Although it can be challenging to attend college as a working adult, it can be a terrific way to expand your education and increase your earning potential. Whether you’re going to college for the first time as a working adult or you’re finishing what you started many years ago, here are some tips for landing the degree you’re after while also maintaining a full-time job:
Pick the right major
College is a time for exploring what industries you might be interested in and what types of work you’d like to pursue after graduation. It’s not unusual for college students to change their minds about their major quite a few times throughout their college career. However, as a working adult, you don’t exactly have this luxury and time is of the essence. You should go in knowing exactly what your goals are and what you should major in to accomplish those goals. For example, if you’re looking to grow within your current field, pick a major that will teach you the skills that will allow you to do so. If you want to go back to school because you’re unhappy with your current job and you’re looking to completely change career fields, it will be extremely beneficial to you if you’re positive about what career field you want to switch to so that you can pick a major accordingly.
Don’t take on too many classes at once
It might be tempting to load up on as many classes as the university (and your schedule) will allow so that you can finish as soon as possible; you might feel that only taking one or two at a time will only drag things out and discourage you. But before you jump in with both feet, test the waters first. You’re about to make a major schedule change to your daily schedule and you don’t know how it’s going to affect your current lifestyle. If you take too many classes at once while you’re working full-time, you face the possibility of burnout and you may give up on college altogether. Start off with just one class so that you can adjust to the idea of going to college as a working adult and see how it goes. If you feel comfortable, take on a little more the following term.
Find a school that’s near home or work
You really like a particular campus or university, but it’s not exactly convenient to get to. If you have to factor in a couple extra hours of commuting each day to make your new schedule work, it can be discouraging. Instead, focus on schools that are located either near work or home. They may not be your top choices, but you’ll be more likely to finish.