A Guide on How to Go Back to College: Part Two (Page 2)

Occupations with The Most Job Openings: Associate’s Degree or Postsecondary Vocational Award

Occupation and Total Job Openings 2008-2018 5

Registered nurse (1,039,000)

Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants (422,000)

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (391,000)

Computer support specialists (235,000)

Hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists (220,000)

Automotive service technicians and mechanics (182,000)

Preschool teachers except special education (178,000)

Insurance sales agents (153,000)

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration technicians (136,000)

Real estate sales agents (128,000)

There is no doubt about it, a college education, along with determination, are key ingredients fueling an employee’s opportunity in these, and other, growing professional fields. For students looking to earn a college degree, particularly those who have stepped away from the educational system for a number of years, it’s important to assess how your current educational background will match up with a prospective specialty. The more you know what is expected academically, the better able you’ll be to fill any academic gaps.

Filling an Educational Gap

Where do you want your thoughts to be the day you enroll in college or take your first college test? Perhaps the thought of taking a college class fills you with anxiety. Perhaps you feel like you are behind the academic eight ball even prior to starting your college journey. For you, it may seem like a college degree, and a desired career, is out of reach, particularly if you perceive yourself as having a gap in your education. Don’t let fear win out. College is not out of reach; all you need is a bridge. A bridge, like taking developmental classes, will help you move beyond your high school classes of long ago and into your college courses of tomorrow. It’s okay. Success in developmental classes can help set the groundwork for success in prerequisite classes for a major. Make mistakes now before you are enrolled full-time and costly tuition is on the line.

How Costly is College?

College can be expensive. Tuition costs can run on average $28,500 per year at a 4-year nonprofit private college or even $8,244 for in-state students at public colleges.6 Filling an educational gap, before enrolling, is doable and should be seen as an opportunity to ease yourself back into higher education. For those sensitive to costs, both in terms of time and money, taking a few classes at a time before enrolling full-time often makes the most sense. Taking a couple of courses now, at a low cost, highly-flexible online institution will allow you to save money and ease your mind back into student mode. When you begin to fill educational gaps, your confidence will grow. Whether you begin your journey in higher education by completing a course like college algebra or developmental writing, it doesn’t matter. When you are ready to enroll in college, you’ll be ready.

Determination has taken you to this point. Confidence will help you move beyond. Use your knowledge of where you want to be in a career after graduation to help you take the best possible steps now. Doing so can help replace fear with knowledge. If you have any educational gaps, fill them. Even at this early stage, it’s essential to set the groundwork to help you down the road of educational success. You can earn a college degree and take charge of your career path, a career with a future.

5 College Board, Hottest Careers for College Graduates: Experts Predict Where the Jobs Will Be in 2018,

6 College Board, What it Costs to Go to College, 2011-12

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