There are two reasons for continuing your education after you have begun your career. One is because you want to. The other is because you have to.
In an ideal world, these would be one in the same. When you realize that you need a higher degree to get a promotion then you should be jumping for joy, because that’s exactly where you were going, anyway.
That isn’t always the case, but consider the healthcare professions in which continuing education credits are expected. After all, you might revere a doctor who has been practicing medicine for 40 years as a credit to his profession, but if he or she hasn’t kept up with modern developments in healthcare, you probably wouldn’t want to be is patient.
There are still some residual feelings about schooling that have some of us holding back. Consider a few of these misconceptions:
School can be a drag
Right. School is a drag when a general education diploma dances all over the map, forcing you to take algebra or English literature, when that’s the last things you want to do. But in an adult education program, you generally focus on exactly the courses you require. Remember, you don’t need to take gym if you are going for advanced credits in radiology.
School can be expensive
Right again. School credits generally run from $200 to $300 per credit hour, which means $900 per course in some cases. Prices vary from program to program and from school to school. They also vary depending on if you are seeing an undergraduate or a post-graduate degree and whether or not you are enrolled in a residency program, a physical classroom or taking a course online.
All that said, you have to weigh the value of the credits against your new earnings potential. Most people find that a degree pays handsomely, especially so when you chase after a post-graduate degree.
No social life
Returning to school will slow down your social life for the very reasons you dread: Course work and homework. However, you will really be expanding your social life, as you meet other people in your curriculum who (guess what) have the interests and face the same hurdles as you do. Secondly, the friends you already have will suddenly find you more interesting.
Back on Day One of the Internet, it was billed as the next greatest thing in education. It would allow a classroom to expand the globe. It would allow students to share resource materials and study together. It would cut back on expenses on books, travel and the physical classroom, which would no longer be required.
It can now safely be declared that all of this hyper-hype turned out to be completely true. The Internet is many things, good, bad and indifferent, but it is a huge stroke of genius in terms of educational outreach. Not only has the Internet helped keep education costs manageable, but accelerated degree programs online allow the student to work at his or her own pace. From many miles away, a student can chat with a professor or a fellow-student online. Papers can be shared instantly without any actually paper exchanging hands. The Internet is a social equalizer. As far as schooling, the Internet is all wins.
No time to study
It’s hard to deny this one. It takes time to apply oneself. But take away half of your movie time, a quarter of your online game time, just a fraction of your social life, and you will survive school even as a busy adult. Yes, you may have to join a gym to make the most efficient use of your exercise time, but, hey, now you can afford it with that big promotion coming your way.
Many companies large and small support advanced coursework by their employees. As such, look through your benefit package closely and seed if the company can contribute to your advancement.
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