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Education in Adulthood: Should You Go Back To School For a Better Career?

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As kids, most of us couldn’t wait to leave school and get out there into the big wide world. As adults, we’re realising the incredible benefits of going back- and throwing ourselves back into education. When you’re a little older, you realise how a good education can make life better in so many ways, not only are you more knowledgeable and can enjoy learning about subjects you’re passionate about- but it can lead to a better job too. Maybe you left school without formal qualifications, or maybe you chose not to go onto higher education. On the other hand, you might already have a degree, masters or PhD but have had a change of heart and want to study something else to change careers. If you’re looking to get back into education, here are a few things to think about first.

What Will You Study?

If you’re making the decision to go back into education as an adult, there’s a good chance that you already know what you want to study. Perhaps it’s a passion that you stumbled upon in the last few years and now want to make a career of it. It could have been something as simple as watching psychology documentaries, which made you want to study to become a psychiatrist or mental health nurse. Maybe your current career could be improved allowing you to move up the ladder if you gain some qualifications. It could be a case that you’ve been out of work for a while and want to just study to improve your job prospects. It’s important to find something you’re interested in, but which also has good job opportunities when you finish. After all, education is always valuable but chances are you want to use this qualification to get a better job. So know what prospects the certificate you’re studying for will give you.

Where Will You Study?

You have two options when it comes to where you will study. You could either attend a physical college or university, or you could study from home. These days there are tonnes of online colleges and universities offering all kinds of courses, take the 100% online RN to BSN program for example. Often online colleges aren’t as strict so it’s easier to get enrolled and get started, compared with physical ones. Still, there are pros and cons to each and so this is something you would need to weigh up Maybe you want to study around your current job or have childcare commitments, which would mean that travelling to an actual university each day would be difficult. However on the other hand, you might find it a better experience going in and having lecturers and other students that you can speak to face to face. This can be more motivating for some people who can struggle getting work done when left to their own devices.

When Will You Start?

Physical school, colleges and universities usually run from September through to May- the traditional academic year. However there are sometimes late starter classes in January. This means if you plan on studying, it’s not always as simple as signing up and turning up a few weeks later. Bear in mind these kinds of start dates, and give yourself time to get everything you need and get organised before starting. If it’s a few months or even a year ahead of time, you have chance to save money, give notice to leave your job or reduce your hours (depending on your plan of action) and generally tie up all of the loose ends. If you’re studying online, often there are more starting dates so you can get going earlier, but you would need to check this when you enroll. This can be beneficial if you’re keen to strike while the iron is hot. Either way, you will need to find out what kinds of dates your course starts on and get everything ready so you’re prepared and organised when that time rolls around.

Going back into education can change your life. You will meet new people, learn new things and keep your mind sharp. Best of all, you put yourself in the best position to get a career that you actually want. It could be a case of earning more money, or getting into a job that you find genuinely interesting or rewarding.

Would you consider going back into education? If so, what would you study and what would your reasons be for enrolling onto a course as an adult?