When you begin asking yourself whether you want to start a new career path, or are just looking to get qualifications for a certain job, it’s time to consider taking the next step with your education. While there are always mega success stories of people who never went to high school or dropped out of college, there are many more who’ve done that and aren’t on the billionaire list. Furthering your education won’t guarantee you a seven-digit salary, but it will definitely move you along your career path and help you complete career goals much faster.
The obvious problem with furthering your education while working is that the traditional methods of schooling take up just as much time, if not more, as a full-time job. Chances are you can’t afford to take that much time off work. Luckily there are a variety of alternatives to the traditional 8-5 school days that are tailored towards working professionals. The two you want to look at in this situation are the following:
• Night Classes
• Online Classes
These are two of the most popular options chosen by working professionals to further their education. Which one you choose is up to you and your lifestyle, but I’m going to get you started on evaluating which is better for you with a few details for each.
Online classes are great if you’re looking for an education that you can schedule around your life. Lectures are posted online for you to watch at your own leisure, you are given assignments well in advance of the deadline, and all are available on the course website. All you have to pencil in time for is taking the tests. These types of classes are perfect if you live far from any schools or only have time on the weekends to complete your education. The main drawback here is that there is no one-on-one face time with the professor, and contact with them (if even possible) will be through email and forum posts. That’s where night classes have the advantage.
Night classes emulate the classroom experience. If you have transportation available to you and are the type of person who needs to talk things out in order to learn them then this will be the better choice for you. Instead of having a large online class of unknown faces, you will have a small classroom of fellow students with whom you can get coffee afterwards and form study groups with, maybe even talk about your career goals with them.
Likewise, the professor will be there every lecture to answer questions for you. This is a much more social option for your education, but an equally effective one nonetheless. If you have the time and the means to get to class then this is an option for you. However, you will obviously be limited to the educational facilities in your immediate area, whereas online classes can let you learn from a school in Canada if you wanted to.
Your career path is yours to make, and your career goals are yours to fulfill. An education can help you get what you want, you just need to ask yourself if it’s the right time. There are road signs on your career path that will hint whether you should consider it, like if you start finding your job unfulfilling or you see your career goals are taking longer to accomplish than you originally planned. While furthering your education is a surefire way to speed down your career path and get you to the bottom of your list of career goals, it’s also a great way to shake things up if you’ve become bored with where you are.
Are you considering going back to school while you work? Are you currently doing it now? Share with us in the comments section below!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Horia Varlan