Thursday, February 24, 2011

The beginning

I have always known that I needed more schooling. I was in the middle of a diploma when I got pregnant with my first child. I quit school with full intentions of going back, but as it does, life got in the way- financial issues, daycare issues and time issues. So I decided to stay home with the kids and have an in home daycare so I could care for my children but also make some money. I knew this wasn't something I wanted to do long term but I never thought beyond once the kids were old enough to start school.

Once my oldest started school I felt it was time to go into the workforce full time. I closed my in home daycare and started a job at a local flower shop. At first I loved the job, I got to make beautiful things with flowers. I was promised a promotion which only made the job more enjoyable. But all the while my direct supervisor was harassing me. I figured since everyone knew how she was and that I wasn't the only she was harassing that she wouldn't last long. I was wrong and when I brought my concerns to the owners they disregarded me and my concerns. So I left that job, I felt there was no reason why I should be talked to like I was worth nothing by a girl that is younger then me and only earning minimum wage to boot.

The decision to leave has made my lack of schooling situation only more obvious so it was time to sit down and figure out what to do. I spent a lot of time doing research. I knew what I was interested in doing because I had taken some continuing education courses in subjects I was interested in at my local college. That gave me great insight into what I really could see myself doing and helped me to narrow down from subjects I found a passing interest in to ones I could make a career out of.

I also visited a lot of employment websites, mostly government ones. They had career quizzes to help see where your strengths lay and the sites give lots of information on future in demand careers. I also went on a lot of university websites to see what schooling I needed to get my Masters- this is the education level I am striving for- and what formats their schooling was delivered in- the university near me is a more science focused school whereas I am interested in the social sciences so I have been looking at what I can achieve online.

Online seemed to be the best format for me, it would enable me to still be at home with the kids so we wouldn't have to worry about daycare and I can do a part time job to help with our financial responsibilities. I found a school that had exactly the program I was looking for and I discussed with their admissions counsellors whether my educational goals were feasible as a distance education. I was excited to hear that I can get the bachelors degree that I want online and I can do my masters in one year instead of the two they usually require because of the course I was going to apply for.

I applied immediately after I had satisfied all my questions and now I am waiting to hear if my application will be accepted.

So my first steps were: Take some continuing education courses at my local college
Research! - future job demand, career quizzes, universities and
colleges that offer the degree you are interested in, government funding
Discuss whether full time if a feasible option or look into other options
such as online or part time nights depending on your situation

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