No matter where you work or what you do, you know that a little more education might make a big difference in your job and your life. But it is so hard to balance the requirements you have at home and work with an additional load of going back to school.

Not too many years ago, most colleges and universities were keyed into providing educational services for full time students. In schools where teachers got their degrees and in states where a masters degree had to follow to retain certification, continuing education programs sprang up to meet a need. But in a sense, those teacher were full time, part time students. You could often seen them late in the day, attending a class before they drove home for dinner, or in class through the summer when schools were closed.

Today, more colleges and universities have become continuing education schools, offering classes and credits for work to keep professional skills fresh and certifications intact. Schools for continuing education make it easy for students to complete an advanced degree if they are willing to put in the time. Accelerated masters level programs are taught on weekends once a month; many schools run evening sessions through the week.

And the internet has given students the chance to complete their degrees online, taking courses whenever they have time to pick up a laptop or tablet. This means that continuing education is now an around the clock endeavor. Night managers in motels can bone up on their Paleontology courses. Nurses on weekend duty can take a break and stick it out with a Phlebotomy curriculum. Agribusiness teachers can sift through the latest research projects on wheat production. Construction engineers can dig up the best examples of proper footers for a class building project.

Students can also work collaboratively online, mimicking the countrywide or international teamwork they use every week at their offices. And today it is the unusual college or university that has not developed a whole continuing education curriculum for its student graduates and members of the community who continue to pursue their dreams.