Would you like to finish your degree or start a new one? We have identified hundreds of fully accredited colleges and universities offering flexible programs – like online classes – to meet your needs and help pursue your degree or certification.
The Guide to Online Schools makes it easy, comprehensively listing places in terms of quality and tuition. You can choose criteria like the most affordable or the most recommended (based on feedback from former students through the “largest database of independent online reviews”). What comes up is an easy-to-read layout listing schools alphabetically, with the basic cost at a glance. Each name is hyperlinked to a page that gives far more detail, including partner schools, accreditation specs and the URL to the school itself. Saves you eons of research time!
TIP: Check out their extensive Military Friendly list!
Accredited Schools Online, which allows you to explore by major, level of degree, vocation, or state, will also help you drill down the plethora of choices.
‘Remember that as military, you’re entitled to military aid as well as federal aid and state aid in the form of school grants and college loans. Grants and scholarships are gift aid that don’t need to be repaid. Private loans usually have higher interest rates and repayment terms.’ — Military.com
Financial aid is available through Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MYCAA). The DoD improved upon the program so it now offers up to $4,000 in financial aid to military spouses! And, MilitaryRates.com has a great article that walks you through the details of educational assistance for survivors and dependents.
There are those enviable people who know just what they want to do – or who may have strong marketable talents that directs their career choices. If you are in the majority that’s not so sure, it’s really a good idea to make that decision before you pursue education so you don’t waste time, money and your benefits.
In general, you want to explore with an eye toward something that is not location dependent. You can work for someone else/a company or for yourself… or you may not be so interested in pursuing a set career as getting a full or part time job for extra cash, social interaction, and enjoyment. As a military spouse you have a few unique challenges but just as many advantages.
WORKING FOR OTHERS
There are the kinds of positions that are in such high demand, that you can find openings almost anywhere you land … in teaching or the healthcare field for example, especially for the elderly, assisted living, home care and hospice. Read more in Nine Jobs for Military Spouses That Move With You.
Or you can have a profession that is geared toward the military customer. This is great because there’s a client base available to you everywhere you go as a result of being part of a military family – a specialty that gives you an edge over other job seekers who reside in the area.
Military.com offers a page listing several articles on all aspects of military spouse employment, from doing your resume, to advice on job hunting, and a lot of How-To’s for the interview process to help once you are at that stage.
WORKING FOR YOURSELF
There are many freelance/consulting careers where, thanks to the internet, Google Hangouts, Skype, conference calls and things like Drop Box, you can have clients all over the country or the world, and where you live (and sometimes even having a degree) doesn’t matter. It is not like other jobs where you need to develop a customer base from scratch every time you land somewhere new. Depending on how connected you are, it can take up to two years to get a true income rolling… and then it can be time to PCS and start almost all over again.
So, say as a writer, graphic designer, social media marketer or a computer programmer, developer or IT support you can work remotely. And now more than ever it’s easier to start, build and sustain a cottage industry on the go thanks to platforms such as Etsy.com, ebay and Amazon.
You may not need a degree for all of the above, but you can still utilize the support you get from the military to take classes that will help you in your endeavors. A great place to learn all the major computer programs and or brush up on skills you might use everyday in business is Lynda.com. Select an affordable monthly fee and their entire library of tutorials in the form of clear, short videos becomes available to you. Whether it’s Excel, Photoshop or PowerPoint, you can learn an entire program from start to finish, or just pick the newest update to one you already know to keep current. Thanks to this site, some are no longer paying crushing tuition to get degrees in order to be skilled enough to hold positions in film editing, coding, photo editing, and graphics. In those professions, it’s less about your degree and more about how good you are at what you do.
TIP: If you’re not sure if college is for you, or want to sample a class in a field you are considering to see if it’s a fit, you can get your feet wet with little downside by trying a free online course (some from MIT, Yale, Harvard) through OpenCulture.com. They list free audio and video lectures that can be downloaded through iTunes and YouTube.
Now more than ever, you have so much available to support your goals and dreams. This is just a sample of what’s out there to help you realize your potential. We’d love to hear if you have studied online and have any other other suggestions to add, so please share your experience in the comment section!