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Education that fits your needs

Special Advertorial Career and Education Section

Submitted by UMASS Boston
Education that fits your needs
Marcus Stephens ’15, executive admissions representative, Le Cordon Bleu, Cambridge, Mass. (Photo: UMASS Boston)

How can I complete my college degree while fulfilling my work and family responsibilities?

New educational technologies and pathways to gain the knowledge and credentials needed for career growth abound today. Individuals who want to complete their degree but have been locked out of the traditional higher education models now have options.

Forward-looking, innovative institutions, such as the University of Massachusetts Boston provide adult students with the opportunity to earn their degree at their pace and around their needs. Through the College of Advancing and Professional Studies (CAPS), students can enroll in degree programs around flexible formats and delivery. Weekend, evening, summer, and winter sessions, both on-campus and online allow individuals to advance their career while balancing their work and family needs.

Thanks to these innovations, a wider cross section of students who vary by age, geography and lifestyle are returning to school to complete degrees and explore career changes through certificates and professional development courses at a vigorous pace. The U.S. Department of Education reports that nearly 26% of undergraduate students had a full time job while enrolled in their program of study and another 27.5% were raising dependents. Online education, alternative credentialing and satellite locations ensure access for even the most grueling schedule – whether you are an 18-year-old CEO of the next “killer app” or a stay-at-home parent contemplating a return to the workforce.

“CAPS extends the reach of UMass Boston with its focus on providing quality education in a form that is relevant and accessible to all,” said Philip DiSalvio, EdD, dean of the College of Advancing and Professional Studies. “In partnership with our our UMass Boston schools and colleges, CAPS designs learning offerings that respond to the needs of the contemporary student.”

The job market is constantly changing. New technologies are driving the creation of new emerging professions that often go unfilled because many job-seekers lack the necessary skills to succeed. A recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute notes that “The United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with analytical expertise and 1.5 million managers and analysts with the skills to understand and make decisions based on the analysis of big data.” CAPS targets these opportunities to develop hyper-relevant offerings like the Introduction to Big Data Analytics, two-week intensive course. This evening offering is aligned with an established market need in an emerging industry so working professionals can gain a new edge in their field and non-degree holders can begin a journey to break the patterns of low-wage careers.

According to the 2014 Employment Projections report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for a person with a high school diploma is $35,540 compared to the median income of $69,260 for a person with a Bachelor’s degree. The report goes on to note “… occupations that need more education for entry are projected to grow faster.” While these statistics highlight a sobering trend, nimble universities and colleges such as UMass Boston and the College of Advancing and Professional Studies provide transformative opportunities for motivated students.

“I started my degree about two decades ago but recently found my career options limited because I never finished,” said Marcus Stephens ’15, executive admissions representative at Le Cordon Bleu in Cambridge, MA. “I was initially attracted to online classes simply because it allowed me to build my school schedule around the demands of my job and earn my degree more quickly. However, I immediately appreciated the high quality of the classes and how applicable they were to my responsibilities at work. The recent news of Le Cordon Bleu closing all of its U.S. campuses would be a lot scarier if I hadn’t returned and earned my degree at UMass Boston.”

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