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Considering Going Back to School? Best Schools for Mature Students

Considering Going Back to School? Best Schools for Mature Students

If you’re considering going back to school after several years of being out of classes, there are many options to choose from. No matter what type of degree you’re looking for, or the flexibility you need, these are considered to be the best schools for mature students.

1. Excelsior College

    Image via Excelsiorcollege.edu

    At Excelsior College, whose head quarters are in Albany, New York, you have a variety of programs to choose from, including Health Sciences, Cyber Technology, and Business. Whether you’re considering a certificate program or a Master’s degree, Excelsior has the flexibility you need.

    2. Charter Oak State College

      Image via Wikimedia 

      Whether you live in Connecticut or you simply want the best degree at the best prices, consider Charter Oak State College. Here you can pursue Early Childhood certification or Bachelor of Arts in your chosen field, among other degree options.

      3. Maryville University

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        With a variety of great class options, such as a Master of Science in Nursing, you’ll find that Maryville University offers what you need. You can go back to school, even while you’re working, with classes that will fit your schedule.

        4. SUNY Empire State College

          Image via Old.Suny.Edu

          SUNY Empire State College offers an online Master of Business Administration in Global Leadership that can help you pursue your dreams in any field. The online Master of Arts in Learning and Emerging Technologies is a great option for those going into the education field.

          5. American Public University System

            Image via Wikipedia

            Offering small class sizes, even for their online classes, American Public University System allows students to get to know their instructors. Get an Associates in Database Application Development or even a certification in E-commerce here.

            6. DeVry University

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              At DeVry, you’ll be working with a number of other mature students in programs that give you not only the textbook skills, but also the real-world education you need. The school offers some of the most extensive online programs around, with over 40 career field options.

              7. Cardinal Stritch University

                Image via aacn.nche.edu

                Getting an undergraduate or graduate degree is easy at Cardinal Stritch University. Accelerated programs, such as a Bachelor of Science in Management, are ideal for mature students, since you’ll be able to get your degree faster than traditionally expected.

                8. University of Great Falls

                  Image via Greatfallschamber.com

                  Online degrees such as Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Associates in Criminal Justice are available through the University of Great Falls distance learning program. These programs are eligible for grants, scholarships, and more.

                  9. Immaculata University

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                    At Immaculata University, pursuing degrees such as Music Therapy and Educational Leadership allow you to change your career. The value-oriented school offers a unique option for adults looking to further their knowledge.

                    10. Belmont Abbey College

                      Image via cfnc.org

                      Get the personal touch at Belmont Abbey College. You’ll find friendly professors and helpful classmates in programs such as an Actuarial Science concentration or a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. This school offers flexibility to those who want to take classes online and in the classroom.

                      11. Northeastern Illinois University

                        Image via neiu.edu

                        Get a local education from anywhere through Northeastern Illinois University. You can pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, or Bachelor of Arts or Science degree with a focus in your chosen field.

                        12. Madonna University

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                          Madonna University helps you focus on your success. With options that allow you to take classes when you’re available, you can get a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies or a Masters in Liberal Studies and Leadership.

                          13. Utah Valley University

                          Image via Flickr by cruxandgage

                          When you want to get a great education and take all of your classes, or even the majority of them, online consider Utah Valley University. You’ll work with Professors who not only know their field but have also worked in it. You’ll find degrees such as Writing Studies and Forensic Science.

                          14. Dunwoody College of Technology

                            Image via Dunwoody.edu

                            Whether you need an apprenticeship, such as an Automotive Technician Apprenticeship, or you’re considering a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Management, Dunwoody College of Technology can help. At Dunwoody, you can even customize your training, allowing you to take classes when and where you want.

                            15. Bay Path College

                              Image via Wikipedia

                              If you want to take classes in a classroom setting, but don’t have time for traditional school days, the One Day a Week schedule at Bay Path College is beneficial. Degrees through this school include Communications and Information Management and Physician Assistant Studies.

                              As you can see, getting an online education is available to anyone, anywhere in the country. All you need to do is take the next step to further your knowledge.

                              Featured photo credit: CollegeDegrees360 via flickr.com

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                              Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                              11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

                              11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

                              Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

                              Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

                              “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

                              While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

                              The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

                              What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

                              The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

                              1. Cloud Computing

                              “Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

                              There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

                              This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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                              2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

                              Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

                              Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

                              his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

                              3. Data Management

                              All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

                              We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

                              However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

                              4. Scheduling

                              Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

                              An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

                              5. Financial Skills

                              These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

                              While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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                              6. Research Skills

                              These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

                              Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

                              So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

                              If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

                              If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

                              7. Marketing Skills

                              While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

                              Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

                              While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

                              8. Network Security Specialist

                              Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

                              So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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                              9. Communication Skills

                              At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

                              Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

                              10. Computer Programming

                              I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

                              11. Graphic Design

                              As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

                              Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

                              That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

                              Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

                              You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

                              Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

                              Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

                              Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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                              This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

                              You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

                              But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

                              Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

                              In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

                              Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

                              And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

                              The Bottom Line

                              We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

                              We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

                              We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

                              As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

                              More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

                              Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

                              Reference

                              [1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
                              [2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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