We tend to think about education as something for the 18 and under crowd. But the fact is, even those of us with kids and careers can benefit from higher education. Whether you are a teacher, parent, or any other working professional, going back to school can open up lots of opportunities. But it’s not easy. Today, we take a look at education in your adult years.
Reasons To Go Back To School
There are many reasons that going back to school makes sense. Money Under 30 asserts that these include furthering your career, moving to a higher earning bracket, or simply pursuing a professional or personal passion. Some people go back to school after a long break staying home with children or caring for aging parents. Others never had a chance to go to college as a teenager at all and find that they are financially secure enough in adulthood to finally earn a degree.
Which Degree Is Best?
Choosing a degree and career path is a highly personal decision. If you aren’t sure, it’s best to explore many options. Information technology is a popular bachelor’s degree that can prepare you for a job in analytics, cybersecurity, or IT management. You may also consider earning a degree in culinary arts, counseling, or home health — all industries that the US Bureau of Labor Statistics believes is primed for growth through 2029.
So You’ve Got Kids?
When you are a working parent, going to school is intimidating for many reasons. These include finding the money and also balancing your current responsibilities with what you want from the future.
Paying for college as an adult is often an out-of-pocket expense. Although, as The College Investor explains, there are scholarships available and you may be able to turn some of your professional experience into college credits. Furthermore, many employers offer education benefits, especially for degrees that align with their goals and mission. If you happen to be a military reserve member, on active duty, or a veteran, you may also qualify for tuition assistance from the US government.
When you have kids, going to school online is usually your best bet. This poses challenges similar to working from home. The youngest members of your family may not understand why mom or dad is suddenly sitting behind closed doors for hours on end. Set yourself up for success by creating a dedicated education station, and make sure that you can schedule classes or academic time for when your spouse or partner is available to care for your children.
It’s Not Too Late
Even if you’re in your 30s, 40s, and beyond, it is never too late to go back to school. This is advice that career coaches across the country swear by. So never let anyone — or any personal fear — get in your way.
Going back to school can help you establish or re-establish a career that meets your financial and life goals. Plus, if you plan for your own children to pursue higher education, it will show them that you truly value academics and that you practice what you preach. But it does take work, especially when you have a job and a family to care for. Like all things worth having, it may not be easy, but it’s never too late, no matter how long you’ve put it off.
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Julia Mitchell has always been driven with a goal and passion. It has made her reach her dream job in a financial services firm, and working with multiple side-income entrepreneurial ventures. She aspires to bring impact to others and inspire them to passionately pursue their dreams as well. She is one of the people behind outspiration.net.