Reasons to Go Back to School as an Adult
Have you ever thought about going back to school? If you have, what’s stopping you? Do you feel like there isn’t enough time? Are you worried about the expense? Are you just feeling intimidated in general?
Earning a degree as an adult can be very intimidating, especially when you’re trying to balance a full-time job and a life at home – not to mention the cost associated with post-secondary education. But there are so many reasons to go back to school as an adult.
If you’re considering going back to school, you already have one significant advantage: you have experience in the field. Your work experiences have given you practical knowledge of your profession, and that knowledge will help you relate what you learn in the classroom to the real world.
Fellow classmates could also benefit from listening to your experiences out in the field and how that applies to what is being discussed in the classroom. You can also benefit from listening to your colleagues’ experiences.
Your time is precious. Because you’re already trying to balance your work and home life, you won’t want to waste your time procrastinating. Getting back into a study routine after being out of school for so long can be a little daunting, but it can be done.
Because life happens, it’s easy to set studies aside and procrastinate. You can start by allocating a certain amount of time per day to study. This can help you study efficiently and effectively, as well as help you stay committed to your goal.
Focusing on Your Career
Whether you’re looking to grow your current profession or start a career in a completely different field, the education you will receive will most likely be complimentary of your career path. This will allow you to be more engaged in the classroom.
In addition, continuing your education can help you qualify for the job you want. Added credentials and skills can open the door for further advancement opportunities in one’s career.
The courses and classes that we offer through Degree Advantage are entirely online, with working adults specifically in mind. Online learning provides a more flexible schedule than traditional campus-based programs, especially since we offer 24/7 access to class materials and email access to instructors, which comes in handy for someone already in the workforce.
There are plenty more benefits to earning a degree as an adult other than adding new skills and certifications to your resume. A college education can also lead to better paying, higher skilled jobs.
According to a study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017, the median weekly earnings of those with a high school diploma were $712, whereas the median weekly earnings for those with an associate’s degree were around $836. The median weekly earnings of those with bachelor’s degrees were even higher at $1,173, with master’s degrees at $1,401, doctoral degrees at $1,743, and professional degrees at $1,836.
In addition, the study also showed that the unemployment rate also decreases with the level of education achieved. The median unemployment for those with a high school diploma was 4.6 percent, with associate’s degrees at 3.4 percent, bachelor’s degrees at 2.5 percent, master’s degrees at 2.2 percent, and both doctoral and professional degrees at 1.5 percent.
If you are looking to change careers, it’s likely that the field you’re interested in will require some form of post-secondary education. According to a study by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, by 2020, 65% of job opportunities will require some form of post-secondary education – 35% of job openings will require at least a bachelor’s degree, with an additional 30% of job openings requiring at least some college or an associate’s degree.
An Investment in the Future
Going back to school is definitely a commitment, but it’s a long-term investment that will be worth every penny.
While higher education is costly, there are many financial aid options for those looking to go back to school. Many universities offer scholarships specifically for nontraditional students, students age 25 or older, in addition to grants, low-interest loans, and more. You may also check with your current employer about financial assistance. Many companies offer tuition reimbursement programs for employees working to further their education.
There are many things to consider when deciding whether to go back to school as a working adult. It can be an overwhelming decision, but the pros far outweigh the cons. Getting that degree will take hard work and dedication, but you already have many advantages when you take those first steps towards achieving that goal.