Consider These Factors If You’re Going Back to School
There could be many reasons why a person entertains thoughts about going back to school.
Whether they want to start a new career, continue their unfinished degrees, or to upgrade and advance their present skills, studying again can be a huge life transition regardless of age.
Before you decide to go back to school, consider the following factors to help you make a solid decision.
1. Career Goals
Before you go back to school, it’s best to consider your career goals. Knowing your ultimate goals in terms of your career can help you. Especially when it comes to assessing whether your chosen career path will lead to your goals.
If you’re thinking about changing career paths, it might be a good time to be educated in a new field. For instance, if you’ve taken a business degree but really like working with children, you might need to change your educational plans.
If you’re happy with your current career but are looking to improve your rank, you may want to earn an advanced degree or join in continuing education programs.
2. Timing and Management
The perfect time to go back to school is when you don’t have any problems in life that could prevent you from your new school life.
Before deciding, try to identify issues and look for ways to alleviate them to help increase your chances of success.
For instance, you may want to consider who will take care of the kids once you go back to school. By this time, you should set up childcare in place already to ensure that you can push through with your plans.
The kind of support you have also helps to determine if you can balance school with other responsibilities such as work and family.
Sometimes, you take on more responsibilities than you can handle but proper planning for these things and getting support can help you make it through the hustles in life.
After considering carefully your availability, you also need to check your financial capacity to work your plan out.
It is possible that you’re unsure how to finance your education, you may need to consider ways to pay for your schooling.
If you’re starting a new career path, you may want to save money by starting at a community college before going to a university.
If you already have a degree, you can also check out non-degree chances for advancement. These include short courses and certificates.
You may also want to explore other financing options. Check the overall costs among institutions as these amounts can vary greatly.
When you have decided on a school, ensure that you inquire from the financial aid department. There you can get guidance on grants, student loans or scholarships.
If you’re employed with an organization, you may want to ask your employer if they offer tuition reimbursement.
Furthering your education is a major decision that needs a strong driving force. This can also depend on having the energy, time, and resources to stay committed to finishing school.
Your motivation to go back to school may vary. Though this ensures a good future for yourself and your family.
If you need to talk to someone about your plan, look for family members and friends who have had the same experience. Talking to others can help you make a well-thought-of decision.
5. School Choice
Knowing the best college for your goals is another challenging consideration you need to think about. To avoid transferring or choosing a new course before finishing one, you need to ensure that you’re sure with what you’re getting into.
To maximize the benefits you get from your chosen course program, double-check if the school is accredited for that specific program.
The school’s accreditation means that it meets the minimum standards of the program.
This can help you in the future since some employers value degrees that are obtained from an accredited school over another school that hasn’t earned such accreditation.
Also, if you still end up transferring to another school in the future, it will be easier for you to transfer credits if you choose an accredited program.
6. Get Out There and Achieve Your Goals
Deciding to further your education is not a decision to be taken lightly. To help make planning and deciding more effective, think about the given considerations above.
Thinking about your career goals will streamline the decision-making process.
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You’ll also need to think about how you’re going to manage your time when you go back to school.
Determine your motivation, and finalize your school decision.
Are you planning to head back to school soon?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.