Skip to main content
Interested in Studying with the University of Adelaide?
I’m interested in…
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Career development & growth without a degree

There is a common predicament in the business and corporate sectors that without an undergraduate degree, you’re unable to commence further study and obtain formal qualifications like a Masters of Business Administration (MBA). Without this opportunity, many experienced professionals find that they are unable to be promoted into higher-level management and C-suite roles, where MBA’s and formal qualifications are highly regarded in this competitive and changing economic landscape. Reaching this career plateau can sometimes feel like a “glass ceiling” in the workplace. However, there are pathway options available to overcome this hurdle, you can still undertake further study and graduate with an MBA if you have relevant working experience. You can see below the options that are available to you and why it’s now more important than ever to drive your future career development.


2020 has changed the economic landscape

With significant disruptions to businesses, the COVID-19 global pandemic has completely changed the way we live, work and communicate in the future. Despite the upheaval, workplaces all over the world were able to pivot and maintain productivity and performance which has, in turn, created a new normal for the way business is conducted. Adapting to this magnitude of change would not have been possible without dynamic leaders empowering their teams to find better ways of working. Naturally, these skills are in high demand with more professionals seeking revised career development plans to ensure they stay relevant and in touch with this new economic climate.

The rise of postgraduate, formal qualifications

Many experienced professionals understand the importance of obtaining a competitive advantage that benefits their bottom line. Similarly, the level of education one holds should be no different and can be leveraged as a tool for career development. Gaining an ‘edge’ over your coworkers not only increases your chances of career growth but positions you as a future leader capable of steering your team to new heights. Professionals are continuing to obtain this edge by completing further postgraduate study, where application levels have reached all-time highs as reported in September 2020. Beyond this, embarking on postgraduate study also gives those in career ruts the chance to move past this stagnation. Professionals can explore new opportunities if they’re working in a career without a degree and feeling frustrated because they may have exhausted all opportunities for promotion.

A wealth of experience is not always enough

Many careers were started at a time when an undergraduate degree was not a pre-requisite for entry, however, changing employment expectations now requires several C-suite or executive roles to hold a formal qualification. This discrepancy between experience and qualification has left many feeling frustrated as they hold real-world experiential knowledge despite having a gap in their education. These feelings of frustration may be amplified if people find themselves stuck in a career rut and desperate to move further up the corporate ladder. Often professionals with years of experience and career growth have been unable to secure a promotion and higher salary because they have no underlying degree or formal qualifications. However, there are ways to overcome this.

A smooth transition into formal learning

Filling your educational gap and obtaining formal qualifications can demonstrate a willingness to get ahead. Professionals who have been away from the educational system for an extended period may find it daunting entering university as a mature-aged student. However, there are resources available that ease this process and make the transition into studying simple. There is dedicated support when undertaking a bridging qualification like an online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (GCBA) that require no prior degree for enrolment. There are expert advisors available to guide students and help them navigate academic resources, career development goals, disability support services and counselling. Students can feel supported when undertaking further study, enjoying the program content, and demonstrating to employers they have the required skills to succeed.

Manage your current employment whilst studying

There is no need to compromise your current employment when undertaking further study, flexible study arrangements allow for simultaneous learning and working. Offered by the University of Adelaide, the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration program is 100% online and completed with flexible learning options, so you can keep working in your current role and graduate in 32 weeks (eight months). Every six weeks, a new course is completed within this formal qualification, allowing you to upskill at a consistent rate to enhance your career growth. Upon completion of the online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, you’ll achieve industry-leading education that will give you the edge needed to compete with the rest of the market. This up-skilling opens doors for future promotions that lead to C-suite positions and a higher salary.

Becoming a qualified business leader

If you’re highly experienced in your field but don’t have any formal qualifications, there is still an opportunity for you to gain an edge and break through the glass ceiling by completing an online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration (GCBA). Obtaining this qualification is formally recognised on its own, however, it can also be used as a bridging course if looking to study a Master of Business of Administration (MBA) and achieve the career growth that’s fitting after years of experience in the corporate sector. Progressing your career without a degree is now more possible than ever with the University of Adelaide’s 100% online Graduate Certificate in Business Administration.

If you’re ready to unleash your full career potential, make an appointment to speak with an advisor today.