Are you interested in new opportunities, skills, personal growth and networking? Believe it or not, returning to the classroom may be one of the best paths to follow to achieve those goals.
"More adults are returning to school and getting post-baccalaureate degrees than ever before," reports Donald Asher, career/education speaker and author of Graduate Admissions Essays: Write Your Way into the Graduate School of Your Choice (Ten Speed Press, 2008) and Who Gets Promoted, Who Doesn’t and Why: 10 Things You’d Better Do If You Want to Get Ahead (Ten Speed Press, 2007).
Even though traditional students are no longer the norm, returning to the books as an adult may seem daunting – especially if money is tight or stress is high. But going back is more than just a chance to relive your good ol’ school days. It’s a great opportunity to prepare for a new career or to enhance a current trade. It also provides an opportunity to be a more appealing candidate for jobs or raises.
"Eighteen months spent getting a degree looks better to prospective employers than having a huge unemployment gap," Asher advises.
According to the University of Minnesota College of Continuing Education program, teachers enjoy the benefit of adult students in their classes. They bring in real-world experiences, make connections, and contribute unique insights, ideas and questions. An adult returning to school gains a lot personally by being such an asset.
No matter how much you want to get back into the classroom, Asher does not endorse quitting a job to go to college, if it’s avoidable. "Getting a bachelor’s won’t refocus your career if you stop working. If you’re bored of work or need a career change, then go part time."
Going to school part-time also offers plenty of opportunities to learn with a busy schedule. This can be done online, with a weekend MBA program or even a distance learning PhD program.
Alternative Avenues to Learning
Roxanne Ravenel, a job search coach from Elyria, Ohio, who hosts "The Savvy Jobseeker" podcast on BlogTalkRadio, points out alternatives to traditional schooling to get the ball rolling. "Try to learn through volunteering, tutoring programs through local libraries, continuing education courses through community colleges, interning, or by taking professional certification courses."
Ravenel recommends you "search within your field and see what programs are available." Trying career-related programs can also minimize students’ time in school if they obtain credits from professional certifications.
Availability and Ambition
There are some factors to consider before jumping into academic waters. If major life changes are happening and could affect studying or the time needed to get a credential or finish a class, then it may be best to put your degree on hold.
"I had a friend who got bounced out of a PhD program," Asher recalls. "He was raising three kids and had too much to do. If you live in chaos, it isn’t the best moment for school."
Dedication is also important for making the grade. Some people are not able to handle the work needed to succeed. Others may have a hard time finding success with certain types of programs. "For example, a lot of online programs have a low completion rate," Asher says.
Another crucial area for consideration is school costs and budgeting. "Don’t borrow a ton of money to do this," he cautions. Many employers will pay for an employee’s education in return for employment. Also, finding scholarships or taking classes part-time can cut costs.
If you want to go for it, don’t be afraid. Test the waters and take a few courses. It may be exactly the right course of action in order to graduate to the next stage in your professional life.
Distance Learning Opens a Wide Range of Options
by Jim Zorn
Distance-learning degree certificate courses are designed for postsecondary students who cannot afford the time to enroll in college, but would like to pursue higher studies. The variety of courses offered and the number of universities offering these courses give the aspiring student a wide range of choices. If you are an adult learner with a busy schedule, these courses are designed to help you balance your personal and professional life by providing you with a curriculum that can be pursued anywhere, anytime.
The ‘Feel’ of a Virtual Classroom
Distance learning degree certificate courses use the power of the Internet and communication devices to reach out to students. Online web-based curriculum, virtual classrooms, phone-in tutoring, regular mail and email lessons and communication, discussion forums, and a host of other devices and software are used to give the student a feeling of participating in a classroom environment. Practical experience in the field is conducted on campus or off depending on the requirements of the subject. The best aspect of distance learning is that it is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and the student does not have to leave his home or workplace to study.
Tip of the Iceberg – A Few of the Universities and Courses Available
Walden University is an accredited institution which has distance-learning degree certificate courses tailored to the needs of adult learners. Degree programs are available at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate levels. The University of Phoenix has more than 17,000 highly qualified instructors and 140 degrees offered in business, technology, education and healthcare, apart from routine programs in social sciences, life sciences, etc. Kennedy Western University has developed a 12-to-18-month academic model designed for students with busy professional schedules. Capella University is also structured to complement your work schedule, offering quality bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degree programs. Ashford University offers liberal-arts courses for working adults and those who have left their degree programs unfinished.
The University of Maryland has been awarded the Sloan Consortium Award for Excellence, and more than 30 percent of its students are enrolled in Internet-based degree certificate courses. Jones International University’s faculty is drawn from the brain trusts of Stanford University, Columbia University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management. It has more than 15 graduate degree specializations. The Keller Graduate School of Management streamlines the education process to enable busy professionals to learn on the fly. DeVry University has been in existence since 1931 and has been the alma mater for more than 250,000 graduates.
Distance-learning degree certificate courses have revolutionized the concept of higher education. The process of learning is more intense and one to one. Students do not have to leave their desktop to appreciate a concept as it comes alive with video and audio technology, and the teachers are there for them day and night.
So what are you waiting for? Enroll today and start the online coursework that will lead to a brighter tomorrow!
Jim Zorn is webmaster of the Guide to Distance Learning. Please visit guide-to-distance-learning.com to learn more about online colleges and universities, distance-learning degrees, majors and courses offered.
Article Source: ArticlesBase.com