Want to complete a degree while living in Israel? There are lots of options.
While living in Israel, be it short term or long term, the primary focus should be your spiritual growth. The opportunities for such growth are endless. However, that doesn’t need to come at the expense of your future and ways to make a living. On the contrary, there are many options available for men or women, single or married, to earn a college degree or certification and position themselves in a way to earn a respectful income all while enjoying all the benefits Israel has to offer.
In this article, I’m going to lay out some of the options for you to prepare for your future, while not compromising on your spiritual growth in the Promised Land. Each option has its pros and cons and one should not rely solely on this article. But that being said, every option discussed in this article was done by someone like YOU and we can provide you with a referral.
Touro College Israel (TCI)
The first option I would mention is Touro College Israel, a division of Touro College. Touro College Israel provides Kollel students and wives, seminary, yeshiva, and other students the opportunity to get a jumpstart on their education while studying and living in Jerusalem. Touro provides a uniquely supportive academic environment complete with dedicated and highly accomplished professors and fully equipped facilities. They offer undergraduate courses, across a variety of career-oriented disciplines – including Business, Psychology, Education, Speech, and Pre-Health – with an on-site science laboratory. They are located at Beit Ha-Defus St 11 but are flexible and bring classes to wherever there is a strong interest. TCI schedules classes for women in the mornings and afternoons, and men in the evenings to accommodate students’ needs and busy schedules.
Many people attend Touro College in the United States. Therefore, instead of returning to the US with all your college years ahead of you, knock off one or two years while in Israel without disturbing all that Israel has to offer. All courses and programs offered at TCI are fully accredited and are part of your Touro College New York transcript. The credits you earn at TCI may transfer to another institution if you pursue your undergraduate degree elsewhere, depending on their requirements. Whether you are continuing in TCI from beginning in Touro College in the States or starting in Touro College Israel and finishing off in the States, the sky is the limit.
For TCI website, click here.
TAL (Premium Torah College Programs)
TAL is a full-service Bachelor’s degree program. The program is designed for those who have a limited amount of time to spend on their studies. Study guides and exams are all given to the student according to his/her schedule and convenience. Students can attain a degree in Liberal Arts, Psychology, or Business.
I have found through personal experience that TAL is the most helpful and resourceful when it comes to attaining your bachelor’s degree from a distance. However, it should be clear that this degree is more of a stepping stone for reaching your graduate degree elsewhere and less useful on its own.
Going for your Master’s degree may be a drop more difficult while you are still in Israel. The programs available are not exactly tailor-made for those learning in Israel. But if you can pull it off then you are putting yourself in a very good position when it’s time to go back or even to work in Israel. The programs mentioned below range in how much time a week you need to put in to complete them and depend on your work ethic as well. Some can be done with just your nights, while some might take over other parts of your day and for sure your weekends!
If you are interested in pursuing an MBA with concentrations in finance, accounting, marketing, and the like, there are a few options.
The first option is to receive an MBA from Touro University Worldwide (TUW), part of the Touro College and University System. I personally have this degree with a concentration in Finance. The fastest one can do this degree is one year, by taking two courses each semester. Each semester is broken up into two, for example, there is Fall 1 and Fall 2. By taking two courses, you can complete the degree in twelve months. This option is completely online. A major plus to this option is there is no GMAT requirement which is usually required at other MBA programs. This degree costs $18,000 but one can easily qualify for a 40% discount when applying for the Achieve Your Success scholarship taking the total down to $10,800.
Another MBA option people do while in Israel is the International MBA from Bar Ilan. This option probably carries more weight on a resume than the above-mentioned degree but it has its cons. One downside is the GMAT requirement (To see exemptions from the GMAT exam requirement, check their website). Another downside is that you are required to come into the Bar Ilan campus a few times a week.
If you are interested in pursuing a master’s in accounting degree there are two options that I am familiar with. Both these options are completely online and can take anywhere between 10 and 24 months depending on the prerequisites you have and depending on how many courses you take each semester.
The first program is the Online Master of Science in Accounting through Seton Hall University. Their program is a top 100 school for accounting. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a GRE/GMAT requirement and is only waived with a 3.4 GPA.
The other program we can recommend is the Master of Science in Accounting Online through Maryville University. My wife is currently taking this program. One of the major benefits of this program is that no GRE/GMAT is required. Another benefit is the last four courses in the program are CPA prep courses so you can prepare and qualify for the CPA exams at the same time.
If you are interested in pursuing a career in speech therapy, the Master of Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Cincinnati is a viable option.
For those interested in becoming a therapist, the Master of Science in Clinical Counseling (MSCC) from Bellevue University is a solid option. I personally know individuals who were able to complete this degree and its various requirements while learning in Kollel and now practice with it in Israel and America. This degree is more time consuming and will take up many parts of your day and week, however, it will prepare you with the appropriate skills and credentials to be able to practice and make a living while helping others.
If you are interested in making a living but aren’t interested in College, there are courses and programs you can take which will teach you skills and offer certification. With this certification, you can practice whatever field you gained skill in. Generally, these programs are more affordable than standard college and can be completed in far less time. Touro College Israel (TCI) occasionally runs such programs such as Coding Bootcamp which will train you through the basics of creating webpages and websites. During these times, such courses are on Zoom. Compuskills, professional career training, also offers various non-college courses such as graphic design, photography, and professional wig styling.
Whichever option you pursue, working towards your future will help you stay ahead. While in Israel, there is no reason to put your ambitions and career on pause as the options are endless. Take advantage of all the things that these programs and schools have to offer!
For more from Dovid about living in Israel, see these posts: