the tools and knowledge needed to make real and meaningful change at work. You’ll have insight into current thinking in the field of occupational safety, as well as the ideas that come from working alongside and learning from others who may be employed at different companies or industries.
A degree can give added weight to your suggestions and feedback, and possibly the authority to develop and roll out new or revised safety guidelines and procedures that actually improve workplace safety culture, with the additional benefit of improving your career fulfillment.
Going back to school isn’t for everyone, but earning a master’s in occupational safety can provide significant benefits. It can help with career advancement as well as your day-to-day duties at work. The variety of programs available and the ability to choose the one that best fits your schedule - whether on campus or online – puts a master’s in occupational safety within reach of nearly everyone working in the field.
Further Reading: Universities Offering Environmental, Health and Safety Degrees
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