A College Education for Anyone

The choice to further yourself as an individual is one that weighs on most of our minds frequently.  It is a very competitive world we live in, and to advance in it you have to be able to offer something that makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. I like to call this "self stock".

What  makes you more valuable than the guy standing in line behind you?

This is a question we should all ask ourselves, because you better believe there's going to be someone asking that same question about you at some point in your life. Having an answer will be the difference in you staying at that dead-end job or getting that promotion that could lead to an early retirement.

The Answer

There is no question that earning a degree will greatly benefit you in your career. The problem for most of us is that we simply are not in a position to attend college because something else requires a large portion of our time. With our technologically advanced world, this is no longer a problem. Online degree programs allow you to study almost any degree you choose, from an associate's to a master's, and do it in a way that is tailored for your specific circumstances. The only thing standing in your way is you.

You are your biggest hurdle

Human beings have a natural defense mechanism that keeps them from wanting to do anything that might cause anxiety. One of the ways we do this is by focusing on the negative aspects of something that would obviously be beneficial. Through this negativity, you eventually convince yourself that a good idea is actually bad for you. I am convinced that committing to make a change in your life is a little scary at first, especially if it's something as big as making a career change.

It's easy to get comfortable in our "rut", and to get out of it (which you know is what you need to do) you have to focus on the positives.  Fear is not an easy adversary to defeat, but once you learn how to get out of your own way the rest is easy.

Jump in with both feet

I have attended an online college for over 3 years and it is easily the best decision I have ever made. It took about a year before I finally overcame the fear and decided it was the right thing for me to do. I made several excuses like: the costs, I didn’t know what to pursue, I didn’t want to fail, and the list goes on. Then one day it hit me. I was being a complete coward. 

Was it really worth throwing away any chance at ever advancing in life because I was a little scared? 

I finally took the plunge, did a little research on the internet and called some online colleges to see what getting enrolled would involve.  After plenty of shopping around I found what seemed to be the best choice for me based on costs, accreditation, and the degree programs offered.

The Better Choice

I attended a community college out of high school for two years and the process of getting enrolled and financed was stressful to say the least. To my surprise it was much easier getting started with the online college I chose.  Most online colleges are run like a business, so they are much more efficient than the traditional university. There are certain people assigned to certain tasks and they are constantly in contact with you along the way, making it hassle-free.

The hardest part of the whole process was filling out the FASFA, which really isn’t difficult at all. I qualified for a federal Pell grant and the rest was covered by student loans.  I only had to fill out one loan application the entire time I attended and they were adjusted as needed based on the FASFA I filled out every year.

Learn your way

One of the fears I had when enrolling in online courses was how much different the classroom environment would be compared to a traditional college. If I had to choose between the two in hindsight, I would prefer the online learning platform because it offers the best of both worlds.

You are required to take part in a discussion which you have to post in on three different days of the week, and you are given the full week to complete the other assignments.  The professor performs a live lecture at least once a week where you can ask questions if you have any, and it is also archived if you cannot attend. When I was able to complete the assignments on my own I would do so, and if I needed a little help the lectures were available as well as the professor’s email address and phone number if I needed more assistance. 

Unexpected Results

Not only do I feel like I have been more than adequately trained to pursue a career in my field of choice (information technology), there were also other opportunities presented to me through online learning.

I made connections with classmates that I believe will benefit me in the future, and perhaps the most important connection I made as a result of online learning was the one with the internet.

The language of the world

I have learned the power of the internet, and it is impossible to place a value on this resource. The internet is like a separate language, and once you are fluent in the internet and how to use it, your self-stock increases exponentially. So many tools are available on the internet, and prospective employers will have no choice but to recognize your ability to use them.

Stop Making Excuses!

Earning a degree of any kind puts you a step ahead of most of the competition. A college education was once reserved for only certain people who were fortunate enough to get the chance to attend. With online college courses everyone now has the opportunity to earn a degree. 

So if you are letting some stupid little fear like not knowing what degree to pursue stop you from furthering yourself, do yourself a favor. Go to Google and search for online education programs, find a list of degrees, close your eyes and point. Whichever one you point at, enroll in it and earn an education.

This is absolutely crazy, but it makes more sense than staying in your “rut” and letting life pass you by.

Whatever you do, don’t let fear get in your way of success!