Going back to school, to update your skills, is a tough decision when you have to pay the bills. In addition to not making money, you end up taking a loan to pay for school. So have you considered the alternatives? First, let’s figure out your reasons for going back to school.
- You want to add more skills to your resume (Yes.)
- There are no jobs available for you (Wrong.)
- You want to increase your future earnings (Yes.)
- You have no other options (Wrong.)
Don’t ever go back to school because you feel you have no other options and can’t find any jobs. There are always jobs available. Yes, even in a bad economy. Go back to school to improve yourself. When you approach school positively, you are won’t be trapped by the idea that, “I need to make money so I’m going back to school.” You are not there to make money, but to improve yourself.
Alternatives to Schooling
Here are some alternatives:
- Become an apprentice and learn a trade skill for free. This is a hit or miss because not everyone will like it if you tag along on their jobs.
- Learn everything online. The Internet is a HUGE resource as long as you don’t get lost in all the information. Stay organized as this method requires a lot of discipline. Set the hours each day for this and stick to the schedule. The MIT OpenCourseWare is a great place to start.
- Enroll in an online school degree program or a specialized course like online medical coding. You can pick and choose your courses and slowly boost your marketable job skills.
- Instead of going back to school, start a business where you can learn as you go. The alternative here is to learn how to run a business selling products or services. Instead of putting your money into a college or place of higher learning, invest the money or loans into your own business. It is hard to compete with all the recent graduates with higher grade point averages. With a startup business and real world experience, you can gain the skills they have been spending 4+ years learning and writing about.