The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting effect on the world and what we once thought to be “normal.” In many ways, it’s caused us to rethink things. Businesses have adopted work-from-home policies, schools have embraced a more virtual environment, and perhaps you’ve begun to question or reassess your own career goals.
You wouldn’t be alone in this sentiment. For many, lives have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Whether you were laid off or simply have more free time, there’s nothing wrong with thinking about your future at a time when it’s proven to be unpredictable.
Making the decision to go back to school, earn a degree, and pursue a viable career path could be the route you choose to take in an effort to create more certainty in your life.
And while certainty isn’t guaranteed, there are fields you can choose to pursue that have brighter outcomes over others. No industry might be more relevant today than healthcare, which has been considered essential amid the pandemic.
Pharmacy technicians, nursing assistants, and several other healthcare roles are on the rise and have had increased notoriety as COVID-19 raged on in the past year. In fact, the entire healthcare industry is projected to add 2.4 million new jobs from 2019 through 2029.
So, if you’re thinking about going back to school but aren’t sure what to study or what field to get into, a role in healthcare might be what you’re looking for. Of course, there are going to be concerns that come up any time you make a big decision like this.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
You can learn online.
You might be juggling multiple jobs, perhaps you have children who are learning virtually from home and have to tend to them throughout the day, or maybe you’re caring for a loved one. The point is, you have responsibilities. But your own goals shouldn’t be sacrificed.
Online education is a viable option for those who have a lot on their plate. Sure, assignments and deadlines will play a factor, but remote learning allows you to avoid commutes to campus and could give you the ability to complete coursework at various times throughout the day.
Explore financial aid.
If you qualify, financial aid can be used to help fund your education. More often than not, schools are willing to guide you through this process of applying for aid as it can be confusing for some who are new to it.
No matter the size of the purchase, money matters. And when it comes to going back to school, finances can be an obstacle for many. Remember, financial aid is an option worth exploring. If you qualify, this could offer a huge relief if you’re worried about the cost of education.
It’s not “too late.”
Going to school isn’t just for the kids. It’s never too late to learn something, especially if you’re trying to level-up your skills. If you believe in an industry such as healthcare, don’t be afraid to go for it.
Everyone is on their own timeline. Some people attend college right after high school, but that isn’t a one-size-fits-all path. Between online learning options becoming more common, potential financial aid, and growing fields like healthcare, now might be a good time to go back to school regardless of your stage in life. After all, age is just a number.
Choosing a School
Another big question to ask yourself after making the already important decision of going back to school is “what school should you go to?” There’s no easy answer, but there are certainly some things you can look for when comparing schools. Among all else, look for one that has your back every step of the way with student support.
- If you’re learning online, does the school offer technical support and resource guidance?
- If you’re interested in financial aid, what kind of assistance is given during this process?
- If you’re worried about coursework, does the school provide academic support?
- If you have a specific career path, does the school help prepare you for the job search?
If you’re thinking “well, there isn’t a school that does all of that,” then that isn’t the case! Resources such as academic and technical support, or even resume writing and career search assistance exist. Schools may advertise these resources themselves or you can ask about them when entering the enrollment process.
Don’t be afraid to set a standard for yourself when it comes to schools. After all, this is your decision and your future.
Turn Aspirations into Actions
Change can be scary. It’s normal, and if you’re set in a routine with all the responsibilities you must juggle, your hesitance is even more understandable. But in a time that many have called “unprecedented,” with mass layoffs amid a global pandemic, it’s important to envision your future.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Are you taking the necessary steps now to be where you want to be?
That can be a complicated question to ask yourself. But if the answer is a steady job with enough financial security to provide for you and your family, some combination of education and training may be required. So, if the resources are out there, why wait?
Going back to school may take a lot of thought and commitment, but the effort put in can be worth the time you dedicate to it. Did you know that in general, people 25 and older with an associate’s degree not only have a higher median weekly earning than those with just a high school diploma, but they also experience a lower unemployment rate?
These are tough times for many. And tough times can call for tough decisions, but you can still be optimistic about what your future holds. Choose a school that cares about your aspirations and one that can help you along the way.
You can start your search for the right school with Ultimate Medical Academy. Take charge of your future today.