Today in the United States our unemployment rate is nearing 10 percent. Jobs seem far and few between, and even more so for Americans not already working. What do I mean? Well, seemingly enough in this very tough economy, employers have the upper hand. Americans already working are more likely to get a job regardless of any related work experience, than an American who is not working; this making it even harder on unemployed Americans to find work. I am a 39 year old who spent my whole life working hard regardless of the positions I held. In 2007 I found myself in a position where I needed to make some changes in my life, which led to my own unemployment. A year later when I was ready to return to the work force, I ran into two major obstacles. I was one of many Americans who started working full time right out of high school, never pursuing a higher education, and the other was that our economy in America was about to crumble, thus giving the employer the upper hand as far as the job market is concerned. Employers can now pick and choose; there are hundreds of applicants for a single job today. What I would like to impose upon anyone who is going through a situation such as my own experience, and to anyone else who has not pursued higher education is this; employers are in control today, and there are many jobs out there that unless you posses an associates degree at minimum, Americans just don’t have much of an opportunity to land that job, that could just make all the difference in the world to their livelihoods. Don’t get me wrong though, any degree is good but even today an associate’s degree just doesn’t cut it. And I would further impose the notion; why stop there?
One thing that I was never told when I graduated high school was that any American can go to college, I am not saying that would have made a difference to me at that time in my life, however all the same, I was unaware of this. As Americans we are all entitled to “Federal Student Aid” (grants and loans), with the only exception I am aware of is; individuals convicted of drug related felonies. Today with the economy as bad as it is, it may not seem like the best option to incur a lot of debt, and that there just isn’t enough time to go back to school to further education, or even for some it might be that there is just too much family obligation. Well one thing that has changed drastically over the years is that educational techniques have become tailor made. Today Americans can choose educational options such as the traditional in class option or they can further their education by other methods such as online or even blended classes. Online education is just that; a means of getting that degree online. However, most college’s offer blended courses as well. Blended courses are an option that allows an individual the opportunity to take a class on site (generally one or two classes a week depending whether you attend full time or not), while completing most of your work online from home, giving an individual a little more convenience as to how and when they can complete their work.
My intention here is not to convince anyone to incur a lot of debt, especially debt that will prove to be detrimental; my only intent here is to convey to others, people like me who might find themselves in a never ending cycle of low income jobs, or even unemployment, that there are ways of bettering situations. I truly feel that education is the key to success; businesses want individuals with degrees. By no means has it been easy for me to go back to school after 20 years, but it has not only benefited me educationally, but it has proven to be self satisfying as well. It has given me a sense of accomplishment. I am four months away from my bachelor’s degree and have made the decision to continue for my master’s degree immediately thereafter. However, not having even obtained my first degree yet, furthering my education has already proven to be beneficial to me.
If anyone has any thoughts about furthering their education, I would only suggest a few things. First, think about what you’re truly interested in before making such a commitment. Secondly, research all of your options as far as schools go for the degree you want; education is expensive and when it comes to repaying the loans, try to keep them as low as possible. Remember the different options you have to choose from as to how you want to pursue your education, whether on site, blended or even online. Once you have done all your research then all that’s left is filling out your “Federal Student Aid”.
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