Picking a bachelor’s degree is already a daunting task for students, let alone adult learners. Suppose you stopped your education and are now thinking of returning to school. In that case, you must effectively utilize your time and money and make the right choice. According to National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, around one-third of students leave school before finishing their degrees. And, sometimes, that number is even more. Fortunately, as an adult learner, you have the benefit of an education system ready to embrace you as a typical student, despite your age. There are over 36 million students in the USA alone that have no degree but some college credits. So, you are not alone.
If you are an adult who wants to earn a bachelor’s degree, then this article will be of great help. Today, we will share some tips on how to get back to college and earn the degree that you always wanted. Take a look at some of these tips:
DO SOME RESEARCH
Before you enroll yourself in a bachelor’s degree program, it would be wise to research the programs thoroughly. You can utilize the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment Projections to know the degree requirements and growth prospects of the job you want after graduating. For example, a cyber security online degree will open many doors in this expanding vertical.
Doing some research beforehand will let you know about the degree programs employers prefer and the amount of money you can earn after graduating and applying for a job. If you are already working and want to further your career by earning a degree, research will also come in handy.
WEIGH-IN YOUR CAREER GOALS
It would help if you first decide why you want to go for a degree at this point. Think ahead and question yourself where you want to be professionally in the next three to five years. When going for a bachelor’s degree as an adult, you might already have tons of work experience. So the question remains, do you want to earn a bachelor’s degree to venture into a new field of work, or do you want to advance your career in your current one?
Once you get a clear idea of where you want the bachelor’s degree to take your career, start to explore the options available to you. Try to find out the career trajectory of the degrees you shortlist. If it aligns with your career goals, go for it.
Adult learners everywhere want to know how long does it take to get a bachelor’s degree as they want to earn it as quickly as possible. However, it would help if you took your time before choosing a degree. You have to wait for the right time to enroll yourself in a bachelor’s program, whether it be a campus-based or online one.
ENSURE THAT YOUR EXPERIENCE COUNTS
If you are an adult learner, you can utilize your old school credits, earn credits in return for work experience, or earn them through exams. Most universities out there are now offering such facilities to everyone, not just adult learners, so their previous education doesn’t get wasted. Anybody can get their previous credit transferred to a new degree program, regardless of their degree type.
As an adult learner, search for opportunities that allow you to earn study credits. To determine if your previous studying experience counts, you can always look at the ACE national guide. Doing so will allow you to make a more informed decision when choosing through a plethora of bachelor’s degree programs.
DON’T MAKE SALARY THE ONLY REASON TO EARN A DEGREE
Adult learners often go for a bachelor’s degree because they either had to quit school at an early point or they want to further their professional careers. After all, you will be spending a fortune on it, and you would like to see results as quickly as possible.
Industries and markets are ever-changing, and new trends are coming forward every day. So, always keep in mind that these BLS predictions are only just predictions. One day, a job can get you around 100,000 dollars per year, the next day, it can be down to 50,000 dollars. Sure, making more money should be one reason to gain an education, but it should not be the only one. Instead of focusing on the salary prospects, focus on growth and job satisfaction.
THINK ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS EDUCATION
Ponder back at your time in high school and the classes you enjoyed the most, the subjects you found interesting, or other exciting coursework-related activities. Knowing what you are passionate about will make your decision extremely easy. You have to sit down and analyze your strengths and weaknesses. You have to identify the skills you are not good at and what you are best at doing. No matter how attractive a degree program maybe, if it requires skills that you don’t possess, it will probably a waste of your money and time. For example, if you like setting your working hours, or enjoy working from home, then a teacher’s or nurses’ job is not for you. If you love to interact with your coworkers, then an accountant’s isolated desk job is not the right fit for you. Are you weak at mathematics? Then getting a finance degree is a big no-no. Reflect upon your past school experience and education to know what suits you best.
In the end, if you don’t take your time when choosing a bachelor’s degree, you will waste money, time, and effort. Suppose you are sure about the skills you possess and where your expertise lies. In that case, it enables you to find a bachelor’s degree that aligns with your career goals. Is it to further your career? Or you want to switch degree programs? Knowing your interests and planning an education around your career goals will let you make the right choice.