These days, going back to school or college is becoming an increasingly popular trend among adults. No matter how old you may be, it seems there is no limit to people signing up to an educational organization in order to try and get more qualifications.
There are various reasons why you might go back to school. Firstly, some employers might request that their employees train for certain qualifications so that they can carry out their usual job. There are now also many courses that can help them become better team players in the workspace.
However, most people return to school or college if they decide to change their career later in life. Changing career can be almost impossible if you aren’t trained or qualified for the career you want to move into. So, you might have to go back to college.
But is going back to college really worth it? There are a few things you will need to consider when you come to weigh up your decision. Here are just a few of them.
Do You Really Need Extra Qualifications?
First of all, you need to consider whether you really do need the extra qualifications. Most of the time, if you already have a bachelors degree, then you won’t need to take another one. For instance, if you have a psychology degree and are currently working as a psychologist, you won’t be required to take an extra degree to get into teaching. However, there will be some courses to take, but you will be able to do them on the job as you train to be a teacher.
However, some occupations might require you to have some graduate qualifications. So, you might come to the decision that it is time to get a Master’s degree or a PhD. This might be required if you want to stay in your chosen industry or sector but wish to move onto a more advanced role or position.
If you want to make a major change in your career – for instance, go from being an engineer to a doctor – then you will, of course, need to start training from the very beginning again. Sure, this will be a lot of time and effort but if you are sure that this career change is for you, then don’t let that dissuade you!
Can You Afford It?
Next, you need to consider the cost of returning to college or school. It is very expensive returning as some institutions charge extra fees for adult learners. One of the best things you can do, though, is see if you can find any bursaries or grants that you can apply for. These are often available to people who have a low income or are exceptionally gifted and talented, and you will be able to apply no matter how old you are.
If you are going back to college because your employer has requested it, then it is worth seeing if they will fund these extra qualifications. Most companies will be very willing to take on their employees’ training and education fees. Even if they don’t cover the whole cost, they should be able to cover part of the cost. If not, then you should think about refusing to go back to college as this is going to be a huge expense for you.
Consider Other Ways To Get Qualifications
Are you sure that going back to college is really the only way you can get the knowledge or skills needed to change or further your career? There are a few alternatives that you should consider first. For instance, you might be able to take some courses that aren’t quite as intense as college courses. There are lots of night schools up and down the country that have many different courses, ranging from foreign languages to leadership training. It might be worth finding out if one of these will be enough to help move your career on. In some instances, you might be able to do a single module rather than the whole degree course. But it is worth speaking to your employer or a career advisor to see if this will be possible for the career that you want to move into. It’s also necessary to speak to a college to see if they will let you take just a single module or part of a course.
Ask Yourself If It Fits In With Your Home Life
Another consideration that you needs to make is whether going back to college or school will fit into your home life. This might be a big factor in your decision if you have children and a family to support. After all, you might not be able to give up work to go back to school, especially if you have to pay for all of your tuition fees yourself.
It’s not just the money aspect you need to think of when you need to juggle your studies with a busy home life, though. You might not have a whole load of time to fit a whole college course in when you are very busy with your family and other social commitments! However, there might be a way around this. You might be able to find a course that you can study for at home. There are now lots of college institutions that offer courses that can be taken entirely online. There are also some that offer distance learning. However, these kinds of courses often require you to travel for a lecture or seminar once a semester.
There are also some training courses that you will be able to take part in while you are working. These are often only suitable, though, if you are trying to train for an advanced or managerial position in the same company.
As you can see, there is a lot that you need to consider and weigh up when it comes to going back to school or college in later life. Do you think it’s worth it for you?