Online Degrees For Stay At Home Moms
Stay-at-home moms are now beginning to add another job title to their already full resumes: online degree students. More and more mothers across the country are realizing that going back to school and either completing their first degree, or earning one of a higher level or in a different field is not only a great opportunity for workplace advancement or changing careers, but is also easy and can be done in only a few nights a week through online degree programs.
“I have two school-aged daughters and a husband who works long hours. I am already a RN, but wanted to further my education and pursue my Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) so that I can work in pediatric oncology, and taking online classes a few nights a week allows me to do everything I want to do while still being a mom,”
Working mother puts online degrees to work
Betty Blankenship Mills is a former nurse who earned her Master of Science in Education and a master’s certificate in Instructional Design through online courses at Capella University while caring for her 8-year-old daughter. “I wasn’t willing to give up my life and time with her,” said Mills, of Lynchburg, Va. She also decided to enroll in an online degree program to help ensure job security and solidify the promotion she received while working in the educational/health training fields.
“In order to keep a good job that I loved and worked hard for, I felt that I was going to have to go back to school sooner rather than later; and my experience and education, being so specific to what I do, gave me better security and made me more marketable and more valuable to my company,” Mills said.
With the flexibility of an online degree program, Mills was able to stay focused on her family life while also advancing her education. Mills says that on average she spent about two to five hours per night online attending classes or participating in class discussions and would complete the majority of her homework, projects and research over the weekends.
Because her daughter was involved in competitive sports, Mills made herself a mini office in her car and would take notebooks and reading materials with her to her daughter’s sporting events. “Organization and planning are key,” Mills noted. “Waiting until the last minute is not good. When you plan your time and schedule your school projects, it seems to be easier to find more available time. I didn’t want my little girl to see me stressed out; I wanted her to view going to school as a great thing to do. I think overall I succeeded,” she said.
Where she is now
Mills is the LMS administrator for a health care organization that has grown from 3,000 to over 6,000 employees in the last few years. Before receiving her online degrees, she was an educator in the Department of Education, teaching mostly RN-related classes, such as safety and CPR; but her real love was always computers. Her organization’s director purchased an antiquated online system so that some of the staff-education classes could be put online. Mills eventually took over the management of the entire computer system for the organization. “I fell in love, I knew this is what I wanted to do. I love the discovery, the constant learning and the challenges of something new every day.”
The company eventually needed a larger, more dynamic computer system, and Mills’ bosses were requesting that she obtain a master’s degree. Mills knew the time was right in all areas to advance her education and her career — and she did.
“I just don’t think I would have done it if the option for online had not been available,” Mills said. “I just could not take that valuable time away from my daughter. Now I manage a successful LMS. I am a valued consultant in my field. I am constantly creating creative new ways to use the system to meet the needs of our organization… I absolutely love what I do. Thanks to my online degrees I not only have the credentials to do what I love, I have the skills!”