This month, we’d like to discuss a topic that we believe is relevant to many of our readers: education. Education is important in our lives because it brings stability and opportunities for advancement and higher income. An education can help you become a more useful, contributing member of society and someone who recognizes the need for fairness and equality in the world. Education can also bring an increased level of confidence and self-reliance to someone’s life.
For a professional who already has a degree but has not been in the classroom for 10 years or more, continuing education can offer a chance to brush up on previously-learned skills and acquire new skills and credentials current to developing trends in the market, especially in the ever-changing field of technology. You may find that you’d like to advance in your company or your field but you are unsure of your ability to keep up with a changing business scene. Pursuing an additional degree or program of professional development can assuage these fears and position you back at the top of your field as someone who is ready to compete and conquer new challenges.
For professionals with young, growing families, the challenge of finding the space and time to pursue a new course of study is even greater. How does one manage a full-time job, soccer practice and family dinner, and the pursuit of a new degree? The fact is that many professionals looking toward more education are finding themselves in exactly this place. The popularity of online education, due to its flexibility and expansive list of options and offerings, is increasing rapidly as people are realizing how doable it really is. We asked the University of Nebraska Online to share stories of success from some of their alumni who have found a higher path to peace and security through their experiences receiving an education online.
“As a young mom, I struggled with the challenges of even being able to consider college, but as time passed I was determined to pursue a career and an opportunity presented itself,” said Natalia McCain, a graduate of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “I chose online learning for the convenience and flexibility of my education as I had to make it work with a very demanding nursing position. The educational tracks provided at UNMC as well as the flexibility within those tracks were the absolute deciding factors for me,” she shared.
“What happens with this online world is you are given these options, and now you have the opportunity to become educated in a field that you’re passionate about,” said another alumni, Felicia Webb, a graduate of Social Gerontology, BGS & Master’s, from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Curtis Reese, a graduate of the Biology MS program from the University of Nebraska at Kearney tells students, “If you want to live your normal life, advance your career, and get a high-quality education, then I think University of Nebraska online programs could be the thing for you.”
“You cannot stop learning and improving,” said Pedro Londono, an MBA graduate from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. “Education is a must and requirement in today’s business world.”
The University of Nebraska’s four campuses offer more than 150 online degrees, certificate and endorsement programs, from bachelor to doctoral, across 16 fields of study. Online programs are available in high-demand areas such as business, health care, computer science, and education. University of Nebraska online programs give adult learners from around the world access to the opportunity to be taught by the same expert faculty who teach at the four University of Nebraska campuses. Their online courses are challenging, current, and relevant. NU faculty and staff are extraordinarily responsive to student needs, creating a highly-interactive community of learners that encourages and values collaboration between professors and students. As a result, students are well-equipped to achieve academic goals and to immediately apply learnings in the workplace.
According to the Nebraska Department of Labor, in the next few years, Nebraska will have 34,000 annual openings in jobs like engineering, nursing, business, and IT. More than two-thirds of these jobs will require an associate’s degree or higher. To move the state’s economy forward, it is important to be able to fill the high-skill, high-demand, high-wage jobs within the state. The University of Nebraska is committed to equipping Nebraskans with high-demand skills and providing accessibility to high-quality online programs that will enhance their careers and advance the state’s future in this modern, past-paced and tech-heavy world.
Southeast Community College is another institution that offers a wealth of opportunities for professional development and obtaining a variety of degrees in different fields. For anyone looking to fit in a class or two while still working and caring for a family and other responsibilities, the convenience of SCC is ideal. We spoke to SCC President Dr. Paul Illich to learn more.
“Southeast Community College is unique and vital to the Nebraska economy and the strength of our communities given that we offer over 60 technical programs in the skilled areas where the state is experiencing shortages of skilled workers, including health sciences, construction, welding, information technology, transportation, and many others,” he said. “SCC is expanding its capacity to produce skilled workers through the addition and renovation of facilities, creation of new satellite locations, new programs, and affordable tuition and fees to ensure everyone has access to the life changing benefits of higher education.”
Even beyond getting a degree or new credential, continuing education can still be an important way for individuals to stretch and grow to new levels of ability and experience. Southeast Community College offers many classes and programs in areas of personal interest, such as dancing, cooking, gardening, photography—even raising chickens! Taking a class on something new and different is a fun and safe way to dislodge someone who has felt stuck in a rut or afraid to take risks.
Education can open doors for exciting new careers and experiences. If you are considering continuing your education and pursuing a degree or taking a class to learn something new, remember to look to local institutions and the excellent options they have available!