How to Pay for School Amidst Rising Education Costs


piggy bank to save for education costs

With the rising cost of inflation affecting everything from coffee prices to tuition fees, spending money on yourself can seem more like a financial burden than a personal investment. This hurdle can be significant for those looking to advance their skill set or pursue new professional ventures and career opportunities.

When it comes to education, investing in yourself is always a good idea, but it can be frustrating to wait four years or longer to see a return on your investment and start making money. 

This sentiment can be especially true if you have already begun a career and are looking to change paths or advance your skill set to be eligible for promotions or professional advancement.  

Continuing education programs like the Digital Skills Bootcamps at Kansas State University are excellent for adult learners to continue their education journey and strengthen existing skills or develop new talents. 

Whether your goal is to get ahead professionally, change careers, or learn something new to keep your mind sharp and stay on top of developing trends, investing in a bootcamp program can increase your salary or additional income in as little as one year. 

Overcoming financial obstacles

In the wake of rising living, housing, and transportation costs, people are seeking opportunities that offer higher salaries, more flexibility, and a better work/life balance. For many, this requires learning new skills or upgrading their talents to better suit higher-paying positions or high-demand sectors, such as the tech and design industries. 

While it is generally the most thorough choice for learning a new skill set or field of study, education costs are also rising, which means a four-year university or a second degree may not be an accessible option. 

Additionally, working adults and those who wish to advance in their careers rather than start a new path entirely may not be able to commit to a university or full-time classes. 

Part-time, accelerated bootcamps, such as the Digital Skills programs offered by K-State, provide in-depth training programs that combine traditional education with practical experience to help learners become job-ready in just ten months. Upon completion of our programs, you will be able to present a professional resume or portfolio with examples of your work. 

With the growing demand for industries such as cybersecurity, digital marketing, UI/UX, data science, and software development, many companies are forgoing the traditional requirement of a four-year degree in place of professional experience displayed in real-world applications. 

online classes learner talking with instructor

Is a bootcamp worth it? 

Yes! There’s no doubt that bootcamps are a successful solution for people looking to change their careers or upskill without spending two years or more on a formal degree.

Here are a few reasons why the Digital Skills Bootcamps offered by K-State are worth the investment:

No tech experience or degree required

Some of you may be working in non-tech jobs and may be concerned that you lack the skills to pursue a digital career. To alleviate this, we ensure our bootcamps can take people of all educational and professional backgrounds from no tech or design experience to qualified and experienced professionals in less than a year.

Our courses teach the basics of each discipline before diving into advanced tools and practices. Whether you want to specialize in UI/UX Design, Data Science & Analytics, or Digital Marketing, you can feel confident our expert instructors will ease you into each topic and guide you through the program. 

360° support

Our bootcamps have a built-in support system at every program level to help guide you towards a new career with knowledge of the job market and positions.

Our student support team is available to help you with additional resources and test retakes throughout the program, and our career services experts offer personalized assistance to help your portfolio stand out to employers.

While it seems like a minor addition to an otherwise robust program, many learners find that having someone help them stay accountable and work through any issues that they may be having in the classroom as well as any personal or scheduling concerns outside of the classroom can add a considerable value to the bootcamp experience. 

This dedicated support is not always available via the DIY route or even a four-year university. Of course, professional development or mentorship programs are available via external resources, but this can require you to pay out-of-pocket costs, which might not be an option for anyone. 

Job placement assistance

One of the most valuable components of our bootcamps is the step-by-step guidance learners receive from our career service professionals.

While you may be perfectly capable of going out and applying for a new position with your newly gathered skills, some professionals find that this can be a tedious, lengthy process. Instead, you can seek out career placement or resume assistance from an agency, online service, or even a professional freelancer – but consider this can cost up to $700. 

Even those who opted for a four-year university may struggle to break into their field of choice. Career consultants and coaches can be an excellent resource, but they can cost $100 to $150 per session, meaning you could spend hundreds or even thousands just preparing to enter a new position

Our bootcamp offers career coaches for all disciplines included at no additional cost to help talk through any doubts, concerns, or questions about your future career. You’ll be able to get their help narrowing down the types of jobs and companies that would best fit your aspirations. They can even help you understand what job titles, markets, or fields would suit you best.

We further solidify the value of our bootcamp by providing a community similar to those developed within a college or university environment through various networking opportunities, including introductions to industry partners and early access to job opportunities and openings. 

Great return on investment (ROI)

As we mentioned, making financial commitments to education can feel financially daunting. Still, when you consider the reality of that investment, you may be pleasantly surprised to know you may be getting a return sooner rather than later. 

Investing in your education is much like buying a home or contributing to your retirement account. While it may require a large sum upfront, you will likely generate much more than you originally invested.

Consider the following scenario: your current skill set qualifies you for a position with a $50,000 salary. Some companies offer additional benefits and 401(k) benefits at this pay level, while others might not provide this opportunity. In fields such as the hospitality or service industry, you might not have remote working opportunities and have to commute to and from your workplace several times a week. While you might be satisfied with your coworkers, workplace, or responsibilities, you struggle with financial obligations and a work/life balance.

Now, consider your new future after taking a Digital Skills Bootcamp! In addition to personalized job assistance, our program can help you develop the in-demand skills that will land jobs offering higher pay*, remote or hybrid work, more robust benefits or personal time, and often, a more rewarding work experience doing something you enjoy.
*Salaries vary based on a number of factors, including position, location, experience level, skills, as well as work and personal history.

Exactly how much your new salary could be will vary depending on the position, discipline, and job market you are in, but some examples include:

  • Average Cybersecurity Salary in Kansas: $107,274/year or $47/hour

Source: Ziprecruiter 

  • Average Digital Marketing Salary in Kansas: $67,524/year

Source: Indeed

  • Average Data Science Salary in Kansas: $113,388/year or $50/hour

Source: Ziprecruiter

  • Average UI/UX Design Salary in Kansas: $87,348/year or $38/hour

Source: Ziprecruiter

  • Average Software Development Salary in Kansas: $101,163/year or $47/hour

Source: Ziprecruiter

Kansas State University Campus - Olathe Campus

Free mini-course

Maybe you are dissatisfied with your current job, but you are not sure which direction you would like to take your future career. After all, “working in tech” applies to various jobs and industries.

One way you can explore your curiosity is to take one, or more, of our free mini-courses. They take less than an hour to complete, and by the end, you’ll know if a career in that discipline is right for you or not!

Wherever your interests and passions lie, you can find the inspiration you need to take the next step in your career – for FREE!

Software Development Mini-Course

Data Science and Analytics Mini-Course

Digital Marketing Mini-Course

UI/UX Design Mini-Course

Cybersecurity Mini-Course

Making the commitment

Once you’ve decided to invest in yourself, the next step is to commit – both financially and mentally. Finding a bootcamp that offers payment plans or reduced Introductory Course costs can help you contribute to your investment without burning a hole in your pocket. You can even look into free resources to help you decide what the best choice is for you.

To get started with one of our accelerated 10-month Digital Skills Bootcamp programs, visit us online or give us a call today. 

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