The workers sat in even rows, all intently absorbing information from the presenter who was standing at a podium next to the presentation screen. Pens and notebooks in hand, everyone feverishly took notes on each passing slide. The topic they were studying was much different from the usual day-to-day business.
This was the scene at Medtronic, a medical technology company located in Mansfield, MA, where 50-plus employees gathered last week to learn more about their tuition benefits and connect with visiting universities on how to take the steps to go back to school. A demographically mixed group of people attended the event and represented all walks of life, backgrounds, levels of previous education, and roles held within in the company. However, they all had one thing in common: they knew they wanted a degree and they needed help to get started.
All of the university representatives had between three and five minutes to pitch their institution and program offerings to the room. In order to differentiate myself from every other school in attendance, I did my best to help paint the picture of what JWU Online is and what we do for students:
JWU Online is grounded in the 100-year history of Johnson & Wales University.
We have a full team of admissions & student service professionals housed right in Providence, RI — come visit!
We offer degree programs aligned with industry needs in business, education, human resources, project management, health science, nonprofit management, public administration, and more.
Online learning allows you the flexibility to do your work on your schedule.
We are the official education partner of the Boston Bruins and TD Garden. Go Bruins!
When it came time for the Q&A portion of the event, the crowd sat awkwardly silent. Then someone broke the ice by asking a question we hear all of the time: “Do I need to take the GRE to go to graduate school?” (Answer: Not at JWU!)
That one question turned into two and then four until the room was buzzing with conversation between admissions representatives and people eager to be students. Here is a snapshot of some of the questions asked by employees at this event:
How do I know which program to pursue?
Great question! First, congratulations on taking the first step towards a degree. Asking the first question is sometimes the hardest step. It is important to select a program that compliments your strengths and interests, and will help you build on a career. Here are some suggestions on how to find the right program for you:
- Talk to your manager/supervisor: Have a conversation with your manager or supervisor about your plans to obtain a degree. They can provide insight into the type of educational training that can help you succeed within your company.
- Check out Career Coach: Career Coach is an online tool that allows you to explore career paths and degree programs. It also provides statistics on job demand and estimated salaries.
- Review the Bureau of Labor Statistics website: If you are looking to change fields, make sure you choose one that has job potential with the salary range you are looking for.
- Do a little research: Explore Indeed.com or Glassdoor.com and find a job description that really excites you. Look at the qualifications and education preferences the company is looking for.
I’ve been out of school for a long time…does that matter?
Absolutely not! It is never too late to complete an online degree. Online programs are intuitive and designed to meet the needs of people with busy schedules. Have you ever taken courses at other institutions? If so, send us your transcripts! We will work our hardest to make sure we maximize all of your previously earned credit regardless of when you last enrolled.
Do you accept credit from community colleges?
Of course! Many of our undergraduate students are transferring in courses from community college. This is a terrific pathway for completing a bachelor’s degree. It is very common to hear from students that they started their academic career at a community college and had to stop because of (insert life event here). Online programs like JWU Online are designed to help these individuals get on the path to a degree.
Am I too old for an online degree?
This is often the most difficult question to ask for some prospective students. Fear of being the oldest in the class or the idea that obtaining a degree has an age limit. The average age of our students is 31 but the range spans 40 years. Online learning requires students to have a certain level of experience in order to relate to the course material. The more experience you have, the greater the contribution you make to the online classroom. It sounds cliché, but it really is never too late to obtain an online degree.
Do I have to enroll in Fall?
Many people are accustomed to the traditional admissions schedule: Apply in late fall. Wait. Wait. Wait. Then receive a letter in the mail in early spring alerting you to your academic fate. Unlike traditional admissions, JWU Online reviews applications and enrolls student year-round. The application take about 10 minutes (yes, 10 minutes!). We will even obtain your transcripts from your previous institutions to help streamline the process. Did I mention that it’s also free!?
If you have a question about getting the process started or just want to talk with someone about the idea of going back to school, contact our admissions team and we’ll walk you through it every step of the way. It sounds cliché but the only stupid question is the one you never ask.
Reach out today to learn how you can start on your degree: call 855-JWU-1881 or email [email protected]. You can also fill out the “Request Info” form on this page.