Choosing the Right School for Your Second Degree
– How to Know It’s the Right Fit
You’ve made your decision: To advance your career and reach your true professional potential, you’re heading back to school. You’re going to get a second degree.
Now comes the real challenge: choosing the right school for your needs. How do you know the institution upon which you eventually settle is the right fit?
There are no guarantees in life, of course, but those seeking a second degree who follow these tips and best practices generally wind up satisfied with their choice.
Consider the Location (In All Senses of the Word)
Geography is a great way to narrow down your list of college choices. If you’re not willing to go to school outside your hometown’s commuter belt, you’ll have far fewer options — which might not necessarily be a bad thing.
Other geographical considerations include the setting — is the campus in a vibrant urban neighborhood, a remote rural area, or something in between?
Look for a Multitude of Attractive Degree and Certificate Options
Consider the range of degree and certificate options available to students who haven’t yet chosen a career path. Modern digital arts schools like this Canadian arts and technology centre typically offer dozens of practical and creative degrees, making it easy to find the perfect academic program (and to switch course if your whims chance).
Suss Out Flexibility
This is especially important for students planning to work part- or even full-time while in school. Can you complete most or all of your coursework online? Does the school offer evening or weekend classes? Are instructors willing to accommodate students’ academic and professional schedules? These are all questions to ask.
Decide Whether You Want to Go Big or Stay Small (Or Meet in the Middle)
Some students love getting lost in the crowd. Others enjoy personalized attention. Some prefer a mix of both. Whatever you prefer, you’ll want to choose an institution with optimal cohort and class sizes, as well as reasonable faculty-student ratios.
Assess Campus Feel and “Fit”
If at all possible, visit the campus of every school you’re seriously considering. This is the only way to assess intangible characteristics that aren’t apparent from institutional literature, and may be the only way to ensure you choose the perfect fit for your needs.
Don’t Forget About Extracurriculars
Look for schools with plenty of outside-the-classroom opportunities, such as extracurricular clubs, internships, externships, and work-study programs. Wherever possible, talk to current and former students about their experiences.
Don’t Settle for Less
These days, the sheer amount of choice in the world is positively overwhelming. Nowhere is this more true than the educational space, where relentless innovation has created a true choose-your-own-adventure scenario. No matter where you come from or what you love to do, you can find a scholarly home that allows you to pursue your passion while setting yourself up for a fruitful, materially successful career.
Amid such choice and opportunity, why would you ever settle for a subpar school? With careful research and a willingness to listen to your heart, you’re sure to find a place that’s right for you