Going Back to School as an Adult

If you are a working adult considering going back to school, you are not alone! According to the National Center for Education Statistics, by 2020 there will be nearly 10 million students above the age of 25 enrolled in a degree-granting institution with a little over 4 million of these students being 35 and over. Learn more here. Whether you are seeking advancement in your current career or going back to school to learn a new skill, expanding your credentials can prove beneficial in self marketing.

Going back to school as a working adult has its challenges. It is important to be aware of the challenges you may face so that you are prepared to overcome them. The biggest challenge – and consequently the reason why many working adults shy away from continuing education – is time. The older you are the more responsibilities you have incurred. Balancing work commitments, family commitments, and education commitments is not easy, but nothing worth having is! With time management and a strong support system, you can be on the way to pursuing a degree in no time.

Another reason adults are hesitant to go back to school is fear they won’t fit in. John Stark addresses this fear in his article Why I Went Back to College. Although he was apprehensive about his age, he found that his younger classmates were not. His fear turned out to be his own paranoia – unjustified by the actual experiences he had going back to school. Acknowledging your fears and addressing them head on is the best way to move past them. More often than not, you’ll realize it wasn’t as bad as you thought.

Feeling confident in your ability to go back to school? You can do it! Here are some tips to aid in choosing the right program for you: (1) Research career outlook and employment rates for your program of interest. (2) Investigate alternatives to traditional colleges. Depending on your career goals, specialized training may be a great choice. (3) If embarking on a new career path, find programs that ensure real-world experience. For more tips, check out When Does It Pay To Go Back To School in Midlife?