Each year, millions of people enroll in higher education programs — whether that be through traditional education like universities or community colleges, or through career training programs or vocational schools. And when it comes to those looking to enter or grow in a career in education, there’s no shortage of choices along any of these paths. If education is the right career for you, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing a training program that fits your needs and sets you on your preferred trajectory. So how do you know what’s the best education training program for you? We’ve put together a guide to help you know what to look for!
Compare program costs
The cost of education programs can vary widely, based on any factors like location, program length, specialization, and more. Though it may be in your best interest to pay more money for the right school, you might also be better served to opt for the less expensive one; ultimately, you’ll want to examine how much you’re willing to invest in your training and what you think you’ll get from each individual program.
Additionally, it’s also a good idea to look into financial aid options such as scholarships, grants, payment plans, or loans to help ease the burden of any cost, and to make sure to check school websites for what they offer!
Keep in mind the location
Where you are (and where you’d like to go) could also have a big impact on your decision. Should you travel to the other side of the country, or would you rather attend a program 30 minutes from your home? The Bureau of Labor Statistics, has location-based data for several specializations within the education industry — for example, the states with the highest employment of instructional coordinators are New York, California, Texas, Florida, and Illinois respectively; while the locations with the highest annual mean wage for this career are Washington DC ($100,350), Connecticut ($97,840), Oregon ($86,390), Virginia ($81,220), and New Jersey ($79,460). Are the cost, program value, and proximity to potential employers worth a move?
Before choosing a campus, you might be well-served to take into account where you want to end up and any factors which might make you want to stay in your current location.
Get to know the instructors
Learning from the right teacher can have a huge impact on someone’s success, so we suggest learning all you can about who will be leading your potential courses. See if they’ve produced any work that you can find online, and check out what past students have said about them on review sites.
By researching who’ll be running the programs, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not they have the right level of experience and if their teaching style will fit your learning style.
Read course reviews
Another helpful method of finding out if an education training program and its instructors are right for you is reading online reviews. Whether by searching online lists of top programs, or reading through reviews by graduates on sites like Yelp or Quora, you can check to see if a school is likely to deliver on what it’s promising.
Both official rankings, like those on GradReports.com, or user assessments like the ones written in Google reviews will give you a good picture of the value of each program.
Visit the school, if possible
And finally, if you’re able, you might also want to visit the school in person before committing. Both school administrators and former students emphasize the importance of seeing the classrooms and meeting the staff face-to-face before you enroll. Attend any events or open houses being hosted by the school, or you can just visit on your own to take a look at where you’ll be learning.
In actually seeing where the program will take place, you can gain personal insight you might otherwise miss online and from secondhand information.