06/14/2013 01:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

How to Get More Value Out of Your Education


"He who opens a school door, closes a prison." -- Victor Hugo

Whether one obtains an Associate's Degree or several Ph.D.s, higher education costs a lot of time and money. The investment is high, so the return on this investment should give the graduate a great reward. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. So it is imperative to make sure you pick the right degree when you start out and also come up with other ways to cash in on your degree above and beyond just getting a job.

"An educated man is thoroughly inoculated against humbug, thinks for himself and tries to give his thoughts, in speech or on paper, some style." -- Alan K. Simpson


We all have some value to offer. Why not offer that value online? You can set up a blog and expand your value to others. If you are an accountant, offer juicy tidbits, like how to save money on taxes, how to get a bigger return or other great content. Ideally you should write everyday to build your traffic and your following. Post your website in directories, on social media and in the signature of your email and forum profile. Be active and people will start finding you.

"Poor people cannot rely on the government to come to help you in times of need. You have to get your education. Then nobody can control your destiny." -- Charles Barkley

Establish Yourself as an Expert

Once you start publishing content, then that can open doors for you. You can get job offers, consulting gigs, writing gigs and paid speaking engagements. There is no limit to what you can do with your recognized expertise.

"To the extent that we are all educated and informed, we will be more equipped to deal with the gut issues that tend to divide us." -- Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg

Create videos to inform

Videos are easy and quick to create nowadays. You don't have to have a Hollywood production -- you can simply speak in front of the camera, or do a simple demonstration on your computer that captures the information for you. This also establishes you as an expert. You can also embed these into your blog. Depending on how you do it, videos can be quicker and easier to make than writing blogs.

Become an Entrepreneur

Becoming an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart, but here is the upside. Start a business correctly and you can make far more money than you ever imagined you could. You can go into consulting, writing reports, or whatever expertise you can provide to other businesses or individuals. Before you even think about taking business classes, you will want to take personal development.

Personal development will help you to think like a business person. Keep up your personal development even if you decide to take some extra business classes. Read people like Zig Ziglar, T. Harv Eker, Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Donald Trump and others.

Pick some people who resonate with you. They don't have to be business people in order for you to listen -- religious and secular leaders can teach you excellent thinking to retrain your brain. You can get this material for free at the library or on YouTube. Stumbleupon is a "smart" search engine that will curate your content based on what category you pick and whether you like or dislike certain content.

If you want to learn more about getting into the right education for you, that you can feel you can leverage for yourself, then visit Explore your career options, talk to counselors and get into the right path for your financial freedom.

For those who are curious about where online education is headed, see the following infographic:

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