Weekend Warriors and Night Owls

allison_barberBy Allison Barber, Chancellor, WGU of Indiana

Before beginning the next chapter in your educational journey, it’s important to take a moment to visualize your goals. Re-enrolling in a college program can take courage. For many, there will be moments when juggling your professional and family obligations in addition to your college studies may seem tiresome, but in those moments remember what you stand to gain from completing your degree.

Indiana’s economy is growing, but it is evolving at the same time. The most desirable careers—careers that pay well and offer long-term security for you and your family—require a college education. Officials from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development are partnering with Hire Up Indy to draw attention to the skills gap in Central Indiana’s workforce, because top-flight job openings are out there waiting for more educated workers to graduate with the necessary skills to fill them.

The workers that move Indiana forward in the next decade are not the 17-year-old high-school seniors who will tour college campuses this fall. Instead, Indiana’s progress will be led by experienced, working adults who, with a year or two of concentrated effort, can qualify for the thousands of vacancies in business, education, health care and information technology. For Hoosier teenagers, college is often about finding one’s self and feeling out the different career paths available. However, for adult learners, college is most often about reaching the next step in your professional life or about fulfilling a promise to yourself through scholastic achievement.weekend_warrior_chart

Adult college students, whether they’re beginning a new program or picking up where they had previously left off, are generally night owls and weekend warriors. They find time to commit to their studies while maintaining personal and professional relationships, and often do so while raising a family. There will undoubtedly be moments when the process seems overwhelming, but remember what you stand to gain from achieving your goals. Despite the challenges that lie ahead, know that we are all rooting you on from the sidelines and stand ready to help you succeed.

Allison Barber is the chancellor of WGU Indiana, the state’s online, competency-based university. She champions college attainment for working Hoosiers who have some college but have not yet earned a degree. WGU Indiana also offers advanced degrees in business, education, health professions and technology.

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