Perhaps you’re trying to take control of your career. Maybe you’re thinking of branching out and starting your own business. Taking the initiative to improve your professional life can reap tremendous rewards; but you will need assistance. Going back to school is one of the most effective ways to get the assistance you need to jump-start your career.

Choosing a School

The great thing is that you have several options to choose from. You can enroll in classes at your local community college, career school, or traditional four-year university. You can also enroll in online classes from the same local institutions, or from national institutions like the University of Phoenix.

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That bad thing is that you have several options to choose from. In fact, there are so many options that it might be difficult to decide which course to take. To further add to the confusion, you may find that one institution does not offer all of the courses you want, or need. For example, you might enroll in the local university but find that it doesn’t offer the excellent management course that’s available at the community college, and that the university across town is known for its Advanced Microsoft Office Training. You can try to take the missing courses then transfer the credits, but that can be a huge hassle.

One solution is to enroll with an organization like The College Network. Organizations like The College Network allow you take courses  online from an independent provider then, once you have completed all of the coursework, you can transfer those credits to any of their accredited partner universities to complete your degree or certificate.

The advantage to organizations like The College Network is that you can take courses in one central location, even if they would normally be offered at multiple schools. You don’t need to worry about transferring credits from multiple schools to one institution, that may or may not accept them, because the organization already has an agreement with the schools. It’s also easier to transfer previous college credits, when you enroll in one of these programs. Additionally, by taking courses online you can arrange your coursework around your busy schedule and, if you move to a different state, you can still attend classes.

Another advantage is that you could end up paying significantly less than you would if you had enrolled in a standard college, or even an accelerated program. You might also qualify for grants and loans to help you pay for your degree.

The Advantages of Going Back to School

The first advantage to going back to school is that you get the most up-to-date training in your chosen field. Let’s say you have a degree in business, but it’s from several years ago and the business climate has changed radically since you graduated. Taking a certificate course, or pursuing an advanced degree can get you up-to-speed on the latest business practices so that you can compete in today’s market.

The second advantage is that you will have access to the most current technology. As quickly as business practices update and change, technology changes even faster. Lack of familiarity, or proficiency, with new technology can be one of the biggest stumbling blocks to career advancement.

The third advantage is that, by pursuing continuing education, you show that you are serious about your career, and are willing to invest time, energy, and money in your future. That willingness to do what it takes can improve your standing with your current employer, and it also looks good to future employers.

Finally, the fourth advantage is that you get the opportunity to network with others in your field. Not only do your professors make excellent professional contacts and references, but your fellow students as well.

This is a post by Sara Stringer

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