Is going back to school worth it?
Lots of adults ask themselves how to go back to school — especially with jobs and families. These questions help them consider their options.
If you are considering going back to school as an adult, you might not be the only one thinking about this goal. About 11% of today's college students are between the ages of 25 to 34 years old and almost 25% of the full-time college students are working a full-time job.
There are impactful reasons for adults to consider a return to school. Per Forbes, over the course of a person's career, people with a college degree may earn hundreds of thousands more than someone who doesn't go to college. Bachelor's degrees and beyond also positively affect employment rates. For those 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree, unemployment rates in December, 2021, were over two percentage points lower than those who only graduated high school.
Thinking of going back to college? Tackle these questions
- Does this institution fit my needs? Many individuals going back to college work full-time and juggle the challenges of raising a family. Therefore, it's important to explore institutions that fit your lifestyle by offering flexibility including evening, weekend or online courses, on-site childcare and support services (tutoring, career services and advising).
- What will I need to graduate? Do your research and ask specific questions as you prepare for your college career. Make sure you know if any previous credits or classes transfer. In addition, check if any previous credits will be applicable toward the current degree you are pursuing.
- Ask yourself, "Is going to college worth it?" Going to college can open the door for better employment opportunities and higher paying jobs. It can also lay the foundation for helping you achieve your dreams, whether it be pursuing a career in a field that you are passionate about or the higher income that could allow you to invest or save for future dreams.
- What is it like to work in the field I want to pursue? It is important to do your research prior to deciding on a specific degree or career path as making this decision can be challenging for some. If you have multiple interests, take time to explore and learn additional facets, keeping in mind certain degrees can offer flexible career opportunities within your areas of interest and skill set. It is also important to be aware of the current job market as you are considering various degrees. Schedule a meeting to talk with the academic advisor to help with your decision.
Reasons why adults go back to school
Adults are going back to school not only to increase their salary potential, but also to find passion in a more fulfilling occupation. Some are at a point in life where they are able to financially afford to go to college. Understanding the importance of continuing education to increase a current skill set may provide an opportunity for advancement in an existing career or provide a foundation for personal career achievements.