If you are thinking about making a career change, you are not alone. According to The Washington Post, “nearly 1 in 3 U.S. workers under 40 have thought about changing their occupation or field of work since the pandemic began.”
Whether you want to wrap up a degree you weren’t able to complete, or are taking the leap and pursuing a different career path, restarting your education is more achievable than you might think. While it may seem daunting at first, beginning a new educational endeavor is an exciting decision that could ultimately help you achieve your dreams.
Here are six steps to help you get started and succeed:
Ask the Important Questions
Before you can dive into your new education experience, you have to first ask yourself some important questions. Why are you going back to school? Are you looking for a new career, or looking to enhance your value in your current career? How will your new degree advance the change you are seeking? Once you know what you want, you need to evaluate how much time, money and effort you can invest into your education. Considering these questions and then doing the appropriate research on schools will help you pinpoint the perfect program for you, and get you one step closer to realizing your goals.
Dive into the Details
Once you have identified the best school and program for you, it’s time to get into the specifics. Schedule time with an admissions counselor to get more information on your program, and the steps involved in enrolling. Admissions counselors can help you find the best program to help you reach your goals. They are there to help you find the best fit for you, so be honest with them about your goals.
For example, if you know you want to start a new career in health care, a counselor can give in-depth details about each program. Herzing offers over 30-degree options in healthcare, business and technology. For example, a counselor can help you understand the distinction between an LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and an RN (Registered Nurse) and the various programs you can pursue to achieve those career goals.
Check your Credits
If you have already completed classes at a previous institution, you may have credits that can transfer over to your new school. Counselors can help you take advantage of your past experiences and maximize your transfer credits upon enrollment. They can also help you obtain a transcript, which is necessary for transferring to a new school. Save yourself time and money by preparing for the transfer process ahead of time. Also, be sure to explore the availability of loans, and be aware of any deadlines for enrollment and scholarships. Once you know the ins and outs of how to get into your new program, it’s time to get to school!
With any new experience comes new challenges. But successfully balancing school with your personal life is not impossible when you are organized. Stay on top of your assignments and keep an agenda to ensure you’re up to date. Herzing student Samantha Burke was able to flourish in her nursing program by utilizing a planner.
“Before I started using a planner, I always thought that I had a good handle on when my assignments were due. This was DEFINITELY not the case. I would miss due dates or simply not give myself enough time to complete assignments,” she said. “Having a planner helps me prioritize my week and structure my days so I can stay on top of my tasks.”
Master your school-life balance by staying organized and prepared for the semester ahead.
Find Your People
With a new school comes a new community. While getting encouragement from your friends and family, also build new relationships and engage with instructors and peers who can provide the support you need throughout your educational journey. No one can do it alone, so find the people who are on your team.
Have the Right Attitude
Throughout this entire process remind yourself of your goals and motivation for restarting your education. You have made an admirable decision that can set you up for a lifetime of success. Way to go! You can do this.
You owe it to yourself to give your education 100%, and with the right attitude, you can ensure a positive educational outcome. Remember the reasons you wanted to restart your education and that this choice will take you one step closer to your dream job, or continuing to excel in the field you love. No matter your reason for going back to school, a positive attitude will carry you all the way to graduation.
* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2021. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.