Often times, those who are interested in becoming paralegals in the state of Montana are curious about which path to working in the field is the quickest. That really depends on a couple of factors. Most people who work as paralegals in the state will hold an associate’s degree, which generally requires the least amount of schooling out of all of the other options.
Most people complete their degree and begin applying for jobs in the field within only two years time. However, certificates can be earned even more quickly, in as little as six months to a year, but one must first hold a bachelor’s degree in order to earn a certificate. Therefore, they actually take more schooling in the long run.
Really, though, you should never base the decision of what kind of an education to receive on which one will take you the least amount of time. No matter how you enter into the field, it is going to take some real work on your part. Therefore, if you are someone who just wants to rush through the process and get a job right away, then this might not be the best career field for you.
Becoming a paralegal takes real commitment and devotion and, more than that, a real willingness and eagerness to learn.
Those who are thinking about earning associate’s degrees will have a quick path into the field, but this option is not for everyone. While associate’s degrees are the bare minimum that you can have and still work in the field, they are not very prestigious.
As such, they don’t really help you to stand out above the competition when it comes to finding a job. So, while you likely will find work with an associate’s degree, it might take you a while to do so, and the job you end up with may not be your dream job, but just what happens to be offered to you.
For this reason, bachelor’s degrees are strongly encouraged. They are not extremely common in the field, likely because people know that they do not have to have one in order to work. However, having one makes you different in a very good way. It shows your willingness to learn and can greatly help your chances of getting the job that you truly want.
Certificates are a whole other ball game. They are some of the hardest things to find work with, but for many, they are a viable option. Certificates work well for those who have decided to become paralegals later in life, after already having earned an unrelated degree.
Certification programs enable them to have the job they want without having to deal with (and pay for!) a full-fledged degree all over again. They can also be a good option for those who have earned a paralegal degree, but who have done so from a program not accredited by the American Bar Association. When that is the case, a certification has the power to make the degree legitimate, so that the student’s efforts were not a complete waste of time and money.
As you can see, there are lots of different ways to become a paralegal in the state, some of them faster than others. Always keep in mind, though, the fact that the reason you get an education isn’t just to be done and to find a job. While that is certainly part of it, the main purpose of schooling is for you to become a master at your trade and to learn the skills necessary to enjoy a long and successful career.
It is a lot easier to get these things out of school if you don’t rush through the whole thing. So, no matter which program you choose, take your time, learn all that you can, and make the most of it. In the end, your education will be what you lean on as you look for and apply for jobs and as you start working as a real paralegal for the very first time.
Thus, always choose your school based on the quality of the education you will receive, and not on how quickly you can get through its program.