4 Resources to Take Away Those Night Sweats

Today’s guest contributor is Zach Buckley, a freelance writer interested in exploring the intersection of culture, science, and education.

It happens every night to thousands of people across the country. You have the inextinguishable anxiety of feeling your skills need an update, but the thought of taking classes (yet again) keeps you up ‘til the early hours of the morning. When you’re not awake drenched in a cold sweat, the idea of being in a classroom pervades your dreams as an obstacle too big to face. Facing school as a “non-traditional student” can be reminiscent of an introvert trying stand-up comedy for the first time–you feel out of place and unprepared, and could probably think of a million things you would rather do.

model for online courses and considerations to go back to school

Online courses offer another option to go back to school.

Luckily, non-traditional students have the opportunity to choose from equally non-traditional educational routes, such as online master’s degree programs. No matter what brought you to the decision to go back to school, the following resources can help eliminate night terrors and help you feel more prepared for the formidable professional world ahead.

1. Udemy.com

This is the place to go for highly reputable online courses at prices you can afford. Many courses are free, but even those that are not have a price tag from $69 to $195. And every so often, they run specials like a $49 course (usually $99) by Robin Nixon to learn HTML5 (the next frontier in web development ) in a self-paced, online class. A class like this prepares you to be there for the development jobs opening now, with the explosion of social and mobile.

2. Opportunity.gov

Whoever says the government can’t be trusted has never been to Opportunity.gov. The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Labor have banded together to offer a helpful variety of resources for students who intend to go back to school to extend their education and ultimately increase their job opportunities. Opportunity.gov recognizes and addresses all of the important issues that students face during this time, including paying for courses, choosing the right institution, and understanding the requirements for certain career paths.

3. Back2College.com

Adults going back to school is the fastest growing student demographic. If you can stomach the name and not be put off by it, you will find this site jam-packed with information about going back to school. Back2College.com is a virtual one-stop shop for non-traditional students to acquire everything from emotional support to expert advice to tools for finding scholarships. The website guides wary students through the process of higher education, including fun little interactive articles that allow you to answer questions about your unique study habits and academic interests—all to help get you on the right track.

4. CollegeBoard.org

Ever wanted to read an unbiased and comprehensive review of the institutions you’re considering? Collegeboard.org allows students to view a full analysis of online colleges and traditional institutions for the scoop on what to expect on enrollment. This platform makes it easy to compare potential colleges and make the best decision for your needs and preferences. One of the most unique and useful features of Collegeboard.org is a forum for students to communicate with one another about academic issues, and offer advice for a less stressful experience overall.

With the resources above at your fingertips, going back to school can be easier and more accessible–especially with the availability of flexible online institutions. No matter what your ambitions are, building up your learning can be the path to change your life and obtain the stability you crave.

Are you thinking of taking courses to freshen up your skills? Have you been doing so? Share your experiences with us in the comments.

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons 2.0, giulia.forsythe.


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Did you enjoy this post?
  • http://www.followgrandmapat.com/ Patcruickshank

    I am Canadian, so some of this info does not apply to us here, but I love that you help people think outside the box and find answers to help them move forward if they are serious about making a change..

  • http://pathtolifesuccess.net/ Hughie Bagnell

    Hi Diane…Thank you for sharing this article by Zach! The intersection of culture, science and education is always an extremely interesting subject. Any resource or piece of information that reduces stress and which enhances preparation, growth and productivity is extremely useful! Great info. …Thanks, Hughie :)

  • http://CarlaJGardiner.com Carla

    Thanks for this look at continuing education from a different perspective. In lieu of college I chose the school of hard knocks, otherwise known as life’s experience. The journey is far from over but it’s surely an adventure.

  • http://twitter.com/AnastasiyaDay AD VirtualAssistance

    Diane, thank you for sharing this post by Zach. As always great post and useful information.

  • Zach_buckley2

    Thanks for the good feedback. I am glad you liked my post. I think it’s important to remember that we should never stop learning, and that education can take many, many forms!

  • SharonODay

    Thanks, Diane, for bringing Zach’s invaluable information to us.  I’ve started toying with the idea of getting a PhD and thinking how “2012” it is for someone with a Wharton MBA to be looking at online education.  But why not, right?  At my age, it’s mostly for the intellectual stretch … so who needs the Ivy League tuition debt?

  • http://twitter.com/tellatic tellatic

    We totally agree that education is a never-ending process.  Besides professional courses like the ones Zach describes above, there are lots of other great opportunities for continuing learning online (we’re actually building a new one, Tellatic.com right now!) Education should be affordable and sometimes the most valuable information comes not from institutions but from others who have gained valuable experiences on their educational journey.  thanks!

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