What programs can I select from?
Programs of study are offered in virtually every academic field. You should select a particular program of study both for its subject content and for its duration of study. You may primarily be interested in programs in the liberal arts. These provide you a broad introduction to the arts and sciences and focus on skills such as critical thinking and analysis that may be applied to fields as diverse as journalism, advertising, sales and law. Other people find that programs in particular fields of study such as engineering, information technology, law and nursing are a better fit for their goals.
The duration of programs also varies depending on your goals. A bachelor’s program is ideal if you are looking for a foundation on which to get an entry level job. Master’s programs allow you to demonstrate additional depth of knowledge. Doctoral programs prepare you for careers in learning and research.
Sometimes you are only interested in completing a few relevant courses in an area of interest. In this case, certificates may fulfill your needs better than some programs.
Can I complete programs online?
Yes, online programs are growing in popularity and are increasingly recognized by employers. Online programs involve downloading or streaming video lectures that look fairly similar to what you would see in a class. You can obtain all handouts, slides and assignments in electronic formats. You can interact with peers and instructors on forums and through social media channels.
Where do I get funding for my programs?
Programs are expensive but the good news is that there are many funding options available. Many times, you will find that you can apply for financial aid directly at the institution you are hoping to attend. These institutions allow you to apply for aid that is awarded after considerations of both need and merit.
If you are not eligible for aid directly from the institution, you may find that the next best option for funding is to apply directly to agencies that cater to students from specific demographics or those pursuing specific careers. You may be expected to submit your academic particulars, letters of recommendation and essays for consideration. These scholarships tend to be competitive so you are advised to apply well in advance and write compelling essays. The best essays are those that establish that your profile is ideal for that the scholarship committee is looking for.
How do I use online resources to find sources of funding?
Online portals are perhaps the best place to look for sources of funding. Such portals compile all the sources of funding and allow you to sort through them based on quantity of funding and eligibility. You should also study case studies of students who have won the awards in the past to judge your eligibility. Online resources are great first steps but you will have to conduct your own research to be sure that you are making the best decisions in picking programs.