4 Tips For Working Adults Going Back To School
Making the Grade
Think back to where you were 10 or 15 years ago. Remember the routines, happy memories, challenges, decisions you made. More than likely, a lot has changed since then.
Growth is a normal, healthy part of life; and with growth comes change. These changes often include one’s goals and perceived future. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
You can rewrite your future as many times as you like.
It takes courage to want growth and to muster up the perseverance to drive it. One of the most ambitious things an adult can do is to go back to school to earn a degree. Whether it’s because they didn’t have the opportunity to go to college earlier, they want to advance their career, or they decide to switch fields, this ambitious quest will yield many beneficial, rewarding results.
A new or improved career leads to greater fulfillment, providing better mental health, which can lead to better physiological health. If now is the best time to go back to school, take advantage of the circumstances and enjoy the ride!
To help on your journey, we’ve compiled a list of helpful tips for whatever part of life you are in.
Tips for the Full-Time Worker Who Wants to Advance Their Career
Choose a school that caters to adults: Workers who never went to college or who attended higher learning institutions several decades ago may find that their skills are outdated. Attending college to update their skill sets may turn the tables and lead to better-paying jobs. No matter the field or geographic location, Americans have a wide variety of schools to choose from, thanks to a growing number of adult higher education institutions as well as online degree programs. Some of these schools and programs offer continued learning classes, accelerated classes, night classes and other flexible class times, on-campus child care, job placement services and low tuition costs. Refreshing skills and learning new ones, such as how to utilize modern software, enhances job security — but it could also be the perfect opportunity for a raise, a promotion or the advantage needed to start a new company.
Tips for the Stay-at-Home Parent Who Wants to Join the Workforce
Communicate the upcoming changes, and make a family pact: While it can’t be promised that a new boss will be more considerate than the little bosses at home, what really matters are the benefits the job provides the worker. First, be sure to communicate why this is an important journey for you and how this will ultimately benefit (financially or otherwise) the family. Explain that a shifting of responsibilities should be expected, as should short-term and long-term changes. Create a calendar that everyone can access (using an app or a large whiteboard) that will show each parent’s availability as well as the kids’ obligations. Make a family pact that everyone will work as a team, help one another and be as patient as possible.
It’s never too late to make the switch.
Tips for the Full-Time Worker Who Wants a Career Change
Join a school that helps students get paid internships or jobs: There are many people who decide to make a drastic career change. Whether this is due to changes in the industry, increased competition or just a change of mind, remember that it’s never too late to make the switch. When shopping for a higher education institution, talk with someone at each school’s career services department. Learn more about what they do to help their students get internships or jobs, and keep that information in mind when picking a school. Receiving a paid internship from a local business in your industry can unearth all types of advantages, including priceless networking opportunities.
Tips for the Full-Time Worker Who Has Already Been to College
Consider credit transferability: Some people will find themselves yearning to give school another shot and earn a degree, whether it’s to receive a promotion or change careers entirely. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater! It’s important for adults who have already attended some college classes to contact potential schools to discover which existing credits can transfer. This will help reduce the amount of credits needed for graduation and will also lower costs.
Regardless of where you fall in the worker spectrum, we have a few more tips that everyone should keep in mind when deciding to go back to school:
- If you’re choosing an online school, verify its legitimacy before you send any money.
- Choose a major that will help you reach your goals.
- Find a consistently quiet, safe place to study and do homework.
- Research ways to reduce anxiety before a test, and find what works best for you.
- Keep costs low by taking only the classes you need to take.
- Make a plan to balance work, school and your personal life.
- Remember to take advantage of student tax breaks.
If you’re considering going back to school, we hope we’ve armed you with some useful and encouraging information to help you take the next step. You got this!