Traditionally, August is the month for "Back to School" preparation. Every year, millions of kids and parents welcome the first day of school by shopping for new clothes, new shoes, and backpacks filled with fresh supplies. As moms and dads wave good-bye from the bus stop, many think about going back to school themselves.
One of the greatest benefits of online education is that, in most cases, the "Back to School" vibe is available all year round. Many online schools run on accelerated semester schedules. So you don't have to wait until next August, if you're ready to start school now. In fact, it's never too late or too early to finish what you started.
The following indications are good signs that you're ready to pursue an online degree:
Remember, if there is any doubt as to why you need this degree, you might start to falter when courses are difficult. Without a clear objective, you'll question your decision and your motivation will suffer.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 50% of companies with 100 or more employees offer some kind of tuition assistance as part of their benefits package. For some reason, some companies don't advertise their tuition assistance programs, so it's up to you to find out if one exists at your workplace. Factors to consider:
A college degree doesn't come cheap. But don't let the price tag of a college education stand in your way. Look at your personal budget and examine how paying for school may affect you and your family over the next few years. The flip side of this is to also think about your potential for increased earnings or job opportunities after you complete your degree. Going back to school is literally an investment in yourself.
Make sure you talk with your family about why you are returning to school, and about how things might be different around the house. Changes may include: increased chores for kids, rotating meal preparation responsibilities, guaranteed quiet time to study in the evenings, etc.
The general rule of thumb is that a 3-credit college course will require, on average, 10 to 12 hours per week. With this figure in mind, you need to be realistic about your schedule and your motivation. Can you find 12 hours after dinner and on the weekends? Will you actually get up early to complete your assignments? Are you willing to miss your favorite TV show, if you're up against a deadline?
Do you make things happen, or do things happen to you? There is a psychological concept that describes decision-making ability. It's called "locus of control." Students with an internal "locus of control" believe that their actions (such as studying on a regular basis) result in receiving A's and B's. Students with an external "locus of control" believe that their C's and D's were determined by forces beyond their control (such as an unfair professor.) If you identify with the former example, and you're willing to take responsibility for your learning, you are ready to go back to school.