If you are considering going back to school, but have a family to take care of, you may be wondering what are the best careers for moms going back to school.
More and more moms are going back to school for the chance at a brighter and more secure future for themselves and their families. Yes, going back to school at 30 or as a parent is challenging, but can be a rewarding endeavor.
While other moms who are already working may want to learn how to change careers for a brighter future. Regardless of your reasoning for going back to school, there are many career options for moms.
Best Careers for Moms Going Back to School
If you are a mom who is interested in going back to school and looking into colleges for moms or colleges for single mothers, you may find many satisfying career paths to pursue.
Listed below are some of the best careers for all types of moms going back to school, including good career paths for single mothers:
- Dental Hygienist
- Fitness Trainer
- Graphic Designer
- Human Resources Specialist
- Market Research Analyst
- Medical Assistant
- Web Developer
The program that’s best for you will depend on your personal interests and professional goals.
Accountants manage many financial aspects of businesses, including bookkeeping, tax preparation, financial compliance, and auditing, to name a few. Accounting is one of the best jobs for moms since there are many ways you can make this career work for you during this stage of life.
Companies of all sizes need accountants, so you can explore opportunities in various environments, from small businesses to large companies. Given the various options for employment, you can see what they offer in terms of scheduling, compensation, and benefits to see what might be the best fit for you.
You can also seek employment directly with an accounting or bookkeeping firm, many of whom have options to work from home or offer flexible scheduling. Accountants need a bachelor’s degree in accounting or business to seek employment as accountants.
Consulting can be an ideal way to transition your prior work or life experience into a new career. Consultants use their experience to offer solutions and advice to clients in a wide range of areas, including sales, marketing, operations, and management.
You may find employment opportunities in consulting firms, some of which may offer flexible scheduling or opportunities to work from home. Some consultants also offer private consulting services, allowing you to set your own schedule and decide where you work.
Many consultants are able to build their portfolio and customer base online, offering increased flexibility for busy moms. Consultants frequently have degrees in marketing, business or business management, economics, finance, or a related field.
Given the wide variety of fields and industries that need consultants, you may be able to shorten the time spent in school, making it a great option for mothers going back to college.
Counselors work with clients to help them overcome any problems they may be facing and to work towards their personal and professional goals.
Counselors can work in various settings, including private practices, mental health centers, schools, substance abuse centers, or government institutions. You may also be able to provide counseling services online, providing added flexibility for your work environment and schedule.
Careers in counseling may also offer competitive salaries, financial stability, and opportunities for career advancement, making it an attractive career option for many moms. Many states require counselors to have a master’s degree in counseling, psychology, or social work.
If you have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, you may be able to reduce the amount of time needed to earn your master’s degree.
Dental hygienists work in dentist offices providing services such as teeth cleanings, dental x-rays, oral examinations, and oral health education to patients.
While most dental hygienists need to work in an office, they frequently have flexibility over working part-time or full-time hours depending on what best fits their needs. Since you don’t have to hold a bachelor’s degree to become a dental hygienist, it may be one of the best jobs for single moms with no degree who are planning to go back to school.
While you will likely need at least an associate’s degree to become a dental hygienist, many community colleges offer these courses, allowing you to earn your degree in two years. For those needing a full-time salary, you can potentially be on your way to earning a steady salary with just two years of school.
Fitness trainers work with clients, individually or in groups, to help them achieve their personal fitness goals. Health and fitness is a rapidly growing field that is extremely attractive to many moms looking for a new career.
Fitness trainers can work as part of a gym or health clinic or may establish their coaching practice with private clients. This can be a highly satisfying career for moms, allowing lots of flexibility in scheduling and the potential to maintain or improve their fitness while also helping others meet their goals.
If you choose to build your own private practice and set your rates and schedule, your earning potential can continue to build as you expand your client base. Fitness trainers need, at a minimum, a high school diploma or the equivalent, making it an accessible career to get started in and gain experience.
Graphic designers use their artistic skills to communicate ideas visually through marketing materials, websites, and company logos, among many others. Successful graphic designers are able to understand the vision that their clients have and bring this vision to life.
There are many ways to make a career in graphic design work for you and your schedule, including full-time or part-time, individually, or as part of an agency. Many graphics designers also do freelance work, choosing their schedules and rates as their sole job or supplemental income.
Graphic design relies on many of the skills that moms already use every day, including problem-solving, time management, and creativity, and they may frequently work from home. Frequently, a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, fine arts, or a related field is needed to be a graphic designer.
Human Resources Specialist
Human resources (HR) specialists handle numerous responsibilities related to employee benefits, compensation, recruiting, hiring, interviewing, and training a company’s employees.
HR specialists ensure that company protocols are in compliance with federal and state regulations. They frequently have strong communication skills, are good with people, and have the critical thinking skills needed to solve problems.
HR specialists usually have consistent, reliable schedules that usually don’t involve weekends or holidays, which can make it a good option for moms. Human resources specialists are usually in-demand positions for many companies, and there may be some flexibility in allowing you to work from home.
Most human resources specialist jobs require a bachelor’s degree. Some positions may require additional certification depending on the state and the business.
Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts work with businesses to figure out their target audience for a product or service and collaborate on a strategy to market to this audience. They may also design surveys to gather information on their target audience, their thoughts, and opinions and analyze how to best use this information.
Many market research analysts work on a freelance or contract basis, with others working part-time or full-time, making it a flexible option for many moms. Full-time analyst positions frequently work reliable 9 to 5 hours and are off holidays and weekends, while freelancers and contractors have more flexibility in scheduling.
While you will likely need a bachelor’s degree to work in most market analyst positions, earning a master’s degree can increase your earning potential in this field.
Medical assistants use their medical knowledge and skills to provide operational and administrative support in a variety of healthcare settings. Their responsibilities may include checking patients in, measuring blood pressure, scheduling appointments, maintaining patient records and charts, and assisting with medical exams.
A medical assistant may be an ideal career for a mom with healthcare experience who would like a more regular daytime schedule. Many medical assistants are employed in physician’s offices with consistent hours and holidays off. It may also be an ideal fit for a mom looking to enter the healthcare field since some medical assistant programs may be completed in 2 to 4 years.
There are a variety of educational paths you can take to become a medical assistant. You may need a high school diploma, on-the-job training, a certificate, or an associate’s degree.
Registered nurses can work in various settings, including hospitals, urgent care clinics, home health organizations, schools, and private practices. While nursing schedules may vary greatly, including night shifts or on-call hours, the variety of employment options may allow you to find something that best suits your scheduling needs.
Home health-based jobs may allow you to set your own schedule. Other positions may offer part-time, full–time, night shift, or a weekend schedule that will work best for you. Nursing offers multiple education paths to earn your degree, including a diploma or certificate in a year, to an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in 2 to 4 years.
Your earning potential and future career opportunities may increase the further you go with your degree. Still, the various options make it a desirable option for moms going back to school.
Nutritionists are experts in food, diet, and nutrition who work with clients to meet their nutrition and wellness goals.
Some nutritionists choose to focus on working with certain demographics, such as women or children. The nutrition industry is a rapidly growing field. A career as a nutritionist may provide you with valuable knowledge while also helping others and earning income.
Nutritionists can work in various settings, including doctor’s offices, health clinics, and hospitals, or build their own private practice. If you choose to build your practice, you may have a considerable amount of flexibility in choosing your schedule and how many clients you decide to take on.
Many nutritionists need a bachelor’s degree in nutrition to get started. Requirements for licensure or certification may vary, so check your state’s requirements as needed. Earning a master’s in nutrition may also increase your earning potential in this field.
Realtors help people buy, sell, and rent their homes, guiding them through the process of negotiation as well as all of the legal and financial processes involved.
Realtors may work for themselves or with a real estate team but are frequently in charge of their schedules. While they spend time out of the house visiting homes with clients, much of the work can be done from home. While it can take some time to build your client base, real estate can potentially be a lucrative and high-earning career option that you can enter relatively quickly.
A bachelor’s degree is not required to be a realtor. Many states require you to earn your real estate license and have ongoing continuing education requirements. Earning your real estate license can be a shorter path to employment than other career options, making it an attractive option for many moms.
Sonographers are medical professionals who get images of the body’s tissues and organs through sonograms. They usually work in healthcare settings like hospitals, physician’s offices, and diagnostic imaging labs.
Given the nature of their work, sonographers usually enjoy working with people, are calm and level-headed, are good communicators, and can simplify information as they relay it to patients. Sonographers also serve as educators, helping patients understand the results of their sonograms. This may be a good career option for moms with healthcare experience who are seeking regular and consistent daytime hours.
You may also find employment part-time, or, given the wide variety of schedule needs in healthcare settings, you can choose the schedule that is best for you. Sonographer training programs are usually a 2-year degree, or you may be able to complete a 1-year certificate program if you already have a related healthcare degree.
Teachers are in high demand at every level of education, from preschool to elementary up through high school and beyond.
While teachers work incredibly hard, many moms enjoy having the same hours as their children in school, in addition to having summers off. Teaching uses skills you may use as a mother to communicate and provide knowledge and life skills to your students, which can be extremely rewarding.
Some schools and programs may offer additional childcare for their teachers, so you may not have to incur the cost of additional childcare. While you need a bachelor’s degree to teach at the elementary through high school level, state licensure requirements vary.
You may pursue additional education to teach at a postsecondary level. Many education courses and programs are offered online, providing an easier way to pursue your degree from home.
Web developers design, create, and manage websites. Their responsibilities include creating content, managing traffic, and resolving technical issues on the back end of websites.
Many web developers work for computer design companies, open their own businesses, or work as freelancers or contractors. With the rapid development of eCommerce and the increase in mobile devices, web development is a fast-growing field with a high demand for individuals with these skills.
Web developers usually need strong communication skills to talk to clients and the technical skills needed to code, test applications, and troubleshoot technical problems. Web development careers can be enticing to moms who want to work from home, can likely have flexibility in their schedule, and earn higher-than-average salaries.
While you may need a bachelor’s degree for certain web design positions, other positions require a high school diploma.
How to Know Which Degree is Right for Me
What do I go to school for if I don’t know what I want to do? What are your skills and interests? Are you interested in accounting careers or careers in art, education, or counseling? What everyday tasks do you find fulfilling now?
You may want to ask your friends, family members, and coworkers what strengths and weaknesses they see in you. These are some questions you can ask yourself to help you decide:
- What type of training or education will I need for my new career ideas? Where can I get that?
- How long will the transition take?
- How much money will go back to school cost?
- Will this new career work well with my lifestyle now and in the future?
- Will this new career pay off and offer the financial stability I need?
It may be most important to you that you choose something you will enjoy but that will also provide job stability and a good income to support your family.
How Will I Balance Everything?
How to balance everything seems to be a main concern of moms. You are already juggling so much, and the thought of adding one more thing may seem impossible, but with a little extra effort when it comes to planning and organizing, you can make going back to college as an adult work.
Test the Waters
You don’t have to jump into the deep end right away. You can ease in by enrolling as a part-time, online student and taking a few courses that you can complete at your own pace.
Once you get into a routine and see how schooling fits into your busy life, you can increase your course load and even go full-time if that works.
Budget Your Time
Creating a schedule that blocks out specific times when you can commit to working on your schoolwork can help you be a successful student. There are many ways to do this, so it can be helpful to test a few to see what works for you.
You might use a written calendar, an app, or alarms on your phone. It may be important to be strict with yourself and those around you about your study times. You may need to be adamant that your time to study is dedicated to school and isn’t negotiable.
Find a Dedicated and Organized Space
Not only is it helpful to have dedicated time, but it can be very beneficial to have a dedicated study space as well. It can be hard to be focused and engaged while lounging in your recliner, when kids are fighting in the background, or with a pile of toys at your feet.
A quiet, tidy work area with no distractions can help you focus. You can also dedicate this space to all the office supplies you might need, such as a printer, notepads, paper, notes, and pens.
Work with Your Employer
It is important to communicate openly with your employer about your plans to go back to school. It will help them understand the stress you’re under, and they may be able to offer support and perhaps some leniency when it comes to your work schedule.
Some employers even have tuition assistance programs that you won’t want to miss out on.
Build a Support System
As the old saying goes, “It takes a village,” and this may never be truer than when you’re a mom juggling online college classes.
Before your semester begins, you may want to ask for help from friends and family, so you can get the support you need to concentrate on your schoolwork. Some things to consider may include childcare, carpooling, help with your children’s school and after-school activities, and even meal planning.
Find Financial Help
Paying for college is a huge concern for many moms that are going back to school. The first step in getting tuition assistance is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This aid may cover some (or all) of your college expenses.
There are numerous scholarships and tuition assistance programs available for mothers as well. You can reach out to your college and see what they offer. You can also get more information about financial aid here.
Once Enrolled, Get a Jumpstart
Once you are registered for online classes, it can be helpful to check out the classroom portal as soon as possible. You can read through the syllabus, add important dates to your calendar, bookmark any resources mentioned, and get a headstart on organizing your studies.
If you have questions or concerns about the course expectations, this will also give you a chance to reach out to your professor early. Adding college courses to your already busy schedule may seem impossible, but it just requires some planning and organization.
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Don’t worry, you may not have to pay for college on your own. There is financial aid available, including scholarships and grants, for mothers returning to college, married or single moms going back to school, and college grants for women.
First, you will want to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see how much aid you qualify for. Here are a few examples of scholarship opportunities for moms going back to school:
- GoGirl! Grants: This grant is for women living in Coachella Valley, CA. Applicants must be 25 or older and working towards a specific undergraduate degree or occupational certification.
- Imagine America Scholarship: This scholarship provides up to $1,000 and is for adults over the age of 19 who plan to improve their futures and enter trade professions.
- Jeanette Rankin Women’s Scholarship Foundation: This scholarship is for low-income students who are 35 years old or older and identify as women or nonbinary and are pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate’s degree, or a first bachelor’s degree.
- Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Foundation: This foundation awards scholarships to low-income mothers of minor children who are seeking their first degree or certificate at a not-for-profit, accredited institution or program in the US.
- Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers’ Annual Single Mother Scholarship: This company offers two scholarships annually for single mothers who are working toward undergraduate degrees or law degrees and have GPAs of 3.0 or higher
You can also check with the financial aid office at the school you choose to see if they offer any additional financial aid opportunities for parents returning to school.
Should I Go to a Community College or an Online School?
The choice to go to a community college or online school depends on your personal situation and needs. Attending classes on campus means having to be there at a scheduled time, and you waste precious time driving there and parking. You also have to deal with obstacles like traffic, bad weather, and missed classes due to sick kids or unreliable babysitters.
Online learning, on the other hand, can help eliminate these obstacles and typically offers more flexibility. You can fit classes in during the early morning hours, on your lunch break, or when the kids are in bed for the night. Some students appreciate the face-to-face learning experience and real-time conversations with classmates. Some also learn better in a classroom setting.
Should I Go to Online School Full-Time, Part-Time, or Just Take a Few Classes?
It depends on how much time you can commit! A good rule of thumb is for every one credit hour, expect to spend approximately 2 to 3 hours outside of class studying. A course worth 3 credits will typically require 6 to 9 hours of study time per week.
To be considered full-time, most schools require you to take at least 12 credits per semester, which would likely mean an additional 24 to 36 hours of study. If you are able to work that into your schedule, you may be able to earn your certificate or degree quickly.
Some moms can’t attend full-time classes. Part-time or just a class or two each semester is still worthwhile and will get you on track to earning that certificate or degree that can help you advance your career.
Going Back to School Online
Are you a mom going back to school? For moms, online classes make it possible to complete your degree anytime, anywhere while juggling your family life as well.
Luckily, many top accredited colleges now offer online classes that make it easier than ever for mothers to earn reputable degrees, whether their days are spent in the office or chasing after kids.
You can start researching the accredited schools that offer your preferred degree program and take the next step in your journey today.