Istock_000002973345xsmall If you’re going through or contemplating a divorce, you know it’s a time of tension and heartache. But divorce can also be a catalyst for a new beginning, providing a nudge needed to pursue dreams put aside long ago.

Assuming new roles and tasks can offset some of the turmoil of a divorce. One particularly effective way utilizes online education. Studying a subject of interest helps deflect your anger and there is a tangible reward for completing coursework: a new degree and higher earning potential. This is accomplished while letting go of a painful past.

Online courses are offered in subjects such as Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Executive Business Administration, E-Business, and Criminal Justice. It is recognized that class work can provide direction, stability, and purpose when you are otherwise overwhelmed by the disruptions a divorce creates.

For example, one mother of two took the pain and hardship of her divorce and turned it into something valuable. When her marriage ended, she was forced to go on public assistance and work several low-paying jobs in order to survive. Realizing that she couldn’t keep living in that cycle forever, she decided to go back to school. After several years of hard work, she earned her Bachelor’s degree. One year later she earned a Master of Arts in Education and became an adjunct professor at a community college in California.

This mother is not alone in her pursuit of an education. A majority of new or returning students today are women. One quarter of these new students have children; about 13% are single parents.

The U.S. Census Bureau offers a productive picture of how higher education translates into higher earning power. A person without a high school diploma, working minimum wage or low-paying jobs, will earn a total of $700,000 over his or her career. Someone with a high school degree can expect to earn $1 million during his or her working years. Over one’s career, a Bachelor’s degree bumps that figure to $1.6 million, a Master’s averages $1.9 million, and a Doctorate boosts earning potential to $2.5 million.

The security and comfort these figures provide can also salve the heartbreak of a divorce.  As a onetime welfare mother, our profiled college professor notes that “You can’t always control what happens in your life… but you can change yourself.”

SOURCE: DivorceNet