Tips for stay at home moms who need help choosing the best degree for them
Many stay at home moms who want to go back to college are stuck trying to figure out the best degrees for them. Choosing the best degree for you can become a big dilemma and lead to analysis paralysis. Because while there are lots of good majors for stay at home moms, the fact is, not all of them is right for you.
So, just looking at a random list of majors or a list of best degrees for stay at home moms really isn’t sufficient, if you feel stuck. There are some tough questions you need to ask before you make this very important decision of going back to school.
In this post, I want to guide you and offer some tips that will help you figure out the best degree for you. So, if you are ready, let’s dive right in!
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1. IDENTIFY THE PURPOSE OF YOUR DEGREE
Before choosing a major, it’s important to identify the purpose of your degree. Why do you want to go to college to study a particular course? Is it for self-validation, to improve your self-worth or self-esteem, to get back into the workforce, or to prove to people that they were wrong about you?
This is important because your reason for going back to school will help you determine the best major for you or whether it’s worth pursuing a particular program. Also, identifying your purpose for going back to college is the first step to success for moms.
I have heard from stay at home moms who desperately want to go back to school but have no clue what for. The problem with this is that there’s a danger you could end up choosing a degree off the cuff, then finding out you don’t like it, it’s too hard, or the job prospects are not very good. So, I really want you to nail this down before you take any more steps.
College is expensive and you don’t want to waste time or money on something you won’t complete.
2. HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST DEGREES FOR STAY AT HOME MOMS: THINK ABOUT YOUR INTERESTS AND ABILITY
When you are trying to decide on a major, a good starting point is to consider your interests, abilities, and skills.
What are your interests? What do you like doing? Can you think of some things you are good at? Once, you have identified some of your interests, skills, or abilities, then you can now start to think of a degree that matches them.
Now, it’s possible to develop new interests or to learn new skills, so I don’t want you to think you have to stick to these criteria. I never in my wildest dream thought I could be a nurse. It wasn’t one of my interests and I didn’t think I had the skills for it. But, I was able to learn the necessary skills because I worked hard and was committed to the cause.
So, don’t limit yourself to only degrees that align with your current interests or skills. If you are interested in a major and you think you have what it takes to start and complete the course, it’s worth considering and pursuing.
3. DON’T CHOOSE A DEGREE BECAUSE OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
Don’t choose a degree because other people think you should or because it’s what everyone in your family chose. If you don’t have a desire for it or don’t think you can do it, please don’t allow yourself to get pushed or pressured into something you don’t want.
For example, choosing a nursing degree because all the women in your family are nurses or deciding to be a teacher because all the women in your family are teachers. While some traditions are nice to keep alive, I don’t think a college degree should be one of them.
So, don’t feel like you have to live up to other people’s expectations of you. I know this can be tough especially in situations where a parent or family member is paying for your education and they have thoughts on what you should study.
Remember that you are the one who has to go to school to earn that degree, so don’t choose something that will make you unhappy or stressed out. It’s not really worth it.
4. START SLOW WHILE YOU FIGURE THINGS OUT
Whether it’s trying to figure out the best online degrees for stay at home moms or good majors for stay at home moms, there’s some benefit in starting slow while trying to figure things out.
As an example, if you have been out of school for a long time and would like to get your feet wet while you are still trying to choose a major, you can start by taking some general education classes. You can do this through a community college (online or on-campus).
A lot of general education classes can be used for lots of degrees, so you can start there if you don’t want to waste any more time or you just want to start working on your degree. I recommend this approach for stay at home moms who are certain about going to school but they need a little more time to sort things out.
5. DO LOTS OF RESEARCH AND GET HELP
If you are completely clueless about what you’d like to study in college, you can start by doing lots of research about the different degrees that are available in your area. You can also take one of these career tests or surveys online.
Another way to figure this out is to speak with people in different careers you are interested in or maybe you can job shadow a few of them. Another option is to take a career exploration course to get a feel for what you might be interested in.
A very neat trick is to check out the programs offered by your local colleges to see if anything catches your eye. Go to your local community college’s website, look for the courses and programs catalog, then check out what degrees and certificates they offer.
If any program catches your eye, click on it, read more about it, check out the degree requirement and what classes or courses you will need to take, and the number of credits required for graduation.
This method can be an effective way to find a degree, so give it a try, you just might be surprised what you’d find. Finally, if all else fails, try speaking to a career counselor or advisor at your local college. Some of them can be very helpful, and they can steer you in the right direction.
6. FINDING THE BEST DEGREES FOR STAY AT HOME MOMS: CHOOSE A DEGREE THAT ALIGNS WITH YOUR GOALS
Whether it’s finding the best online degrees for stay at home moms or courses for stay at home moms, it’s very important to choose something that aligns with your short-term and long-term goals.
I know it can be hard to think very far ahead, but if you are used to setting goals, then you should have an idea or a vision of what you want your life to look like years from now. So, before choosing a major to study, think about how the degree will fit into your future life.
For example, if one of your goals is to make a decent amount of money so you can be financially free, you have to choose a degree with good earning potential. Also, if having benefits like health and retirement are important to you, you have to consider that before making a decision.
Do you need a degree that offers a lot of options? Or one where you can work from anywhere (including at home)?
What I mean is a degree that you can use in a number of settings. For example, as a nurse, you can work in diverse settings. You can work in a doctor’s office, school, hospital, nursing home, do home visits, (home health), work in the prison, or work in non-patient settings like an administrator.
As you can see, a nursing degree offers a lot of options and the pay can be really good.
Something else you should consider is flexibility. Do you want a career or job that provides flexible hours and is family-friendly? Then, the best degree for you would be the one that aligns with your needs.
7. CONSIDER HOW MUCH TIME YOU CAN DEVOTE TO YOUR DEGREE AND HOW DEMANDING IT WILL BE
One mistake a lot of moms make is to go back to college, choose a course, without thinking about the time commitment or how long it would take them to complete the degree.
Unless you want to be in college forever, you must think about how much time you can devote to your schoolwork and how many years it will take to earn a degree ( as a part-time or full-time student). Yes, this applies whether you are going to school online or on campus.
The best online degrees for stay at home moms are the ones where you can conveniently juggle motherhood and your other responsibilities. You don’t want to sign up for a course that’s very demanding if your parenting responsibilities won’t allow you to focus on it.
So, when you are thinking of degrees for stay at home moms, make sure you consider your present circumstances and how a particular degree will fit into your current life. If balancing college and family life is important to you, then you may want to avoid anything too hectic or demanding.
Now, let me say that no matter what degree you choose, you will need to make some adjustments to your current lifestyle, but it should be within reason and something you can realistically handle.
8. WORK OUT WHAT COLLEGE DEGREES PAY WELL
Unless money isn’t a problem for you or you are just going back to college for fun, you need a degree that can pay well. The other day, I came across a mom who said she felt disappointed because after going through college, she discovered that her degree pays a little over the minimum wage (in her area).
Well, it’s possible the pay is higher in other places, but if she’s not thinking of relocating, then it doesn’t really matter. So, that’s something you need to consider before you settle for a major. Because you don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy working on a degree only to find out it doesn’t pay well or make a big difference to your finances.
So, before you enroll in any course, ask yourself “does this degree have the potential to pay well?” Do some research. Talk to anyone you know who currently works in the field you are thinking of going into. Focus on how much a degree pays in your area unless you plan to relocate or move with a higher-paying job.
Don’t look at salaries in New York if you live in Kansas or Tennessee. I mean you can look at it for comparison sake or to have more information, but your research should be focused on your local area.
While salary isn’t the only criteria for choosing a college degree, it’s a very important one for most people, so consider that before making a decision.
9. CONSIDER AFFORDABILITY
While there are lots of degrees for stay at home moms to pursue, you shouldn’t choose a program, if you can’t afford it. It doesn’t matter how good a major is if you don’t have the means to pay for it.
Yes, I know there are lots of different ways to pay for college, but with the student loan crisis, you have to be careful about taking huge loans to finance college because, at the end of the day, you are going to have to pay them back.
If the idea of being saddled with student loans for much of your working life doesn’t appeal to you, then you must consider affordability before you begin any college program.
Start by thinking about how much the degree will cost you and how much you can contribute out-of-pocket before you think about how much financial aid or loans you will require to pay for the degree.
There are lots of good majors that are affordable, so take your time to find something that you can easily afford (or with a little bit of help).
10. CONSIDER POSSIBLE ROADBLOCKS
Yes, you don’t want to think about anything negative when you are thinking of going back to college as a stay at home mom. But, I will be the first to say that college as a mom can be pretty rough. So, it’s better to acknowledge that up front and have a plan for dealing with potential obstacles.
Before you commit to a college or degree, take some time to identify some potential obstacles and how you will deal with them. For example, babysitting, finding study time with kids at home, health issues, transportation to college, managing your home, or spending time with your family.
While these may not sound like a big deal, trust me, they can be. Lots of moms have dropped out of college for one or more of these reasons. They just couldn’t cope or manage all the challenges they faced.
So, identify potential obstacles to completing a degree, then come up with a plan to address them. Yes, this also applies to online degrees. You need time to attend your online lectures, participate, do assignments, and study!
11. BEST ONLINE DEGREE FOR STAY AT HOME MOMS: THE ONE YOU’D WANT TO COMPLETE
Okay, I know this heading is a bit cheeky but it’s true. Don’t choose a degree that you are not going to want to complete after one or two semesters. So, the question now is, how do you know beforehand how you will feel?
Well, while I can’t guarantee how you will feel after two semesters in college, I believe if you take the time to go through all the other tips and suggestions in this post, you are less likely to drop out before completing your degree.
A lot of moms jump into college, start a program because they are enthusiastic about it, or read good reviews about it, only to find out months, or maybe years later, that this is just not the degree for them.
Maybe it is boring, not compatible with your lifestyle, you are struggling to maintain a good GPA, or for some other reason. This happens a lot so don’t think that it can’t happen to you.
So, think ahead. How will you feel in a year’s time if you choose a particular degree?
If you don’t consider this before choosing a college degree and just go with a list of “online degrees for stay at home moms or degrees for stay at home moms,” it’s easy to end up with a degree you don’t like, a course you won’t complete, or one that doesn’t pay well.
GOOD MAJORS FOR STAY AT HOME MOMS
A good major for you will be one that offers a lot of benefits, align with your goals, pays well, is affordable, and you have the skills, interests, experience, or background to complete it.
Now, let me end this post with my very short list of best degrees for stay at home moms.
- Information technology
You can also check out the post below for some more ideas.
20 American jobs dominated by women — and that also pay them what they deserve
Next steps for finding the best degrees for stay at home moms
Going back to college and choosing the right degree are two of the most important decisions you could ever make as a stay at home mom. That’s why it’s really important for you to try to get it right.
You don’t want to keep switching majors, so do proper research before you enroll in any course.
While there are no guarantees, you can take some steps that will put you on the right path. This post has given you a lot of ideas and tips that will make this process much easier for you. So, go ahead, work your way through the tips in this post, and use them as a roadmap for finding the best college degree for you.
Good luck, mama!
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