Are you looking to pursue a new career? Between 2010 and 2014, the fastest growing occupations are expected to be in the healthcare and computer industries. Check out this table, compliments of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, to see in which fields other career opportunities may arise.
Do any of these programs strike your interest? Find a degree or certification program that will help you meet the education requirements.
By: Sarah Wittcop
I have a busy life. I have a husband and family whom I love and enjoy spending time with. I work a full-time job, volunteer on the weekends and have a little white Maltese name Lacey, who enjoys running through mud puddles entirely too much.
With such a busy schedule, I wouldn’t exactly consider my life flexible. However, I was able to earn my Master’s of Business Administration degree online through Liberty University, all while maintaining my busy lifestyle.
If you, too, plan on embarking on your own educational journey, I have a few words of advice to lighten your load.
Meet the schedule — your new best friend
Whether you use a day planner, cell phone or the palm of your hand, scheduling your day and even your week will save you at least a dozen meltdowns and forgotten assignments. At the beginning of each term, map out your semester from the first day to the last, taking into consideration your responsibilities at work and home.
Involve your family
A great way to maintain your family relationships and still complete your coursework is to involve your family. Share with your spouse and children what you’re learning in your courses. You may be surprised what they may have to add to the subject and what they learn from you.
Don’t wait until the last possible hour to complete your coursework. If you have to complete a test by Saturday at 8 p.m., plan to take the test in the morning. Your stress levels will be lower, allowing you to focus on answering questions accurately instead of racing against the clock.
The dog can wait
Finally, I have learned through my own experience in balancing life, love and higher education that giving the dog her weekly bath can always wait until tomorrow. Prioritize your obligations, completing class assignments and recognizing that some tasks can wait.
As you learn to balance online classes with your obligations in life, remind yourself of your motivation for pursuing your degree. Whether your reason was advancing your career or fulfilling a life-long goal, your educational inspiration will keep the momentum going.
Sarah Wittcop is a recent MBA graduate from Liberty University Online and plans to continue her education by pursuing an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree through Liberty. A copywriter and marketer, she is interested in business and communication. Sarah lives in Va. with her husband, Adam, and her dog, Lacey.
In a recent CourseAdvisor suvery, we asked you to explain what’s keeping you from earning your college degree. An overwhelmingly large portion of you responded with: The cost of tuition. We spoke to Lee Harrell, Assistant Vice President of Admission and Financial Aid at Ohio Wesleyan University, who offered to share with us some financial aid “secrets” to help you out.
FILL OUT THE FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is often the key to unlocking doors to otherwise inaccessible federal and state grants and loans. Also, by filling out the FAFSA you will find out how much money the government will provide towards your schooling.
INVESTIGATE PRIVATE SCHOLARSHIPS AND GRANTS. Check with your college to obtain leads on possible funds. Many of these scholarships and grants have very specific requirements, but those requirements may lessen over time, if an exact match isn’t found. Visit web sites like www.fastweb.org for more information.
ASK ABOUT INSTITUTIONAL LOANS. Some colleges set aside funds to loan to students who are unable to secure private loans. Institutional loans are not awarded as part of normal college financial aid packages and they often aren’t advertised, so it is important to ask about them.
ASK ABOUT A “SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE APPEAL” if your family’s financial situation has changed since your FAFSA filing. This is another important reason to file the FAFSA, even if you don’t think you will qualify for aid at the time of filing. If something does happen, having the form on file provides a bit of an “insurance policy” that can be cited in the appeal process.
MAKE SURE TO COMPLETE AN INTERNAL FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION for your college. Not all schools have separate internal forms, but for schools that do, even filing the form may open up some additional aid opportunities.
Fall course registration is just around the corner. Here are four tips to keep in mind as you select and sign up for classes this coming sememster.
1. Study the Course Catalog Closely. Courses listed in the school's catalog will include core requirements (classes that all students must take to graduate), course requirements for each major, courses within departments, and electives. Courses are also offered at different levels, ranging from introductory-level courses to challenging seminars. Make sure you choose classes that you need to take in order to fulfill your major, that are challenging for you, and that interest you. If you need helping mapping out your course selection for the four years of college, don't hesitate to ask your advisor for help - that's what they are there for!
2. Take Required Classes First. By getting your core requirements out of the way, you will be able to spend the rest of your time taking classes that you are really interested in.
3. Balance Your Classes. Reference the school's course catalog or ask teachers what the course load is like for classes. You want to make sure that you're taking a balance of challenging and easier classes at the same time. Some courses will require more time, reading and work than others, and taking on too much will put a strain on you and your grades. Also, make sure that the classes you are taking don't all require the same type of work - for example some classes will require a lot of reading, others will require hands-on time in a lab and problem-solving, and others will require research and writing. Choose a variety of subjects so that you aren’t doing the same thing for all your classes.
4. Plan for Registration Day. Some schools will require students to sign up for classes online, others will make you stand in line at the registrar's office (campus courses only), while others might even make you enter a lottery system to get into specific courses. Classes you want to take may already be filled up by the time you register, so make sure you plan out some alternative courses you could possibly take as a back-up plan.
Have you started planning your class schedule for this coming semester?