If you’re considering reasons to go back to school, you’re in luck! There are so many benefits to returning and finishing your degree. Going back to school has a high return on investment — meaning you receive more than what you put in — financially, professionally and personally.
Around 60% of adults who went to school but did not obtain their degree consider returning. The biggest barriers? Cost and time. Almost 80% of adult learners work full-time or part-time jobs while in school, and life may seem to get in the way.
If you’re worried about the cost or having time to go to school, community colleges are the perfect choice. They have a plethora of degree and certificate programs, opportunities for financial aid or scholarships, and flexible academic planning.
5 Benefits of Going Back to School
If you’re considering returning to school, you want to make sure it’s the right move for you and your family. It’s normal to feel a little apprehensive about the decision. These five benefits of going back to school may help put your mind at ease:
1. Career Opportunities
Many students return to school for better career opportunities. Perhaps you’re not happy in your current job or industry, or maybe your workplace has told you that you need to have a certain degree or certificate to be eligible for promotions. If you want to progress in your career or open up more job opportunities for yourself, returning to school can be a great move.
In a recent study on workforce trends, researchers found that by 2027 almost 70% of jobs will require some sort of postsecondary degree. When you return to school, you’ll be able to earn qualifications that can give you an edge in the job market now and in the future.
2. Personal Growth
In addition to helping you professionally, going back to school can also help you with personal growth. Many people struggle with time management and organization, but the work you do in school can help build skills that will benefit you for the rest of your life.
Additionally, most colleges have career services to help you develop your job application and interview skills, which will set you up for future success. If you return to school, you can be better prepared to find and land a job that you love.
3. Changing Directions
If you’re unhappy or dissatisfied with where you are in life, going back to school can help you reset your life. Two of the most frequent reasons people return to school are to:
- Enter a new field: If you work in a field you’re unhappy in, going back to school can help you discover new talents and passions. Education is especially important if you hope to enter a technical field, and many community colleges hold accreditations and certificate programs in fields such as nursing, automotive technology and computer science.
- Start your own business: If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re looking to start your own business, going back to school to get your business degree can be a fantastic idea. An associate degree or certificate in business administration can give you the skills to build your business and handle complex problems that might come your way.
4. Sharpening Your Skills
Many people head back to school to sharpen their skills in an industry they’ve been working in or one they’re interested in entering. If you’re a freelance photographer, getting your degree in photography can make you a more attractive job candidate and help you learn exciting new tricks. If you’ve always wanted to work with animals, a veterinary technology degree can give you the skills to work with and care for animals.
Some jobs may even encourage or require their employees to seek out continuing education. Going back to school can help sharpen your job skills and make you a better candidate for career advancements.
5. Sense of Accomplishment
Whether you have regrets about not finishing your degree or life simply got in the way, going back to school can give you a sense of accomplishment. Scientific research demonstrates that setting goals actually contributes to your happiness. Goals focus your attention, and meeting them builds your confidence in yourself.
No matter why you return to school, accomplishing what you set out to do may have you feeling more sure of yourself. And your degree or certificate can act as a reminder of your work ethic and successes, even when you face setbacks in life.
Is It Worth Going Back to School at 40?
If you’re older than the traditional college student, you might think you’ll be a fish out of water when you go back to school. But this isn’t necessarily the case. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), 7.5 million students in 2020 were age 25 or older.
Even if you’ve been out of school for a while, going back to school to get a degree or certificate is definitely worth it. Going back to school can have a high return on investment and help you keep up with trends in the job market. You’ll gain new skills, opportunities to advance in your career and resources that can help you land a job you love.
Why Going Back to School Is Important
The importance of returning to school depends on your goals and aspirations. For most people, returning to school is one of the only ways to progress in their careers and reach a higher earning potential. Earning your degree can also help if you plan to change careers completely, or if you’re looking to start your own business.
School is also great for personal development and networking. You’ll gain new skills, and you may even make contacts in an industry you’d like to enter. If you’re an older adult planning to attend school, you have unique insights and experiences to share. Your perspectives can have a positive impact on your class and your school as a whole.
Going Back to School Is Easier Than You Think at The Mount
With flexible schooling options and cost-effective payment plans, going back to school is more accessible than you might think. At Mount Wachusett Community College, we understand most students have responsibilities outside school, so we strive to create an environment that promotes success and achievement for all our students.
If you’re returning to school, we have options to transfer credits from other schools, and our academic advisors can help you plan a course schedule that fits with your life. With no essay or application fee, you can apply today!