Having a plan in place makes it easier to balance school and life
If you’re thinking of going “back” to school, chances are it’s been a while since you’ve set foot in the classroom.
Still, if you’re interested in a career as a professional medical assistant, health claims specialist, or massage therapist, you’re probably aware that attending a professional training program can be an important first step.
You may be asking yourself questions that sound like this:
- How can I go to school and work at the same time?
- Will I be able to handle the coursework?
- How can I realistically pay for school when I have other expenses?
- How do I know if I can get a job when I graduate?
If those issues are weighing on your mind, you’re not alone. In fact, many Salter students are people who have entered career training after a period of time in the working world.
Let’s take a look at how you can balance school and life if you decide to take the plunge and go back to school.
After deciding on your career path, look for programs that offer day or night options for coursework. That way you can more easily schedule around your existing responsibilities at work or at home.
Graduating in as little as nine months may be appealing, so taking daytime classes may be an attractive option. However, if that schedule is going to wreak havoc on your daily life and make you (and your family) miserable, you might find yourself tempted to throw in the towel before you complete the program.
While going to school at night may take longer, it can allow some people to more easily handle other life priorities in a manageable way.
Key: Choose the option that will make it easier for you to stick with the program all the way through.
Re-imagine the school experience
It’s OK to admit that not everyone loved high school. The traditional school environment – with students sitting at desks all day – is not for everyone.
Going back to school doesn’t have to look that way. Many career training programs, like those offered at Salter, have students practicing “hands on” learning so they’re better prepared to hit the ground running when they enter the professional world.
Striking a balance between classroom instruction and on-your-feet practical skills may allow people to better absorb information – especially those who find that they learn more effectively by doing.
Know what you’re getting into in terms of finances
Obviously, deciding to attend professional training is a big investment. Many students may not be aware of the financial aid options available to them.
Schedule an appointment with a financial aid adviser to discuss payment options based on your personal circumstances.
Important: Depending on what type of financial aid you qualify for, you may be on the hook for paying it back whether or not you finish the program. That’s why it’s a good idea to ensure that you sign up for a program you intend to complete and find work in.
Also, be sure to ask about the terms and conditions of any financial aid you apply for.
Take the long view
Of course, the whole point of going to school in the first place is to find a job after you complete training.
Rely on impartial statistics from the federal government to get a sense of the outlook for your field – and try to choose a job category that appears to be on the rise. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows faster than average growth for medical assistants, massage therapists, and health claims specialists between now and 2022.
Have additional questions? We’d love to help. Request more info or schedule a tour to find out if Salter is a good fit for you.