Schools Training

The Back-to-School Checklist for Adults

26 JUN 2012
Career Path : Apprenticeships

If you have not been a student for a significant amount of time, the idea of going back to school can be quite unsettling. The best thing you can do for yourself is be prepared. Here is how:


The Reason


Before actually sending out your applications, you need to sit down and figure out the real reason behind your desire to go back to school. Is it to open up your career options? Is it to impress someone? Or is it strictly to gain new knowledge? Whatever your reason, be sure that your decision to go back to school is for you and not anyone else. If you wind up sitting in class for the betterment of someone else, odds are you are going to resent school, your prospective degree, and the person who you are presumably doing it all for.




Before sending out your application, you may want to first verify that you meet all of the requirements necessary to be considered an eligible candidate. Some college and universities require a high-school degree, while most allow people to apply to certain programs as mature students. Regardless of which category you fall under, it is a good idea to check to make sure that you meet all the admission requirements. If it happens that you do not, consult an academic advisor at the institution you hope to attend in order to discuss what you would need to do in order to become eligible to apply.


The Options


There is wide range of academic courses and programs that you can choose from. What you choose to study depends entirely on what you hope to get from your degree. If you want to work with cars, then an automotive apprenticeship is likely what you are looking for. But if you are not sure if you actually want to work in the automotive industry just yet, then perhaps taking a few independent courses might be a better idea.  Ultimately, you need to look at a degree or diploma in one of two ways: as a means to an end, or as an end in itself.


If you look at knowledge as an end in itself, then you will be more than happy to go to school for the sake of learning.  But if you consider academic certification as a means to an end, then what you really want is for your degree to help you gain something more than knowledge itself. This is not a bad thing, and as we know, the intention most people have when they go to school is to increase their career opportunities.



If a career boost is what you are after, then you may want to give some extra thought to co-op programs and apprenticeship programs because of the hands-on work experience that is integrated into the curriculum.


If widening your career options is what you are aiming for, then try to give your career some thought. What do you want to do? Is there an industry demand where you live? Of the prospective employers in your area, which can you see yourself working with in the future? Thinking about these factors will really help you narrow down your choices.




Visit Mohawk College for more information on apprenticeships in Ontario.