What’s your major, Mom?

June 20, 2012

Once you decide to return to college, you may realize you're not quite sure what field to study. For moms heading back to school, here are some tips for choosing your major:

Do what you love
It's been said a thousand times before, but honestly, you want to pick a major you love and are willing to dedicate yourself to. Plus, after you graduate, this field will become your career area, so it should be a subject that maintains your interest.

Work around your schedule
When scrolling through the list of majors, consider which profession will work with your lifestyle. Flexible hours will help you balance work with motherhood. Ask other working or student moms if they have any suggestions, or read through sources like Working Mother Magazine.

Look for a program you can afford
The cost of college shouldn't put you in so much debt that you spend the rest of your career paying back loans. Compare the costs of night school and online classes. Then, search the internet to find scholarships for mothers, like the Women's Independence Scholarship Program (WISP) and Project Working Mom awards.

Research fields of interest
If you find an industry that excites you, research it online, borrow library books on the topic and ask your family and friends if they have any advice or know anyone in that career.

Find a place to start
For any moms who feel entirely lost, some fields to look into are education and healthcare.Teaching coincides well with motherhood because the work hours are the same as school hours - you won't need a babysitter everyday. Many colleges provide teacher certification programs, from Drexel University in Pennsylvania to Liberty University in Virginia, which both offer online courses. Meanwhile, the healthcare industry continues to expand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.71 million Americans were employed in 2006 as healthcare practitioners or in another technical occupation in that field. By 2011, the number of Americans in these professions had reached 7.51 million. Start your research in any field that catches your eye, and see where it leads. 

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