• How to Avoid Student Loan Debt

    PEARSON ACCELERATED PATHWAYS

    bag of money next to bar graphs increasing

    Student loan borrowers in the United States currently owe a whopping $1.75 trillion in student loan debt! As the costs of college continue to increase and more students get stuck in the debt trap, many are looking for new ways to afford a degree.

    Luckily, there are alternatives. In fact, 94% of Accelerated Pathways’ students graduate completely debt-free!

    Check out these top 3 ways you can avoid student loan debt and get a head-start in life.

    1.       Choose an affordable degree

    With so many college options available today, there are more opportunities to reduce the costs of college while still getting a high-quality education. For example, choosing an online degree program can cut the most significant costs of traditional college like campus fees, equipment charges, textbooks, etc.

    At Accelerated Pathways, we offer low-cost online courses that are regionally accredited. That means you can easily transfer your credit and graduate from your college of choice while saving a ton of money. Our academic advisors can find affordable degree paths for any educational goal. They create custom side-by-side degree comparisons to help students see which degree plan is most affordable and find ways to graduate completely debt-free.

    2.       Work while studying 

    Working full-time or part-time while attending college is another great way to avoid student loan debt. If you can pay for college as you go, instead of taking out loans to pay off large lump sums, then you’ll be way ahead of the game.

    Working while studying is also a lot easier if you’re taking self-paced, online courses. We give students the flexibility to study around their work schedule—anytime, anywhere. You can also start courses whenever it’s convenient for you, instead of having to wait for a semester start date or course schedule.

    Before you know it, all your hard work will pay off because, once you earn your degree, you can qualify for a promotion, a new job or higher pay. The difference is now you don't have to pay off student loans with your earnings or spend decades recovering your opportunity cost.

    3.       Take advantage of your employer’s tuition assistance

    Did you know that many employers provide educational benefits as a way to help their employees earn a degree? This is an excellent way to subsidize your education and avoid student loan debt.

    If you’re planning to work while attending college, then consider getting a job with an employer who offers tuition reimbursement assistance. On average, companies provide around $6,000 per employee per year.

    Already have a job? Ask your employer if they offer tuition assistance. If you’re looking for a job, check out these employers who offer educational benefits. By learning how to take advantage of your employer’s education benefits, you can earn a low to no-cost degree.

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    We started Accelerated Pathways because we believe college shouldn’t be a debt sentence. Our goal is to help students find the most flexible, affordable degree path possible and graduate completely debt-free.

    Ready to learn your options and avoid the student loan trap? We’re here for you! Check out our easy degree pricing.

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  • 3 Skills Future Business Leaders Will Need

    PEARSON ACCELERATED PATHWAYS

    man in skyscraper overlooking futuristic city

    The digital age has created the need for a new kind of leadership. In the face of constantly evolving technologies and rapidly changing markets, business leaders are increasingly being asked to implement new innovations and cutting-edge alternatives to previous legacy systems to stay competitive.

    To succeed in this fast-moving environment, the leaders of today and tomorrow will need to be able to offer three distinct qualities:

    1.       Vision 

    Vision is essential to developing a coherent strategy and directing results in a rapidly advancing world. Current and future leaders will need to be able to provide their organization with the ability to envision and drive innovation in a useful way. According to MITSloan, these leaders will need to “help build digital capabilities by implementing the right technologies into the right parts of their customer experience, operations, employee experience, and business models.”

    In addition, leaders must be prepared to adjust their vision and course depending on new circumstances. This means being able to fully understand your industry and the enormous impact digital transformation has on your business and society as a whole. Leaders who can create a clear vision and execute it well will find success. Those who try to “wing it” won’t last long, as their lack of vision and direction will lead to confusion and delays, thereby preventing rapid innovation and the ability to compete.

    2.       Agility

    Leaders who can quickly assess new situations and respond with smart and effective decisions are highly valued. Agility is a vital response to more complex and volatile markets. Supporting innovation under these conditions means understanding that projects you’re working on can suddenly lose significance or change course. As a leader, you’ll need to be able to manage a flexible team who can adapt quickly and execute changes effectively.

    Furthermore, you’ll need to accomplish these goals with a team made up of a mixture of workers—from fulltime employees to gig workers to contractors and even AI. Markets have proven to reward organizations that can curate the best talent from around the world and manage their resources and capacity with a willingness to change, evolve and adapt. By establishing a work culture and team structure that encourages creativity and rapid innovation, leadership can ensure their organization thrives in a fast-paced world.

    3.       Support

    The future of leadership is also about empowering others to self-organize and operate in a less hierarchical system. This not only encourages agility, but it also allows for greater participation, involvement and contribution from everyone on the team. Leaders should take a more supportive role—encouraging, inspiring and nurturing others to grow and collaborate as they work remotely from all over the world.

    In this supportive leadership role, part of your focus needs to be on connecting people to resources that can help them succeed, gain new skills and advance. You’ll need to find opportunities to both serve and educate your talent in a way that fosters a positive company culture and builds community. ​​By providing learning, mentorship, empowerment and growth opportunities, leaders in the digital age can deliver improved results not just for the organization, but for society as a whole. 

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    Looking to developing your leadership skills or earn your business degree? We’ve got you covered! At Pearson Accelerated Pathways, we give you the freedom to earn a degree your way—anytime, anywhere. See how it works.

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  • Study Motivation: Try These 6 Tricks!

    PEARSON ACCELERATED PATHWAYS

    woman studying at computer

    Your test is tomorrow. You’ve been trying to study for three hours now. So far… you’ve made two snacks, checked your phone 12 times, folded one pile of laundry and made a cool little beat on your desk.

    Intervention time!

    Stop procrastinating and try these six ways to get motivated to study.

    1.       Change your location

    Switch it up! You’ve been dragging your lifeless body back and forth to the same spot where you plopped your laptop – only to find your place in your textbook and then immediately lose motivation again.

    Unplug that laptop and take it to a new location! How about a good coffee shop, outdoor patio, local library or even just another room in your house or building?

    Sometimes all you need is a good scene shift to get your head in the right study space.

    2.       Share your new knowledge

    Learning gives you new material for conversations, posts, jokes and texts. Try to stay motivated by thinking of ways you can share your newfound knowledge.

    Imagine posting your silly side thoughts, like:

    “Wow, just read in my history textbook that Alexander the Great was accidentally buried alive. I think I’m cool with just being average now.”

    Even if your new brand of educational humor is corny, guess who will like it? Your mom! Therefore, it’s a must. Also, check out these 13 Ways to Study at Home Without Going Crazy.

    3.       Give yourself rewards

    You did the work, now you get a reward – yay! Just think… what rewards motivate you?

    Is there something reasonable that you can gift yourself after a good study session? Maybe a new song on iTunes? Every time you finish reading 20 pages, you get to download one new song. Yeee… dance party!

    Here are some more ideas for study rewards to keep you motivated.

    4.       Make your study area fabulous

    Is your study area in a dusty corner with no windows, artwork or plants? Is there a sad calendar curling up at the edges pinned above your monitor?

    Time for a change! Take a minute to look up some cool study space ideas on Pinterest or furniture websites. Get inspired.

    Now look for ways to make your study area more fabulous on your budget. Head to the thrift store, repurpose those kitchen crates or even frame that poster that’s been rolled up in your closet.

    You deserve a nice place to study. P.S. – That includes having a good chair.

    5.       Fake it ‘til you make it

    You know that one subject that bores you out of your mind? Time to go the opposite direction and pretend to love it… obsessively!

    Here’s you doing your biology homework now:

    Oh wow! You mean to tell me that cultured cells expressing proteins of interest are actually allowed to take up radioactively labeled amino acids for a brief interval or “pulse”? How am I’m just now finding this out?! What else happens during the pulse-chase protocol? I must find out!”

    Embrace that nerd energy—no matter how forced or sarcastic. It might just be the key to psyching out your mind, and, hey, maybe you’ll actually become obsessed with the subject. Worth a try!

    6.       Remember why you wanted to study

    Flashback to a younger, more idealistic you—fresh as a spring breeze and ready to fill your intellect with knowledge. Your future is looking bright and sunny… uh oh, waitflash forward to now

    You’re on your third exam and second term paper for the week, plus your job just called you in for an extra shift. How are you ever going to finish everything?! Your body is weary and physically craving that vacation you went on in 2018.

    Look… school is crazy tough. But try to remember why you wanted to study. You know it’ll lead to brighter horizons, more personal development, greater opportunities and new connections.

    You don’t want to work that terrible customer service job for the rest of your life... do you? Didn’t think so! So, just remember why you’re learning and go hit those books.

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    At Accelerated Pathways, we’re here to cheerlead you the whole way through your studies. Your personal academic coach is always just a chat away and ready to make sure you’re motivated, on target and meeting your life goals.

    Want to knock out your gen ed courses in an easy, supportive, flexible way and still graduate from the college of your choice? Click here to find out how.

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  • How to Succeed as a First-Generation College Student

    PEARSON ACCELERATED PATHWAYS

    College Grad

    Being the first in your family to earn a college degree is a major accomplishment. First-generation college students can open the door to new opportunities for themselves and their families. Their success can also uplift their communities as they serve as role models and leaders.

    Unfortunately, first-gen college students also tend to face more obstacles. Many come from poor-performing high schools, low-income backgrounds and other socioeconomic disadvantages. In addition, they typically don’t have parents who are able to navigate or financially support their academic journey. Combined, these factors lead to higher college drop-out rates.

    If you’re a first-generation college student, we want to see you succeed. Check out these five tips to help you make it across the graduation stage!

    1. Ask for help

    First-generation college students tend to be resourceful, driven and independent. Don’t try to do everything on your own! Be sure you reach out for help throughout your college journey. Consult with anyone you can—teachers, mentors, academic advisors, financial aid experts—about everything from admissions to loans, student jobs and tutoring.

    Don’t be embarrassed to mention your lack of college funding or other key supports. You’re taking the initiative to improve yourself, and that’s a noble cause. It’s extra important that you get the assistance you need and let others know that you need it. The experts are there for a reason – so reach out to them throughout your academic journey!

    2. Apply for financial aid

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), first-generation and low-income students are less likely to complete a FASFA application. This financial aid application process can seem cumbersome, especially for those whose parents have difficulty providing the requested documentation. This means missing out on key financial aid that can help pay for higher education.

    Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the first step to understanding what federal aid you qualify. Funding a college education can be the biggest obstacle for first-generation college students, so it’s important to understand the costs and look for ways to subsidize them – through grants, scholarships and other available resources.

    3. Pace yourself

    As the first in your family to go to college, you may feel immense pressure to succeed. You might have the urge to overextend yourself with all the extracurricular activities and student body associations. In addition, you may have to work a part- or even full-time job while attending college—not just to support yourself but also to help your family.

    It’s important to find a school-work-life balance that you can maintain. Be sure to prioritize your studies, but don’t try to bite off more than you can chew. You don’t want to burn out and then drop out. Protect your time and your mental health. That may mean taking fewer classes at a time and graduating slower than some of your peers. But remember, college is not a race—it’s a goal.

    4. Don’t make comparisons

    Those who come from affluent, higher-educated families can make college seem like a breeze. It can be hard not to notice the difference in their college experience vs. yours, especially if you have to work and still take on debt to accomplish your goals.

    Try to remember that we all start from different points in life and have our own unique talents. Don’t compare yourself to others or feel like you don’t have the same rights to be there. Many first-generation students experience “imposter syndrome,” a sense that they’re out of place or don’t belong. Others feel culture shock and have difficulty assimilating to a new academic culture.

    This is all part of the growing pains process. Surround yourself with as many supportive people as possible. Your experience counts, and your struggles will be worth it. Be the self-made success story when you cross that graduation stage!

    5. Commit

    College requires a lot of blood, sweat and tears. There will be times when you just want to quit. Don’t! Dropping out can have serious personal and financial impacts on your life. You may be required to pay back grants or loans without the benefits of earning a degree. Quitting can also be demoralizing—making you feel like you're unable to accomplish important life goals.

    Give yourself the patience to make mistakes, deal with setbacks and then get back up and keep fighting. It’s okay to pick a major that you’re passionate about if it helps you stay committed. Many first-gen college students feel pressure to choose a career that makes their family proud. You're already doing a lot of heavy lifting just to attend college, so give yourself a break by learning something that interests and inspires you personally.

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    At Accelerated Pathways, we love helping first-generation college students reach their goals! Our academic advisors are great at doing the academic research, helping you understand your college options and supporting you the whole way. Reach out today for a completely free college consultation

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  • 7 Ways to Rock Your Internship

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    7 Ways to Rock Your Internship

    If you landed a job as an intern – congrats! Internships are an excellent way to jumpstart your career.

    Not only can you gain hands-on experience in your field of interest, but you’ll also get a chance to grow your professional network and build your resume. Better yet, 37% of interns end up getting hired full-time by the organization.

    With such an important opportunity to build your livelihood, you’ll want to do a stellar job. Here are seven tips to help you rock your internship!

    1. Research before starting

    You’ve done the initial research to get the internship – great job! Now take it a step further. Try to learn anything you can about the line of work, company background, leaders and even industry jargon and insider terms. Knowing what all those acronyms mean can come in handy. Check out the latest industry news, blogs or trade magazines and look up definitions as you go. It might even be a good idea to ask your internship supervisor if there are specific materials you can review prior to getting started.

    2. Communicate and network

    You may feel nervous about being a rookie in a new workplace. Don’t use that as an excuse to be a wall flower! Get in there and communicate, ask questions and build relationships. Show your colleagues that you’re interested in them and motivated to learn. Start conversations by asking about the business or the industry news you’ve been reading. You’re there to learn, so open conversations with the spirit of inquiry.

    Build as many relationships as possible and be sure to add your new colleagues to your professional networks, like LinkedIn. Breaking into a new industry can be more about who you know than what you know, so meet as many people as possible. When it comes time to find a full-time job, you’ll have that much more support.

    3. Show initiative 

    Volunteer for as many projects as you can and show your eagerness to help out. Don’t overextend yourself too much, but definitely look for ways to demonstrate that you have the passion and motivation to succeed. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on your assignments or request feedback about your performance. This shows a willingness to reflect on your work and make the changes necessary to succeed. Remember, your internship is an opportunity to prove your capabilities. Be a go-getter while you’re there!

    4. Be Punctual

    Don Marquis famously said, “Punctuality is one of the cardinal business virtues.” You may be a busy student with lots of personal obligations just trying to fit in an internship. Remember though, you’re building your professional reputation. Being on time is huge. This is how others will interpret your dedication, commitment, self-discipline, organizational skills, time management skills, credibility and other key markers of professionality. Being on time seems like an easy task – but don’t take it for granted! Plan ahead, stay mindful, complete assignments by their deadline and—most of all—show up on time.

    5. Look professional

    Dress codes can vary widely by workplace. Even if your internship is in an environment where people show up in sweats and sneakers, avoid the urge to be as casual. It’s better to err on the side of overdressed rather than underdressed—even if it’s just for Zoom meetings. Appropriate etiquette is a sign of common courtesy and respect, especially for newcomers. A professional wardrobe can get you farther than you realize. If you have to buy a few new outfits, it’ll be worth the cost down the road as you enter your field as a professional.

    6. Temper expectations

    Expectations can be a tricky thing when you’re first entering a profession. You may have one idea of what your industry or role as an intern will be like, then get there and it’s completely different. Or maybe the supervisor only gives you mundane tasks. We’ve all heard horror stories of interns being treated like errand runners or coffee fetchers. Try to stay humble and flexible. Remember that even if you don’t gain a ton of knowledge, you’ll still be making important connections and getting a foot in the door. This can be worth just as much—if not more—than learning about your profession in a classroom setting.

    7. Say thank you

    It can be hard to stay thankful when you’re doing unpaid work. Try to keep in mind that the organization is also putting in the effort to take on someone with little experience. Interns can be a sink on their resources and time, so be sure to remain grateful for the opportunity. After your internship, it’s an excellent idea to send a handwritten thank you card to anyone who assisted or influenced you. Gestures of gratitude can go a long way in building lasting professional relationships. Ultimately, it can lead to an opportunity when a new position opens up and you’re remembered for your graciousness.

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  • What Every Parent Should Know About College

    PEARSON ACCELERATED PATHWAYS

    What Every Parent Should Know About College

    Okay, parents… take a deep breath. We know you’re stressed just thinking about prepping your kiddo for college. You’ve got tons of questions and may not even know where to start.

    We’re here to help!

    We sat down with the experts from our Central Registrar’s Office to get the good intel for you. Check out their answers to some of your most frequently asked questions.

    How important is choosing a major before going to college?

    The sooner your kid can choose, the better.

    Students who know their major early on have less chance of switching tracks later (which can end up being a huge time and money sink). Therefore, it’s a great idea to have them test out a few majors before starting college.

    Students should look for any type of mentorship, internship or job shadowing opportunity available. Not only will this help them test out their ideas about what they want to do, but it can also help them build up experience for their college application. Internships.com can be a great place to start.

    Pro tip: Be sure to ask experts in their field specifically about credentials needed to be in that industry.

    How do I count the cost of college?

    This isn’t an easy thing to do. There’s housing, tuition, fees, graduation expenses and more. Add on scholarships and other forms of aid, and the process can get confusing very quickly.

    The government website college scorecard is a good place to check. It was created to bring transparency to college costs. In addition, every college is required to have its own cost-to-attendance calculator on its website. However, some of these calculators are more accurate than others. Check out other free tools like College Aid Pro and College Data, which can offer alternate ways to calculate costs.

    Remember to think through every cost carefully, including:

    • College application fees

    • Tuition

    • Fees (many campus programs have fees for health insurance, shots, bus programs, parking, etc.)

    • Books

    • Room & board

    • Meals

    • Transportation

    • Travel expenses

    • Graduation expenses

    Parsing out living expenses can be especially difficult, and this is where most of the unexpected costs can occur, especially for items like wardrobe, toiletries, smart devices, household items and other often overlooked expenses. Try to factor in everything you can think of, including a budget for emergencies.

    Could you explain financial aid?

    Financial aid can mean scholarships, work-study programs, loans, grants—basically, anything that helps you pay for college. To apply, you’ll need to access your tax docs and other financial forms, as much of it correlates to your income and assets.

    Be sure to start the financial aid application process early—at least a year prior to your kid starting college.

    Here are the types of aid you’ll want to check out:

    Federal aid

    Most students start with FASFA. This stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid, and it’s basically just that—an application for federal aid only. Your tax information will determine eligibility for various levels of federal financial aid. This can include student loans, work-study programs, scholarships, state grants and the Federal Pell Grant.

    The Federal Pell Grant is money you don’t have to pay back. It’s a need-based award, and most low-income households can qualify. There’s a College Navigator tool you can use to understand awards based on income levels. StudentAid.gov also has calculations you can use.

    Scholarships

    Scholarships are a great way to pay for college. Every student should apply, even if they might not qualify. You can find federal scholarships through studentaid.gov; private scholarships through websites like Fastweb.comscholarships.com or Scholarship America; and university scholarships through each university’s website.

    There are two basic types of scholarships: merit-based and need-based. Merit-based scholarships are awarded due to your abilities or talents. Need-based scholarships are awarded on your family or socio-economic background, for example, if the student’s parents were veterans.

    It can take years to build out qualifications for scholarships, so be sure to start looking into them early.

    Work-study programs

    Work-study programs provide jobs to students, allowing them to earn money to help pay for education. Students can qualify for work-study programs through FASFA, but individual schools may also have their own work-study programs. This can be a great way to earn experience and mitigate college costs, even if it’s just working to cover one expense, like room and board.

    Tuition assistance from employers

    Employer education benefits—also known as tuition assistance programs—are benefits provided by an employer to compensate employees (and sometimes their dependents) for learning. This can be a great way to subsidize education.

    On average, companies provide around $6,000 per employee per year. If you have a job, ask if they offer tuition assistance, including for your children. If your kid wants to work during college, they can purposefully seek out companies with good employer education benefits to help cover tuition costs.

    How do I prepare my kid for college?

    Think of a college application like a resume. Instead of a hiring manager, the application goes before a school review committee. This committee is looking for the right person who will be successful in their program. They’re also wondering, “Who’s going to make us look good as an institution?” Graduation rates are important to schools, so they want to know who will stay committed.

    To prepare your kid for this type of scrutiny, start thinking about meaningful activities they can participate in to build a picture of who they are. Have them take electives in high school that’ll match with the degree major they want to apply. Also, think of ways your kid can improve their communication skills. This will help at every stage—from their written application to the interview process and then throughout college.

    Of course, the college admissions process differs depending on whether your student is applying to a four-year college, community college, technical school or non-traditional online college like Accelerated Pathways.

    How is Accelerated Pathways different?

    1. We help you shop for the right college.

    We provide all the tools you need to make the most informed and effective college choice possible.

    First, we do the college research for you... for free. Our academic counselors are experts at conducting an intensive research process of thousands of schools to find the right college programs that match each student’s individual goals and circumstances.

    Then, we give you a custom College Options Report. This shows a side-by-side comparison of the colleges and degree programs that best fit your major, schedule, budget, prior credit and more.

    You’ll be able to compare college options in a way that other institutions don’t provide.

    2. We find ways to significantly reduce the cost of college.

    Did you know that most universities allow you to transfer in up to three years of college credit? We help students maximize this opportunity.

    How? By offering low-cost, general education courses that are guaranteed to transfer to your target college. Our courses cost 36% less than the national average and are regionally accreditedthe most widely accepted accreditation.

    This allows students to earn college credit in an affordable, flexible, online environment and then transfer it seamlessly to their university to finish out their degree.

    What’s the worst college advice?

    When parents say to their kids, “Go to this college because I went there.”

    We understand this urge but warn parents that it shuts down the student’s exercise of thinking through their own academic path. You’ll want your kid to figure out the options that best suit their specific life goals. The more they engage in the process of choosing a college, the more likely they’ll be to stay committed once they attend.

    What’s the best college advice?

    “When you go to college, go with purpose.”

    College shouldn’t be something that just happens to your kid. That’s when all the traps start and they end up unmotivated, in a five-year or longer program, shifting around majors, taking off semesters or even dropping out. That’s also how they miss out on opportunities and scholarships—by ending up too late in the process.

    Make sure your kid is part of the process of planning, asking for things they want, talking to people, creating relationships and being purposeful about what they’re doing.

    Need help getting them started? Our academic counselors are experts at working with students at all starting points. Reach out today for a free college consultation!

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  • Hate Your Customer Service Job? 3 Steps to Escape!

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    Hate Your Customer Service Job? 3 Steps to Escape!

    Ever worked in the customer service industry? If so, you’ve probably collected a few not-so-fun stories about your customer interactions.

    recent Buzzfeed article went viral when one writer shared her workplace horror story. The response was overwhelming—prompting others to pitch in with their own sordid tales of dealing with annoying and abusive customers.

    For example, one dissatisfied customer spit out his chewed food into a service worker’s hand. Another customer was upset that they couldn’t return an article of blood-soaked clothing. Or how about the poor gas station attendant who described the awful mess a customer left him in the bathroom?

    While some of these stories may be entertaining… let’s be realWorking in customer service can be a painful experience. It’s a tough job that usually needs to be performed under stressful, understaffed, underpaid, underappreciated and overworked conditions. Many who do the work are there strictly out of necessity—just paying the bills—not enjoyment.

    What can be even more infuriating is society telling you, “If you don’t like it, then quit,” or “Just figure out what you love to do and then do it.” *Cringe* That type of sentiment may seem well-intentioned, but it’s usually completely detached from the financial reality most service workers face.

    So, how can you quit your hated job?

    Hey, we’re not here to tell you it’ll be easy to just throw in the towel and start a better career. However, we would like to help you take realistic steps to get there.

    1. Sign up for just one or two online college classes


    Sign up for just one or two online college courses that you can complete around your shifts at work. This will automatically move your life in a better direction. And since you won’t be living on campus or paying high tuition fees, you won’t need to apply for hefty student loans. You can just pay for your courses as you go.

    In addition, many service industry employers offer their employees tuition assistance. We can help you figure out how to qualify for it and take advantage of your employee benefits to earn a low- to no-cost degree.

    But what if I never finished high school? That’s okay! We can help you earn your GED first.

    2. Get an internship where you want to work


    Whether you’re interested in working in marketing, accounting, environmental justice, IT, engineering or any other area, internships are a fantastic way to get your foot in the door. Know of a specific place you’d like to work? Sometimes it’s just a matter of reaching out to them, telling them you’re a student and asking for an internship.

    While you may have to put in a few unpaid hours of work, internships can help you earn college credit, make great connections and gain hands-on experience. Not only that, if you make a good impression and show your value, they may end up hiring you!

    3. Develop a great student resume


    You know the battle. You need experience to get a job, but you need a job to get experience. It’s a conundrum many students face when trying to start their careers. Luckily, even without prior job experience, you can still create an impactful student resume that gets employers’ attention.

    For example, adding a section for “Relevant Experience” instead of “Work Experience” on a resume allows you to highlight your internship, volunteer work, leadership experience, extracurricular activities or any other related training you can think of to compensate for your lack of workplace experience.

    Check out these handy tips and examples to create an eye-catching resume while you’re still a student.

    Need help getting started? At Accelerated Pathways, we’re experts at getting busy, working adults where they want to go. It’s absolutely free to chat with our supportive academic advisors, so why not learn about your options today? Get started here.

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  • What Jobs Will the Inflation Reduction Act Create?

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    What Jobs Will the Inflation Reduction Act Create?

    Longer droughts, stronger heatwaves, more destructive storms—these are just some of the devastating impacts climate change is already having on our environmental, economic and social systems.

    To address the crisis, the US Senate recently passed a landmark climate bill (Inflation Reduction Act) that will boost the green energy industry and remake parts of the US economy. An analysis commissioned by the BlueGreen Alliance found that clean energy investments resulting from the bill will create more than 9 million new jobs over the next decade.

    What jobs will the new climate bill create?

    Research shows that the new climate bill will create five million new green jobs from investments in clean energy, 900,000 in clean manufacturing, 900,000 in efficient buildings, 600,000 in natural infrastructure, 400,000 in clean transportation and 150,000 in environmental justice.

    Based on each of these job growth categories, we’ve outlined several green jobs that are likely to see higher demand by 2030.

    Clean Energy

    More solar and wind energy engineers will be needed to support the increase in clean energy demand. Solar engineers work on solar panels, solar-powered devices, telecommunications and heating/air conditioning systems, whereas wind energy engineers work to develop aviation, mechanics or wind turbines and collector structures for wind farms.

    A bachelor’s degree or higher is required for these roles, usually in majors such as energy engineering, manufacturing engineering, chemistry or civil engineering. While these can be demanding subjects of study, the compensation is typically worth it—with an average annual salary for solar and wind engineers at around $95,000. 

    Manufacturing and Construction

    Manufacturing positions like operating technicians, warehouse operators, line supervisors and machine operators will be needed to process new manufacturing for green technology like solar panels, wind turbines and electric vehicles, plus the parts, labels and packaging involved. Construction workers will also be needed to install these new clean energy buildings, grids and infrastructure.

    While many manufacturing and construction jobs do not require a college degree, some training and certifications may be necessary to obtain certain roles. However, there are frequently entry-level positions with good benefits and union membership for those who want to start from the ground up.

    Natural Infrastructure

    Sustainability landscape designers, infrastructure engineers, green architects and other green workers will be needed to design, construct and administer new landscape, building and infrastructure designs compatible with the natural environment. Careers in this industry focus on creating sustainable systems that can withstand stronger storms, flooding, heat and other impacts from changing climate.

    Bachelor’s degrees are required for many of these roles, and some organizations also prefer applicants to have certifications in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDS) or accreditation from the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program (NGICP). Targeted skills such as proficiency with GIS, AutoCAD, knowledge of 3-D modeling programs as well as construction documentation and detailing are also a plus.

    Clean Transportation

    Transportation management will be key to redesigning new modes of transportation that have less harmful impacts on the environment and lower carbon emissions. Transport planners, transportation managers and transport engineers will all be needed to handle the logistics, design, management and cooperation of transportation upgrades. Not only do these roles actively work toward sustainability in the transport industry, but they also help to reduce transport costs through planning optimization

    Good technical and problem-solving skills are needed for these roles, as well as the ability to communicate and collaborate on large-scale projects involving many moving people and parts. Transportation managers and planners tend to gain an education in supply chain management, logistics or other related fields. A passion for sustainability and pro-activity is a plus.

    Environmental Justice

    Environmental justice is a complex field that requires a specialized understanding of environmental issues, laws, regulations, institutions and organizations. Environmental lawyers, paralegals, compliance officers, policy administrators and other roles will need to be filled to ensure compliance with changing environmental laws, especially in the areas of water, gas, oil and energy.

    While many of these careers require law degrees, there are roles for individuals interested in entry-level positions, such as organizing, activism, advocating and more. If you’re passionate about enforcing environmental policies or enacting new legislation that benefits future generations, then environmental justice might be a good career fit for you.

    Interested in entering or transitioning to the green economy? At Pearson Accelerated Pathways, we can help! Reach out to one of our world-class academic advisors to get started on the right career path today.

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  • Is College Worth the Cost?

    PEARSON ACCELERATED PATHWAYS

    Is College Worth the Cost?

    Getting a bachelor’s degree is a great idea… but it’s an expensive one. It’s hard to know how much debt you might incur in the process or how long it could take to pay back.

    Bottom line… is it worth it? Does the cost of college pay off in the end?

    We decided to look at three possible options:

    1. Going to college on loans

    2. Skipping college altogether

    3. Working while taking online courses

    How much would each of these choices actually cost you? And how can each decision impact your finances, career and life?

    Check out what we found!

    1. Going to college on loans

    Let’s say you go off to college, graduate and find a decent job. You're making good money and doing pretty well for yourself. That's the dream, right?

    But what did college actually cost you? And how will it affect your finances after graduation?

    By the time you graduate and get a job, you'll have roughly $41,000 in student loans. That's assuming you pay the average tuition costs, get an amazing federal loan package with interest rates at 3.76%, get $30,000 in grants and scholarships and you've saved $16,000 before even starting college.

    But what about not getting a degree?

    2. Skipping college altogether

    What if you decided to get a job right out of high school—maybe as a server? Let's assume you're one of the 25% of servers in Houston, Texas who makes $39,000 a year.

    After taxes and cost of living, you would have made roughly $81,000 as a server instead of racking up $41,000 in student loan debt. That means you missed out on a whopping $123,000 in opportunity cost.

    So, how long will it take for your degree to recover $123,000 in opportunity cost?

    Let's go back to the first scenario to compare.

    Let’s say you graduate college on loans and get a great entry level marketing job making $51,000 a year. Your degree is already starting to pay off. Except, all other things being equal, you'd be over 40 years old before you recover the full $123,000 opportunity cost from not working as a server.

    So, 20 years of debt just to get a better job, and you actually paid $60,000 for the original $41,000 loan. That's over $18,000 just in interest! And don’t forget you already paid the $16,000 dollars you had in savings.

    The stark reality is that student loans are way more expensive than lenders and colleges want you to believe.

    But what if you could go to college without loans?

    3. Working while taking online courses

    Let's go back to the example of working as a server. You're making $39,000 a year, but then you also decide to make a lot of sacrifices. Maybe you live with your parents and take online college courses around your shifts at work.

    Now, it would still cost money to get your degree. But since you wouldn't be living on campus or paying high tuition fees, you wouldn't have to take out any student loans. You'd just be paying for your courses as you go.

    All your hard work would pay off because, after graduation, you get that same great entry-level marketing job making $51,000 a year. The difference is, now you don't have to pay off student loans or spend decades recovering your opportunity cost.

    So compared to where you’d end up in scenario 1 or 2, you’d have $135,000 extra! That's a lot of additional money by the time you’re 40 years old. Almost enough for a house in some parts of the country.

    Which option should you choose?

    Here's the thing: education is important. But, 20 years is a long time for it to pay off and missing out on thousands in earnings because you’re paying off debt is ridiculous!

    So, before taking out a ton of student loans, you should evaluate your options and look for ways to attend college without going into debt.

    That’s why we started Accelerated Pathways.

    We believe college shouldn’t be a debt sentence. Our goal is to help students stuck in the debt zone graduate from college—and graduate debt-free.

    If you’re willing to use the power of online education to avoid the student loan trap, we’re here for you.

    Check out our easy degree pricing!

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    PEARSON ACCELERATED PATHWAYS