Adults are heading back to school for various reasons. Particularly in light of today’s economic state and the many layoffs that are occurring. There are good reasons for returning to college as an adult like advancing skills to get a better-paying position, learning marketable skills if you’ve been out of the workforce for a long time, or as a means of getting out of a dead-end job. You’ll want to be sure your reasons are sound and that you’ve done your research before signing up for the lifestyle and financial commitment that college brings.
Have a Clear Goal
It’s important that you know why you want to return to school or to become a college student for the first time, even. What will you gain from a college degree? Talk to your current employer if you’re looking to advance in your current career. You’ll want to be sure that going back to school will get you to your end goal. Your employer may also be able to give you direction as to which degree to pursue and will tell you if your company can help pay for tuition.
Do Your Research
You can look beyond your current employer for information on college degree programs and their benefits. There are many websites like Back2College and Distance-Education.org that provide tons of great information for non-traditional students. Do you have any friends or family members who have gone back to school? There’s no better resource to get a first hand account of what’s involved and how becoming a student may impact your life.
Decide Wheather You Can Afford It
College can be quite pricey. You certainly don’t want to get yourself into debt only to learn that the job prospects aren’t what you thought they’d be. This really goes back to your research. It also involves your personal situation. To you, the chance at a better quality of life may be worth the risk of debt involved. It was to me. I made the choice to take out student loans when I returned to graduate school as a mom with two kids. Will you feel satisfied with taking that step or will the anxiety of adding the debt be too much for you? If so, there may be other ways, such as looking into scholarships or finding alternative ways to learn skills such as volunteering.
The thing to keep in mind when making the decision about whether to go back to school is that the choice is yours. Go with what works best for you and your family and remember that things could always change at a later time. Good luck on your choice. This is a very exciting time for you.