Today many working adults are returning to school, seeking to secure some type of certification or a college degree. Many of these adult learners have children at home that need their attention and because of their hectic schedule can’t attend traditional classroom settings. Yet the need and desire to attain higher education is a must for these working adults in order to provide a better living for their families and themselves. In need of higher education,but no time for traditional classroom setting, then maybe online education is your solution? But let’s be realistic, as a working adult, online schooling can be very challenging and one must be highly organized and self motivated to succeed in the online learning environment.
Most online schools will administer a series of questions to see if the online learning environment is right for the potential student. It’s very important that you are totally honest with yourself when considering enrolling for online classes, especially if you’ve been away out of school for some time. The need to improve your lifestyle can sometimes cloud your judgment, so make sure your self evaluation is thorough, often times the need to earn a better living can cause one to make an irrational decision. Let’s face it, enrolling in an institution of higher learning can be one of the most rewarding decisions you could ever make, but please understand you are signing a legally binding agreement to satisfactorily complete each course in an allotted amount of time, so make completely sure everything in your personal life is somewhat in order so that you can balance each day with proper time management. There are many success stories of adult learners completing college or technical schools, but there are also the working adults who didn’t complete their endeavors, signed legally binding agreements and now are left with an outstanding balance owed to a technical school or college and have nothing to show for it all because of good intentions, without a realistic approach. What is your reason for wanting to seek a degree or certification?
Self evaluation: These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself and be totally honest with yourself concerning your motives for wanting to attend college or technical school.
- Is your need for a technical certification or a college degree something you have desired for quite some time? Y/N
- Do you feel unfulfilled without a college degree or technical certification? Y/N
- Is earning more money your motive for enrolling in school? Y/N
- Do you desire a degree because a sibling, spouse, friend or fellow worker has a degree or certification? Y/N
- Do you imagine yourself away from your present job in some great administrative or managerial position upon your graduation from college of technical school? Y/N
- Have you been preparing yourself for your return to school, mentally physically and schedule wise? Y/N
- Finally, is the online learning environment right for you? Maybe you should consider the traditional classroom setting instead?
Self Evaluation: These are just a few of the questions you need to ask yourself and be totally honest with yourself concerning your motives for wanting to attend college or technical school. If you answered yes to question number 1, that’s great, having had a strong desire to obtain your higher education is definitely one of the best reasons for starting the journey to attain a degree or certification. There’s no need to be apprehensive if your desire is strong enough; desire coupled with the right school can spell success and lead to a better future for you, and if you have children, attaining a higher education will definitely be a good influence on their decisions in their own lives to follow in your footsteps. One of the main reasons most adults go back to school, is to fulfill their destiny. If you feel that you are not complete without your degree then go for it. Of course making more money is probably the single most motive for most working adults returning to school, but remember the old saying, “Money can’t buy you happiness, but it sure can ease the pain while you search for happiness.” Seriously though, most graduates can tell you that getting the amount of money you feel your worth in the work place can take time to achieve. Experience is what you get paid for, of course the degree will afford you the opportunity to earn more money, but you’re the only one who can activate your potential for earning the amount of money you believe your worth. So don’t allow money to be your only motivation, but rather choose to do something you’ve always wanted to do, so that you will excel in your field even if the amount of salary is not up to par of your expectations at first.
Focus on being the best you can be in school, go that extra mile to learn as much as you can, look to intern at a company while in school if possible. If your motive for attending college or technical school is to impress family members or friends then I would encourage you to seriously reconsider enrolling until you can reassess your reasons for going back to school. Online classes can be very demanding at times, especially for adult learners, your motives for attending school will play a key part in your success. Rather than seeking to impress others, let your motivation be based on a humanitarian reason, such as wanting to help others with the skills and knowledge you will attain. It’s OK to imagine ourself in a great position after graduation, but be realistic, as an online adult student; you will need the discipline to say no to family members and friends when it’s time to study.
The best positions are usually very demanding, make sure before you choose a field of study that you are academically aware of what is required of you to graduate. Are you good at math, do you read books in your spare time or do you spend more time in front of the television? Before I enrolled in my first online classes I spent some time refreshing myself on different subjects. I purchased some affordable training software and practiced tutorials on typing, math, and Microsoft word, because these are just some of the basic skills needed to be a successful student in the online learning environment. As a working adult, your life as student will undergo a radical change, so don’t just imagine yourself on a great job later on, live your life daily as though you are working in the field, read books pertaining to your desired field, watch training videos of the field of study your interested in, this will help you to keep abreast of any new developments in your field. There tons of free training tutorials on the internet. Search the web and make a listing of your favorites and utilize the free training on the internet.
I prefer interactive training DVD’s. I’ve purchased some training CD-rom’s to help me learn Microsoft Word at an affordable price, I love the fact that the video can paused and replayed so If I missed anything or If someone interrupts my study I can resume my studies later on with no problems. Preparing yourself for the online environment is important for the adult learner. Practicing training can help to get you up to speed before you enroll for class. Remember e-mailing will be your best friend when taking an online class, so definitely brush-up on your e-mail etiquette.
So take your time, make sure if you’re going to attend school online that the school fits your needs and ask questions before you sign any agreements. There will never be a perfect time to start school as an adult student online, but with some planning, preparation and by setting realistic goals you can be successful.