Ready to go back to school for $1/day, but not sure which program is right for you? You’ve come to the right place!
Below, we’ve outlined a few tips and tricks to help you narrow your program selection, including an easy-to-use quiz. With so many options for degrees, diplomas, and certificates, it’s hard to know how to pick the right one.
In fact, according to research conducted by the US Department of Education, nearly one-third of all first-time bachelor’s and associate’s students change their major at least once.
But, beginning or returning to your educational journey with a little more life experience under your belt can be a huge asset in helping you determine the right program for you. With a little reflection and research, you can use your personal history to better understand not just where you want to go – but also, which academic pathway can help get you there.
Your education can transport you. To make sure you’re going to the right place, consider what your strengths are as well as what you most enjoy.
- What were your favorite classes the last time you were in school?
- In a typical day at work, what are the tasks you enjoy doing the most?
- What are you really good at?
TIP: Sometimes it’s hard to see this answer on your own. Ask your friends, your family, and your manager — what do they think your strengths are?
- What are your values? Do you want more financial stability? Are you driven to help others? Do you want a job that provides flexibility so you can spend more time with your family?
TIP: For a fun exercise, do an internet search for Values Sorter. There are several interactive websites that can help you compare, consider, and rank what is important to you.
Think honestly about your values, goals, and what it means to be happy. Understanding these essential elements can help you evaluate prospective careers that may be a good fit.
After understanding your strengths and values, research careers that are in line with them. For example, if a key value for you is to provide a more stable financial future for your children, do the salary expectations in your chosen career support your desire to do so?
- Use websites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn to research job titles and salary expectations.
- TIP – You can also visit individual profiles on LinkedIn and often learn more about the person’s academic history to better understand what degree helped get them to where they are.
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a great place to research the employment outlook of fields that interest you.
- Find a mentor. Who do you look up to at work? This could be your manager, a fellow Associate, or even someone in another department. Talk to them about your goals and seek advice on how to achieve them.
- Who has a job you want? Find people with careers you admire and ask them how they got there.
Once you know where you want to end up, work backward to research the educational program that will help you get there.
Now that you’ve done a little research and thinking to determine a career or two that might be a good fit based on your values, and you’ve learned more about the educational journey that could help you land your dream job, take this handy personalized quiz to determine which program is the right fit for you.
Remember, your education is a journey, not a destination. If you take a few detours on the road toward your ultimate goal – we’ll be there to help you navigate. So take a leap, you’ve got nothing to lose.