I lost my job in May, and I haven't been able to get another one. I have a severe speech impediment (stuttering and blocking) that's been causing problems with my jaw, so I've been avoiding jobs in customer service/sales. This rules me out for a lot of jobs in the area, where there really aren't any places hiring apart from Sheetz and Walmart. Who won't hire me anyway. Since I haven't been able to get myself out of unemployment, I've been considering going back to school. I have a BA in Letters, Arts and Sciences from Penn State. (The Penn State "make your major" option. I focused on English, Communications and Women's Studies)
I found a Master's Program that I would love to do: English-Professional writing option. I like it because it offers you classes in technical, grant, and writing for advertising. Seemed kind of practical for boosting my resume. I'm hoping I can access some Internships or something as well.
On the other hand, it comes with an estimated $17-18K a year...which includes living on campus. I debated living on or off campus. Each one has its perks and drawbacks. I'm not sure what kind of financial aid I'll get, and I already have a forbearance on my loans from my BA. I didn't even get the first thousand paid off before I lost my job. I owe a total of $12K in those. Pretty lucky, as I know people who owe a lot more. Is getting my Master's worth it? I feel like I wasted a lot of time and money getting my BA...it hasn't helped me in qualifying for jobs at all.
So I considered some distance learning. I've been browsing the posts here. I was considering Penn Foster but it didn't seem worth it from what I read here. I've never tried education from home or online education. I'm not always the most self-motivated person, and it's easy for me to put work aside when I'm struggling or distracted. I looked at UMassOnline, but I didn't see any programs I was interested in. Same for U.of Phoenix. Is there some distance learning I missed?
I considered a community college, but I was told that since I already have a bachelor's degree, getting financial aid for a lesser degree would be a lot harder. There's only one school near me, but they've lost a lot of accreditation over the years. Some of the people I talked to who attended didn't like it. I could get a diploma program in computer systems support...but it comes with a $10K price tag, which sounds like too much for just a diploma.
I'm really not sure which is the better option. I really want some practical education and job training. I feel like if I don't do anything, I'm going to be fighting just to get a dead end job down the road and never do anything with my life. It's really getting to me. I live in a really rural area, and I've been registered with Manpower and the PA Careerlink. I haven't gotten anything through them.
Any advice is appreciated. I've been stressing out over this for a while and I'm not sure what the best course of action is.