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Since you asked.

I have worked in my field for more than 20 years. I work as a supervisor, but I would like to move into the management area. Each time I get one step closer to a management position, I keep getting passed over because I don't have a college degree. At age 40, should I pursue a bachelor's degree in management to give me the extra boost over my competition?

--D. Franklin

Via E-mail

It's important for you to be vocal about your professional ambitions because no one is just going to hand you a promotion. You need to have a candid conversation with your boss, asking him or her about the specific reasons why you've been overlooked for managerial positions (i.e. lack of performance, presentation style, protocol requirements).

You also need to find a mentor within your company and/or industry. Your mentor needs to be a person who's not your boss but will provide sound advice, guidance, and an objective perspective. Mentorship is a critical tool for corporate advancement.

Going back to school at any age for professional development is always a good idea. First, go online to research the top undergraduate business programs in your state. Then ask if your company will pay or reimburse your college tuition. Who knows, your degree could end up benefiting you and the company's bottom-line.

Read First, Break All The Rules. What The World's Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman (Simon & Schuster; $30) and Now, Discover Your Strengths (Simon & Schuster; $30) by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:QA; employee promotion
Author:Lott, Annya M.
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Column
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2009
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