Going back to school with the goal of completing a degree is a huge commitment for an adult. Fortunately, many schools offer flexible programs and schedules to accommodate work and family schedules. Read this collection of reasons adults should consider embracing or re-embracing the college experience.
Increase Your Earning Potential
Regardless of whether you plan to earn an associate degree or a Bachelor of Science, you can expect your higher education credentials to pay off. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the higher the degree, the more money a person earns, and the less likely that person is to experience unemployment. Some institutions, such as Colorado State University, offer affordable programs with financial aid opportunities for adult learners. That means graduates can more quickly reap the financial benefits of their degree.
Expand Your Career Options
The more education you have, the broader your career options are. For instance, having a bachelor’s degree in computer science means you can work as not just a computer programmer, but also a database administrator, systems analyst, and more. The degree raises your credibility and speaks to your level of skill, dramatically enhancing your standing as a job candidate.
In many cases, you can expand your career options by upgrading your degree online. Examples of the online programs available include the MA in Strategic Communication, the MS in Nutrition Education, the MA in Economics, Applied Economics Specialization, and a Graduate Certificate in Project Monitoring and Evaluation. Each of these degrees gives you the chance to move up quickly in your desired field, since you will have the skills that are necessary for promotions. You can take these courses in your spare time, since you never have to visit a classroom, giving you the opportunity to improve your job skills without leaving your current job.
Convenient Sense of Service
A desire to help others motivates some adults to return to college. Nontraditional students can pursue a psychology degree from places like Penn State, which offer online options. Not only do students prepare for meaningful careers in social work or recreational therapy, they do it at their own pace over the Internet.
Turn Training into a Degree
Wouldn’t it be convenient if on-the-job training counted toward the completion of a degree? At Immaculata University in Pennsylvania, some programs allow adult students to earn credits for certain training programs they complete at work. This approach makes it easier for adult students to save time and money. It also ensures that students are getting practical experiences that are relevant to their field. Some adult learners go back to college because they want to earn career-related certifications. Programs such as an online master’s degree in counseling from Wake Forest University help people fulfill this desire.
Savor the College Experience
Often, adult students miss out on the opportunity to experience college life. However, some universities offer opportunities directly geared toward this population. The University of Baltimore was founded to cater to adult students. Students can enjoy a recreation center that’s integrated into one of its traditional buildings, rather than being a stand-alone facility. It also has an active student engagement program that offers a wide range of clubs and special events.
Going back to college, whether online or on campus, presents many challenges for adult learners. They have to make time in their schedule for classes and homework. Financial considerations also play into the decision to go back to school. Even so, most people find that completing a degree opens the door to exciting career options, and expands their earning potential.
Some adult learners go back to college because they want to earn career-related certifications. Programs such as an online master’s degree in counseling from Wake Forest University help people fulfill this desire.