Whether you want to advance your education for better career options or just for personal growth, there are many options out there. Of course, having enough time and the money to pursue education can be tricky. Here are some tips to help you in your endeavors.

Look for an Adult Education Program for the Basics

If you were never able to finish high school, you may be wanting to get your GED so that you can apply to post-secondary institutions. Thankfully, there are many educational centers out there that are budget-friendly; some are even free if they are run by a non-profit. These kinds of programs not only help you prepare for higher education, but they can help you improve your job interviewing skills and build literacy/math proficiency should you need to take the SAT/ACT.

Use Google to Scour the Web for Free Courses & Tutorials

If you don't have internet access at home, trek over to your local library for it. There are so many wonderful resources at your fingertips. For instance, there are massive open online courses (MOOCs) that will allow students to try portions of courses for free—basically you get to audit a class online. The downsides are that you may not get a certificate of completion. However, if you are just wanting to learn a new skill, this isn't a problem.

If you aren't really pursuing STEM-related classes, there are still lots of courses online for creative pursuits. For instance, even sites like YouTube have free tutorials for the Adobe Creative Suite, figure drawing, Wordpress, and so on.

Don't Sell Yourself Short

When you think of furthering your education, you may be thinking you want to grow as an employee in a specific company. However, you may think that since you lack a college education, you won't be able to pursue the jobs you want to. However, according to research by the Chronicle of Higher Education, employers are mainly looking for people that had "life experience"--a.k.a internships and volunteer work. So if you want to learn about a certain sector, why not look into volunteer work or an internship? Some internships and volunteer work will actually have on-the-job training. These are great ways to get involved in your community, get your foot in the door with entry-level work, learn a different skillset, and possibly get paid!

Look into Vocational Training

Like internships, vocational jobs often have on-the-job training, so you don't have to worry as much about having a traditional educational background. For instance, if you want to eventually get into the healthcare sector, you may want to consider a dental tech/ceramist job. These individuals help to craft dental appliances, like partial dentures, in a lab. And while there are schools for this work, many ceramists have hands-on training. Vocational training is a great way to get a unique education while also getting paid.

Be Picky About Which Certificates You Want to Pursue

If you've already gone to college and are looking for additional education to bulk up your resume, you may be looking at certification programs. But you should be very picky when choosing a certification program that costs money. For some career paths, certificates don't mean much and prospective employers' eyes may just glance over these bullet points with little thought. However, advanced certifications like CPA, LPC , CFA, etc. can actually increase your job opportunities and even your salary, so a little spending for a program may be okay for your budget in the long-run.

As you can see, whether you are just thinking about getting your GED or you are looking for professional development courses that may be offered at a local adult education center, there are worthwhile options that won't break your bank!