Reports for 2020 show that 27% of adults have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, which is a record number in comparison to previous years. Earning a degree makes you a more qualified competitor in the job market as you expand your education and enhance your work performance.
And higher education is even more accessible with the available option of online schooling, especially to older students. Surveys indicate that 68% of online attendees are already experienced professionals either seeking to accelerate in their career or switch industries entirely.
If you’re considering going back to school, ask yourself these practical questions to help you make an informed decision.
Do you need to get ahead?
Having a degree on your resume has significant benefits. On average, those with bachelor’s degrees make $32,000 more annually than those with a high school diploma. In addition to furthering your education, going back to school can give you opportunities to participate in relevant work studies and network with professors that can give you advantageous connections.
Are you lacking a professional skill?
Imagine your dream job. Does it require a high level of administrative skill? Do you need to have a word bank of terms ingrained into your memory in order to keep up with the jargon? If you’re lacking the knowledge you need to perform well in your desired profession, you may want to consider expanding your education.
Do you want to change your career?
Higher education is a useful tool to help you transition into a new field of work. If you’re wanting to explore new options in your work life, schooling is a nonconsequential way to pivot in a new direction. You can enroll part-time while working to support yourself, or even attend school online while you keep up with the demands of your current job. Once you earn your degree, you’ll be more equipped to leave your current place of employment and start fresh.
Can you afford it?
The high price tag of higher education can be a huge deterrent to pursuing a degree. However, there are many options available to make school more affordable. Attending classes online cuts on-campus living costs, and provides flexibility to continue working. Scholarships and grants may be available through the university that you’re qualified to apply for. Loans may even be beneficial if going to school will help you obtain a significantly higher salary.