Education does make sense for mid-life career changers… if you choose targeted, focused education from appropriate programs. But it’s not always easy to find the right schools. For instance, online education can be extremely valuable when you choose an accredited program that’s recognized in your field. But you will find many diploma mills and fake schools offering online programs because (a) they’re cheap to set up and (b) they’re appealing to working students. Some of these schools don’t even exist.
Be especially careful of ads inviting you to apply.
It sounds SO appealing: “You’re losing $21000 if you DON’T go back to school…” You complete some questions about your background, age, interest, previous schools and majors. Then a list pops up of schools for you.
Don’t believe it. Check out this page.
Why would anyone recommend schools for you? They’re getting a commission, of course! Who’s paying the commission? Established, accredited schools don’t have to.
I’d also be careful of schools that never fail anyone and schools that permit plagiarized work. “Real” universities and colleges have policies related to plagiarism in their student handbooks.
Additionally, be wary of schools where all the professors came from the same place … usually the school where they’re teaching. A few professors do teach at the schools where they got their degrees but you shouldn’t find that half the faculty graduated from there. Most people teaching at top universities do not teach at the school that granted their degrees. If they do, they usually teach at another institution first.
How do you check out a school? You have to go beyond accreditation. Find out if employers respect your school. I’ve seen dozens of students who attended a school at great expense of time and money … only to learn their education had no value. Worse, employers raised an eyebrow: “Why would you go there?”
I’ve created a comprehensive, straight talk Report you can download at http://www.MidlifeCareerStrategy.com/blog/schoolbook