Fertility Rates In Career Women Are RisingKatrina Wharton |17, November 2014
While fertility rates overall in the US have been in decline, one group has seen a nearly 50 percent increase since 1980 According to The Guardian. Women with advanced degrees are having an average of 1.96 children compared to 1.2 a couple decades ago.
It's interesting to note that in looking at a broader group; women with college education, the fertility levels have remained stable. The reason for women with the higher levels of education having more children now is not IQ-related. Women with advanced degrees earn higher incomes and can afford the services to make long hours at work and demanding careers capable of having children at a higher rate. They can hire a nanny who can provide childcare, light shopping and housekeeping. They can make a trade-off between time required to parent and the time required on the job. It's a luxury other women simply cannot afford, and the impact can be seen in family size.
For women at the lower end of the economic picture, childrearing is a costly choice that impacts all decisions regarding the family, including the size of it.
Numbers released in August 2014 indicate that a child born in 2013 will cost a family 5,340 to raise, if the child was born into a middle income family. What's worse, those numbers don't include the big payouts for expenses like birth or college educations. For families living in the urban Northeast part of the country, the costs are even higher, ranging more in the 2,480.
Want to join the ranks of women with advanced degrees? It's never too late. Look into options in your community. You may qualify for financial aid, or even scholarships for returning students, single mothers, or first generation college students. Talk to the financial aid department at a local college to get an idea of helps that may be in place for women in your particular situation.
Think you're too busy for school? Consider online degrees, but check out the school's reputation if they only offer online degrees. Generally, the non-profit institutions offer degrees that are more highly regarded than those from for-profit corporations. However, many well-regarded colleges and universities are offering more and more courses and degrees through online means. Other courses may be available at more convenient times, such as evenings or weekends.
In fact, according to a 2013 article in the Wall Street Journal, only 29 percent of college undergraduates are traditional students. That means you are in good company, and colleges are better equipped to handle concerns of students who are juggling a family, probably a job, along with a pursuit of a degree.
However, the drop-out rate for nontraditional students is high, at nearly 1/3 of the population of those students. It's no wonder why, with all the demands on many such students.
Ways to Handle it All
If you wish to continue your education and balance family and work schedules you'll need a plan.
Find out everything you can about your options and assistance available.
Is there a child care center on campus and what does it cost? Are there any assistance programs for mothers returning to school, maybe that help with fees and books, for instance? How much time will you need to spend physically on campus and are there schedules that will work for you?
Become a time management expert.
Just being a mom puts you at an advantage. You know what it takes to keep things rolling at home, and now you need to adjust for some new demands. What things are time wasters? How can you save time without spending a fortune? Planning sometimes saves big dollars. Grocery shopping and menu planning can make a big difference, so you don't end up at the drive through three or more times a week, doling out dollars you don't have.
You need everyone to get onboard with the plan for things to work. Make sure as much as possible, that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. Are you going to get a promotion or a better position after gaining this degree? Will you be able to work from home if you get some extra education or training?
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