How to Make Sure University is a Worthwhile Investment
Studying for a university degree, or other program of higher education, is exceptionally expensive. It can also mean you need to take time out of work, or earn a lot less than you otherwise would. You may also need to move house. Then there’s course materials and living expenses. This all adds up to a small fortune. Worrying about how they will cope unfortunately puts many people off even applying, or leads to them giving up and seeking work before completing their degree. If you do want to go to university, while you probably can’t avoid all the financial pressures, you can make sure they are worth it.
Look at Career Options
Some courses, while great at the time, have limited career options once you graduate. They tie you to a certain field. In some cases, this might not be a bad thing; teachers for example are always in high demand. In other cases, it can be difficult to get a job. Other courses, such as those in healthcare or criminal justice, give you many options upon graduation. Jobs in criminal justice can include everything from social work to law enforcement.
Think About What You Want
Make sure you take some time to think about what you want to study. Some of us have had a dream since we were children, and the path is a natural one. However, most of us aren’t that lucky. If you’re not sure what you would like to do after graduation, look for one of those degrees that gives you options.
Make a Long-Term Plan
It’s often difficult to know where we will be or what we will want in the future. But, when deciding on a degree, it’s important to know you’ve got some long-term options. Criminal justice career opportunities are so varied, you’d have lots of possibilities in the future, either for promotion within your sector, or changing career path. You also need to consider any other life goals. For example, do you want a family one day? Would that fit in with your chosen career path?
Try to avoid debt as much as you can. Nothing makes a degree seem like a bad investment more than having to pay it off for the next 10 years. Apply for any scholarships you think you might be eligible for, as well as bursaries and grants. Then look at your lifestyle. Save money by buying things like clothing and text books second hand. Make meal plans and shopping lists to save money on food. Then look at making savings on your utility bills and cutting back on any luxuries. Try not to make studying any more expensive than it needs to be, and you may be able to graduate without debt.
Choosing the right course, and saving money where you can, can lead to a great career without a lifetime of debt. If you are interested in learning more about criminal justice career opportunities, see Portland State University. Perhaps that’s the right path for you.