After the unsettling year we’ve all been through in 2020, I’m sure that most Ohioans – like me – are ready to turn the page to 2021. We’re all looking forward to a brighter, healthier, and more prosperous year ahead, which adds an extra layer of importance to the resolutions we’ll be making this New Year’s Eve.

The start of a new year has always been a time to make resolutions and commit ourselves to self-improvement and brighter horizons. But more often than not our January resolutions will have melted away as quickly as snowdrifts by spring. As we forget our New Year’s promises and slowly lapse back into our old routines, we’re left with regrets and one nagging question: “Could I have made a better resolution?”

The answer is actually contained in another question or two: “What resolution can I make that will never stop moving me forward?” “What resolution will pay off with long-term dividends and give me the most rewarding return on my investment of time, money, and effort?” For most working-age Ohioans, the answer would have to be a commitment to upgrading their education and career skills. These are the lasting tools that will advance an existing career or open paths to a new one. In other words, upskilling your education is the perfect target for a truly meaningful New Year’s resolution

As you consider what resolutions to make for 2021, think about where you are in your career and where you would like to be. Then, think about the steps you should take that move you closer to that goal. What better way to ring in 2021 than by resolving to gain new skills or a new degree to increase your career prospects and earning power? And what better way to prepare yourself for success in an increasingly competitive job market where technical skills and advanced training are more essential than ever before?

Every day as I work at Western Governors University Ohio I see the way thousands of Ohioans are already doing that. Nonprofit, online-only WGU Ohio is expressly designed for the needs of adult learners, most with full-time jobs and family obligations, who nevertheless have resolved to earn their accredited bachelor’s or master’s degrees as a way to move ahead in their careers.

For most busy Ohioans, finding time to commit to additional education, can be hard to imagine, but it’s more possible than ever before thanks to WGU Ohio’s proven competency-based learning model that provides the flexibility, independence, and affordability that today’s students need.

Western Governors University was founded in 1997 by a coalition of 19 U.S. state governors as a way to offer their citizens – particularly adult learners – the chance to go to college from home, at their own pace, while working and caring for their families. In 2018, Ohio became the eighth additional state to partner with WGU to offer its degree programs in health and nursing, business, teaching, and information technology. Since that time, WGU Ohio as an accredited, nonprofit university has helped about 5,000 Ohio students receive the educations they need to pursue in-demand careers.

WGU is the new approach to higher education, and just the right thing for a New Year’s resolution to get a new handle on work – or a new career altogether. As one year ends and the next begins, regardless of the resolutions we make or break, what remains unchanged is that opportunities exist for those with the resilience and ability to seize them.

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