How do I get a Life Experience Degree?

Vanessa Harvey

To obtain a life experience degree, you will first need to locate an educational institution that offers credentials based on a person's life and work experience. Generally, your only means of communication with these schools will be by email, because few of them employ faculty members or staff members on a full-time basis. Although you might be able to contact them by writing to a post office box, such schools tend to have an online presence only. Once you find a school that offers the degree in which you are interested, you will need to know what the entrance requirements are. Usually, you will need to have earned at least a high school diploma.

Many people believe that life experience degrees are not professional credentials.
Many people believe that life experience degrees are not professional credentials.

You might find it helpful, before proceeding with the application process, to know what the school charges for various fees and tuition. For example, some colleges charge a fee to process your application, which could also be referred to as an evaluation. A question that tends to be of great importance to prospective students is whether a college or university is accredited. The web site of the college or university in which you are interested might state that the school is accredited. This does not mean, however, that the accreditation is recognized by a government agency, such as the Department of Education in the United States.

Your choice of school should be primarily based on the reasons for which you are seeking a life experience degree. If you plan to enter the work world or make a career change in the private sector, an online life experience degree could help you to succeed. You should be aware, however, that life experience degrees from non-accredited schools are not recommended for anyone desiring employment within any sector of the government. When the requirements for a government position state that applicants must hold a degree, the credentials should be issued by an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the government.

It is the opinion of many people that life experience degrees are not professional credentials; therefore, they might be rejected by large employers. You generally are advised to be vague when listing a life experience degree on your resume and to ask the college to back date it as far as is possible and reasonable. The same advice usually is given for how to speak about a life experience degree during an interview, to avoid in-depth questions. Many of the web sites that encourage readers to enter or change careers with a life experience degree even coach you how to respond if you are questioned about attending a non-accredited school. Such advice generally is considered to be a revelation that life experience degrees are rarely presented with pride by the holders.

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