Benefits of Going Back to School as an Adult

Whether you’re considering finishing your GED, your associate’s degree, or you need a graduate degree to advance in your current job, it’s never too late to go back to school. Often called nontraditional students, more and more adults are heading back to college. If you’re thinking about going back to school, here are some reasons why other adults have already gone back.

Career advancement

If you’re unsatisfied with your job, boss, social status, or pay grade, going back to school can help you further advance within your profession. Career advancement is one of the most common motivators for getting a degree, as no one wants to earn an entry-level salary after a few years on the job.

On average, college graduates make nearly twice what high school graduates make. Clearly, putting the time and money into a degree that can help you jump the wage gap is worth the investment.

Job security

Going back to school will provide you with strengthened job security and will ensure that you’re able to keep your current job. Those who are currently unemployed or have recently been let go from a position sometimes find that a college degree can make a huge difference.

Unemployment rates for those who failed to attend or finish college average around 5.2 percent, while rates for graduates with a bachelor’s degree average around 2.7 percent. In fact, the widespread job losses resulting from the major economic downturn in 2008 led to a marked increase in adult college enrollment programs. Since 2008, more and more adults have enrolled in programs to further their education annually. A degree makes you more valuable to an employer and doubles the odds they’ll keep you around.

A sense of accomplishment

It goes unsaid that a liberal arts degree or technical certification will leave you feeling accomplished and confident. You’ll be able to call yourself a graduate, which is not something everyone else can say. Graduating will prove your worth and remind yourself of your value, and you’ll likely receive immense support and congratulations along the way from friends, family, and coworkers.

A change of direction

If you’ve recently lost a job, experienced the death of a loved one, or a midlife crisis, you might be left feeling motivated to change gears. The majority of Americans spend a third of their lives at work, but only 52.3 percent report being satisfied with their job.

Finding a fulfilling career is paramount to mental well-being, as job stress often leads to more serious mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Heading back to school enables you to get the education necessary to make a significant career change in your life. If you know you need a change, but you’re not sure where to go next, an online learning self-assessment can show you the next steps.

Setting an example

If you’re currently raising a teenager, you probably know how hard it is to encourage them to further their education. Going back to school will make you a shining example to your children and emphasize the importance of education. Ultimately, your success will help motivate them to follow in your footsteps.

Deciding whether to go back to school as an adult can seem like a difficult and stressful decision. All in all, it’s important to remember that furthering your education will create numerous opportunities for you, create job security, and inspire others to follow your lead. Going back to school as a nontraditional student also allows you to get to know and understand both yourself and the world around you while making career, educational, and life decisions.