Earning a college education is quickly becoming a reality for more than just high school graduates; many adults are choosing to go back to school to transition careers or to gain a competitive edge over their peers. Whatever your reason may be, choosing a degree or certificate program is an important decision that takes careful consideration. To help make your decisions easier, we’ve put together a list of 5 easy ways to search degree or certificate programs that best match your interests and goals.
1. On-campus or online?
When searching degree programs that fit you best, it’s important to be realistic and consider your lifestyle and study habits. Are you a self-starter who will stick to a study routine without needing to be accountable to a professor? Do you work full-time and need to find a degree program that works around your schedule? If the answers are yes, then searching for online degree programs may suit you. Online degree programs also free you from travel expenses to and from campus. Be sure to find accredited online schools while conducting your search, or your college credits won’t be valid.
2. Search degrees or certificates that are in high-demand.
While you continue your degree search to find the perfect match, searching degrees that are in high-demand will ensure lots of job opportunities after graduation. If you’re transitioning between careers, search degree types with job opportunities that will propel your career, not let it remain stagnant.
3. If you already have a degree, is there a certificate program available?
If you already hold a degree, it might be wise to search degree endorsements, certificates, and licensing that can be used with your current degree. Medical Billing or Paralegals are popular examples of certificate programs that result in well-paid positions.
4. Know what you DON’T want to find and what you DO want before you search degree programs.
Is it important to you that your work results in some social benefit? Do you have qualms with business practices taught in certain industries? It’s important to keep your personal values in mind while you search degrees and schools. It may be harder for you to succeed if you’re compromising your values.
5. Consider the time it will take to complete the degree (and make sure the commitment is feasible).
Refer to tip #1 – be realistic about your lifestyle and how much you’re willing to sacrifice while you’re enrolled in school. As you’ll learn when searching degree types, an undergraduate degree takes from 2-4 years, Master’s Degree take 1.5-2 years, and Doctorate or PhD upwards to 5-6 years. These time commitments will impact your family and social time. Even online degree programs require a lot of time and dedication.