It’s easy to feel like there’s a certain timeline on which certain things must be accomplished, and if we don’t meet the timeline, then it’s just too late. Some people feel like they have to be married by the time they’re thirty, for instance. Others think they should be pulling in six figures a year before they hit thirty-five. It’s also really normal to think that someone who doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree by his or her mid-twenties has just waited too long, and now the personal will have to work in a low-paying until he or she retires, assuming the person is ever able to retire. That’s an understandable attitude, but it’s incorrect for many reasons.
The Rise Of Online Schools
Twenty years ago, going back to school meant sitting down in a classroom at least one or two nights a week and listening to a professor’s lecture in-person. It meant juggling the schedule and rearranging things like child care. If you were married or in a serious relationship, you had to tell your partner that you’d have less time to spend with him or her because of your focus on getting an education. Nowadays, getting a degree still means making sacrifices. It’s a time commitment to be sure, but it requires something different than it used to. There are so many reputable universities that offer online continuing education courses. Instead of kissing your spouse and kids goodbye, hopping in the car, and driving through traffic to get to a classroom, you can just pull up your favorite office chair and start up your laptop.
Just because the courses are online doesn’t mean you can take things lightly. You’re still being taught by qualified professors who want to see their students succeed, even if they aren’t literally seeing their students in a classroom setting. Professors will have certain expectations that you’ll need to meet. If an assignment needs to be uploaded by noon, then you shouldn’t count on getting an extension just because it’s an online course. If the school is properly accredited and you’re getting a grade, then you owe it to yourself to treat it like you would a “normal” college class. If the school isn’t properly accredited, then you might want to reconsider if it’s the right place for you.
The current job market is a tricky one. People getting a degree in things like computer science may be able to graduate and go straight to a coding job that pays them close to six figures a year. If you’re an English major, you have a lot of useful skills that employers generally like, but it can be harder to sell yourself. You should pick out a degree plan that both interests you and will help make you more employable. In other words, don’t just get a degree because it seems like it’s the thing to do. That’s a bad idea whether you’re twenty-two or fifty-two.
If you want to learn something new without going through years of college, then that’s OK as well. We can all benefit from expanding our horizons. Something like a cooking class or a dance class can work great for people who would love to study something different but don’t have the time or energy to get a degree right now.