Deciding you’re ready to further your education is exciting, to be sure. A college degree is your golden ticket to a better future for yourself and a more fulfilling professional life. Earning it is an experience that’s sure to be enriching on every possible level, as well. The only downside is how long it takes to finish!
When you decide you’re ready to build a better life, you naturally want that life to start as quickly as possible, so it makes sense to want to finish school promptly. Here are some pointers for completing your degree sooner rather than later.
1. Commit to year-round schooling
When you’re a kid, the mere idea of summer school sounds like the worst thing in the world. But now that you’ve reached adulthood, it just might be the fast track through higher education that you’re looking for. Every summer you commit to your schooling is a chance to sink another batch of credits.
Making college a year-round thing comes with other benefits, as well. Not taking several months off at a time keeps the material fresher in your mind, so it’s easier to stay sharp. The vibe on campus is also a bit more laid back during the summer, so it’s a fun place to be during the warmer months, even if it does mean saying “no” to the beach a little more often.
2. Look into competency-based learning
If you’re still in the process of deciding where to go to school and you’re serious about completing your degree ASAP, consider finding out which establishments offer competency-based learning as an option. Competency-based learning programs let students learn and complete course material at their own pace, whatever that happens to be.
If you tend to be a fast learner, this option will likely save you time and money. And in the event you need more time with something specific, competency-based learning gives you the option of taking it. You progress through your program based on how well and how quickly you master the material, so you’ll have the freedom you need to work however you work best.
3. Apply your existing experience where possible
Just as you can often apply credits earned at other colleges toward your degree, you can usually do the same with other types of experience. If anything from your professional or personal life relates in any way to your degree, it could be your ticket past the more rudimentary course requirements of your program.
Speak to a counselor or representative from your school of choice to see what options they offer in this regard. In addition to work experience, volunteer work, community work, or military service may also prove valuable.
4. Consider an online learning program
If your school of choice offers an online learning program, it’s to your benefit to look into it sooner rather than later. Many accredited colleges offer accelerated degree programs for those willing to learn online, making getting your degree as quickly as possible a simple process. Such programs are also designed to fit into an already busy schedule, making it easier to keep working and handling other responsibilities while you learn.
Quite a few colleges offer blended programs, as well – programs that are completed partially online and partially in a traditional classroom setting. Look into what’s available, and consider which picks would be best for your needs and lifestyle.
These days, there are many ways to continue your education without dropping your entire life to study full-time in a traditional learning environment. Carefully explore all your choices, weigh the pros and cons, choose wisely, and you’ll be where you want to be in no time.