Being a single father is tough, whether you’ve got custody of your kids or not. In addition to legally-enforced child support obligations, you’ve got to work with the visitation schedule the court ordered to spend time with your kids, and your expenses are at least as high as they are for fathers who live full-time with their kids. It isn’t the carefree life of a childless bachelor by any means. This may leave a single father wondering how he could find the time to get the education he needs to get ahead in his career. In fact, a lot of single fathers may write off the idea entirely; the idea of going back to school seems like more of a pipe dream than reality.
However, there are options that can make it feasible while still allowing single fathers to keep their jobs and continue to see their kids on a regular basis. The most effective and realistic option is to pursue a degree online, allowing flexibility and eliminating the need to commute. It’s a great way to save time and trouble while gaining valuable knowledge and career opportunities.
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So how should a single father pursue a degree online? Fortunately, there are a great many options, but the first step is to choose a suitable degree with good potential for enhancing income, and the next is to find a quality school with a good reputation and online degree program that offers that particular degree. Because there is such a wide range of degrees on offer, it may take some time to find what you’re looking for, so be sure to refer to college guides with a wealth of information and a large selection of schools and degrees. One valuable source is the US News and World Report online database, which features a searchable index of distance learning programs that can be refined by area of study.
To determine the quality of the institutions you have found, check with the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the US Department of Education to assess the reputation of the school in question. This will help you separate the wheat from the chaff, and prevent you from wasting resources on a shoddy program that offers neither quality instruction nor worthwhile credentials.
Additionally, keep in mind that while distance learning and online programs generally allow most coursework and classes to be taken from home or wherever one has access to a good internet connection, some require occasional meetings at the school, which may rule out some schools located in different regions. Online classes may also be held on fixed days, so scheduling is another important consideration. Other considerations include time commitment, both in terms of weekly hours and length of time required to complete classes and a degree, and expense. All factors should be taken into account when making your decision; as a single father you are well aware that every minute and every dollar counts.
Most importantly, think of who you are and be true to yourself. What holds your interest? What kind of environment do you see yourself thriving in? Your decisions will have to be influenced by honest self-appraisal as well as the the income potential of any particular field. Some men may be happy to crunch numbers as an accountant, while others may be better suited to sales and business negotiation. One may be well-suited to computer network administration, while another prefers managing construction projects on site. There are a lot of options, so don’t box yourself in based on the hottest trends, which may not last forever in any event.
Although it can be difficult to be a single father, and there’s often a lot of heartache involved, one thing that should strengthen your resolve is that investing in yourself and your future will not only give you more choices and freedom in your life, it will directly benefit your children as well. With a quality degree and a better career, you’ll be able to provide for them better materially, and you’ll set an example they can look up to as they grow up. Every kid wants to be proud of his or her dad, so your kids will be happy to see you succeed and master your life. Remember: when you are doing well in life and have your life in your hands, your family will thrive.