Friday, December 23, 2011

The New Year Can be Your Chance: Turn Time at Home into a Career Opportunity

Being a stay-at-home mom is job in itself. However, as your kids get older and you have some free time available, you may want to use this time to take a step towards advancing your career when you return to the workforce.

No Better Time than New Year’s

Whether it’s a resolution or just something to think about, start by asking yourself what you want out of your career. Does the level of education you currently have allow you to pursue the career you want? Where do you see yourself 10 or 20 years from now? If the answer is "no" and you see yourself in a position you currently do not have the qualifications for, it may be time to consider acquiring a master's degree so you can pursue a rewarding and challenging career.

Masters for Moms

If you like the general industry you were in prior to taking time off, acquiring a master's degree just means you will have more opportunity for advancement. With children at home, you want a stable career that allows you to advance and earn a salary that provides for you and those who count on you. A master of business or MBA is the most common master's degree. An MBA can be applied in a variety of business situations and open the door to many advancement opportunities. Before you start sifting through the list of reasons why you cannot obtain a masters, let's focus on how easy it is to achieve this goal.

Online or Offline

Many schools now offer courses online with flexible schedules that allow you to continue pursing a degree while remaining at home or returning to the workforce in a temporary, part-time job. Nearly 2,000 graduate business schools require GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) scores as part of the admission process. This test measures basic math, verbal and analytical writing skills. The test costs $250, but is valid for five years. Testing centers are located throughout the country.

Consider a Dual Degree

Programs to obtain a master's degree range from 1-4 years, depending on your current education level. Some take previous business experience into consideration. If an MBA does not exactly meet your career goals, consider a dual degree. A MBA can be paired with a law, medical or other graduate degree. Keep in mind that an MBA opens a lot of doors spanning many different careers. Adding a dual major allows you to branch out into specialties. For example, an MBA with a dual medical major makes you eligible for several positions in the health care industry. An MBA with a dual legal major can set you on the path to a career in the administrative side of law.

Scholarships & Grants

The biggest obstacle to pursuing a masters degree is determining how you are going to pay for it. Fortunately, there are several options in terms of funding to help make obtaining an advanced education a realistic goal. Many scholarships and grants are available to those who qualify. As an added bonus, this money often does not need to be repaid. You would be surprised at how many grant options are available. A main requirement of many of these grants is to show good academic progress.

Another option is to enter your chosen career in an entry-level or part-time position and receive funding to continue your education and advance into your desired position once you obtain your masters. Many employers are willing to invest in an employee who wants to grow and advance with a company. Education holds the key to your future, the options available today makes opening those doors a lot easier.

Author Sylvia Masters is a mother and a careers counselor and suggests if you have a love for all things computer, you may want to check out to explore all the avenues available, such as best masters in IT project management.

alt="YOUR TEXT HERE"rel="Facebook image"src="IMAGE URL HERE"style="display:none;">