Check Financial Aid Opportunities
Before you go any further, be sure to research all potential sources of financial aid. FAFSA is the most well known and most frequently used by college students. The U.S. Department of Education hands out over $100 billion in grants, work-study and federal loans to qualified students attending college each year. Whether it be community college, four-year college, trade school or career school, everyone has a chance to receive financial assistance.
Research Available Schools :
Once you have made your list of essentials, it is important to research each school to see which ones match your criteria. It is also important to check all available reviews on each school. Here are some questions you should look to answer:
- Does the school have favorable reviews in categories that are important to you?
- Did students enjoy their experience while attending this school, and if not, what were their reasons?
- How successful have alumni been after graduation?
- Did alumni feel that they were prepared properly for their future career goals?
- Was/Is there strong communication between students and faculty?
A Growing Trend :
According to the report “The Digital Revolution and Higher Education” by Pew Internet, “more than three-quarters of the nation’s colleges and universities now offer online classes”. Also mentioned in the report was that “one-in-four college graduates have taken a course online”.
Finding Your Right Match
Choosing the right school is one of the most important steps to earning your degree. Taking courses at the right school is essential to staying on the right track with your education, especially when you experience some bumps along the road to earning your degree. Here are some tips on how to find the right match for you.
List of Essentials :
Before you start researching different schools, it is important to make a list of what you’re looking for in a school. It will help you narrow down your choices as there could be many options available to you. Here are some things for you to consider:
- What goals do you want to achieve after receiving your degree?
- Do you want the ability to transfer credits to another school?
- Does the school offer all the requirements in order to fulfill your degree?
- Is the school location convenient for you?
- How important is class size to you?
It’s Worth It :
According to research done by Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney in Brookings Institution’s “Where is the Right Place to Invest $102,000 -- In Stocks, Bonds, or a College Degree?”, the average college graduate earns roughly $570,000 more over a lifetime than the average person with only a high school diploma
Careers Worth Going Back to School For
There are many ways for a person to make a career change. One of those ways is to return to school to earn either a bachelor's or master's degree in a particular field. The following offers some examples of appealing careers in psychology, education, and business. Some of these careers require a person to earn a bachelor's degree while others require a master's.
A career as a probation officer requires a person to possess a bachelor's degree in psychology. A probation officer helps people who are trying to reestablish their lives after spending time in jail. This job carries a lot of responsibility, but according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment in this career field is growing at a rate of 18%. This is an average rate of growth. The median annual income for a probation officer was $47,200 in 2010 (BLS).
A counselor in a public school needs to have a master's degree in psychology. School counselors work in elementary, middle, and high schools. A school counselor has the responsibility of helping students who are dealing with challenging issues at school and at home. A dedicated school counselor can really make a difference in the lives of young students. According to the BLS, employment in this career field is growing at a rate of 19%. This is an average rate of growth. The median annual salary of a school counselor is $53,380 as of 2010 (BLS).
A kindergarten teacher has the opportunity to affect the lives of young children. A person who teaches kindergarten in a private school needs a bachelor's degree in education. A person who wants to teach in a public school needs a bachelor's degree as well as a state teacher's certificate. Kindergarten students learn their letters and numbers as well as handwriting skills. The BLS reports that employment of kindergarten teachers is growing at a rate of 17%. This is an average rate of growth. The average yearly salary of a kindergarten teacher as of 2010 was $51,380 (BLS).
In order to become the principal of a public school, a person needs to have at least a master's degree in education. A principal has the responsibility of managing the day-to-day operations of a school. He or she also builds and maintains good relationships with both teachers at the school as well as the parents of students. The BLS states that the average yearly salary of a school principal was $86,970 in 2010 When it comes to employment in this occupation, the rate of growth is 10% which is as fast as the average rate.
A person who wants to begin a career in the field of business may want to look into the work of a financial analyst. The education of a financial analyst includes a bachelor's degree in business administration. A financial analyst studies the operations of a company and offers quality investment advice. Some financial analysts also work with individual clients. The median annual salary of a financial analyst was $74,350 as of 2010 (BLS). The BLS also reports that employment in this occupation is growing at a rate of 23%. This is faster than the average rate.
There are many high executive positions that require a person to have a master's degree in business administration or an MBA. For instance, a management consultant who wants to garner a higher salary can start work in the field with a bachelor's degree in business, then earn an MBA. A management consultant with a master's degree can move to a higher position in a company. This professional provides a company with ways to become more efficient. The average annual salary of a management consultant was $78,160 in 2010 (BLS). In terms of employment in this occupation, the rate of growth is 22%. This rate of growth is faster than average.
Is Now the Time?
Before you begin to weigh your school options, you must first ask yourself, “Am I ready to pursue a degree? “ Below is a checklist that you can go through to see if pursuing a degree is right for you at this time. Do the following statements apply to you?
- This degree is required for me to reach my ultimate goal
- I have a very supportive family and friends who believe this is the right decision for me
- I understand earning a degree is difficult and will require a great amount of time
- I am comfortable with my current financial situation
Surprising Careers You Can Pursue with an Education Degree
When most people think of careers for education majors, they naturally imagine elementary or secondary teaching. While many education majors do end up in front of a classroom, they have a variety of career options. The skills and knowledge that they gain during their time at college are transferable to a number of jobs. The following is just a small sample of non-teaching careers that education majors can pursue.
1. Corporate trainer. Corporate trainers are teachers of sorts, however, they concentrate on teaching adults rather than children. They generally work for large corporations, though some work as independent contractors and work for many different companies and non-profits. They instruct employees on a variety of subjects, including new software or hardware, new policies and procedures as well as communication skills. With their background in teaching, education majors are perfectly suited for this job. Corporate trainers have a median income of $52,690. Corporate training jobs and other jobs in human resources are expected to grow 21 percent by 2020, which is faster than the average job growth rate.
2. Academic advisor. All colleges and universities require academic advisors, who consult with students about what major to pursue and which courses to take. They inform students of the school's requirements and help them form plans to meet their goals. Education majors, with their knowledge of academics and passion for helping students of all ages, hold ideal qualifications for these positions. Academic advisors make a median income of $53,380. The field is expected to grow 19 percent by 2020, which is about the average rate of growth for all fields.
3. Librarian. Librarians help maintain book collections in both public and academic libraries. They also assist patrons with research and help them find the information they need. While becoming a librarian may require additional coursework, education majors are suited for these positions as they learn to research in their classes and generally hold a love of learning. The median income of a librarian is $54,500. The field is expected to grow 7 percent by 2020.
4. Freelance writer. Freelance writers are independent contractors hired to write copy for corporations, non-profit organizations as well as individuals. They write advertisements, web content, books and magazine articles. Education majors are typically required to write extensively during their coursework, and so already have the skills it takes to become a successful writer. The median income of a writer is $55,420, and the field is expected to grow 6 percent by 2020.
While a major in education may seem like a one-track route to a teaching career, the truth is that education majors have numerous options. The skills they learn as part of their education curriculum apply to more than one field, and prospective employers recognize the value of an education degree's flexibility