March 22, 2022
Five Things to Consider When Starting (or Restarting) Education after High School

Starting or restarting education after high school is a major and exciting decision. Once you’ve decided to head down this pathway, there are many other decisions to make and steps to take. FAME is here to help you with this process. Below are five things to consider as you determine your path.
1. Identify career interests and goals
Often your interests and career goals will heavily influence the path you take to furthering your education. Lots of career and interest inventories exist, including the U.S. Department of Labor's O*NET. Your local adult education site can also help you figure out where to start, while also helping you brush up on skills and subjects if needed.

2. Understand the training and education required
If you are looking to advance within your current career or start a new one, it’s important to understand the training and education required to get you in the door, keep the job, and advance within the field. Career One Stop is a great place to research careers and gain insight into what those careers are really like. The Maine Career Center will help you explore Maine-specific careers and training.

3. Consider professional development credentials
Education and training don’t just mean a college degree. You may find that short-term, stackable professional development credentials make the most sense for your journey. These are often referred to as micro-credentials. They are often free or low-cost, could be employer-sponsored, and can boost your resume even if you already have other kinds of credentials. You can often complete them online. Check out information on micro-credentials from the University of Maine System.

4. Get your financial house in order
An important thing to consider when starting (and throughout) your educational journey is financial wellness. Creating or reevaluating your household budget, boosting savings, and paying down debt, if possible, can help ease the anxiety you may feel around financing your education. If you'd like to take a deeper dive into personal financial wellness, explore iGrad, a free financial wellness resource sponsored by FAME. iGrad offers free courses to help you plan, as well as the opportunity to learn more about topics like career development, scholarships, and smart borrowing.

5. Make a plan
Planning is a key part of the educational process. You'll want to make a plan that fits you and your family (if you have one). Consider the following when making your plans: the impact on your current employment, including whether you’ll need to reduce hours at work; how you’ll pay for your education or training and the impact on household finances; and the steps, education, and timeline for reaching your educational and career goals. Remember to celebrate small victories during this process!
For more information, check out our recent webinar:
You Can Get There From Here-- Pathways To Education After High School

Learn about strategies for future planning including career pathways, in-demand jobs, ways to earn a credential of value, and how you can help students make a plan!
For additional helpful information and resources, find previous tips on our website.
FAME's College Access and Financial Education Team:
Mila TappanCollege Access and Outreach Manager
Jessica WhittierCollege Access Counselor 
Nikki VachonCollege Access Counselor
Maria MacDougalCollege Access Counselor
Floreka MalualCollege Planning Advisor
Mary DyerFinancial Education Programs Manager
Sarah Newcomb, Financial Education Program Specialist
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