Going Back To School

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Going Back To School

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If you're an adult without a degree, in all likelihood you've been wedged into dead-end, low wage jobs, one after another. And as you get older, you look around and start to wonder, "Is this it?" Contemplating the idea of dealing with minimum-wage jobs, tipped-wage jobs, or just-above-minimum-wage jobs (that aren't worth the extra $1.25 an hour if you're honest with yourself) for the rest of your life can be really demoralizing.

You've probably stopped, from time to time, and thought about going to school. Whether you've been in and out and have like 1/3 of a degree if you add the credits up, or you never got into college for one reason or another, the thought still probably occasionally comes up. Degrees are expensive, though, you know that. The news is full of people who are struggling with dealing with debt they took in college. But you know that a college degree — literally any degree — would help you find jobs that are a bit more dignified and make you a bit more money.

You really should think about business schools. Many business schools offer associate degree programs — which are generally a fraction of the cost of getting a 4-year degree — and tend to be more focused than general college degrees. Associate degrees, if you're not certain, can generally be completed with 2 years of full-time schooling.

The more specific focus of associates will give you the schooling experience that may help you get into those jobs you know you could do, but just haven't had the qualifications to get into. This can really open up some options for you. For many of these programs, you can get the same kind of financial aid you would have available for a 4-year degree.

Also, depending on where you work, they may be willing to pay for your schooling. That's not a joke, most large businesses and corporations — yes, even in the fast-food industry will offer compensation on any schooling that is applicable to your job. (You should definitely go through whatever benefits the company offers, even if it's not much because a lot of them have compensatory offers for complimentary schooling. It's worth a shot, right?)

Many universities that offer business school degrees let you take many of your classes online, or have gone online entirely, which means you'll be able to work around taking your classes. You may still have to take time off work for tests, which are sometimes proctored at specific times, but being able to go to school on your own time with a much smaller budget requirement can help open up a lot of opportunities.

For further information on getting an associate degree, reach out to a local university or community college.