Are you an adult thinking of going back to school? You’re in great company!
According to EAB, an education research firm, an estimated 38 percent of undergraduates are considered adult learners (i.e. older than age 25). Other studies suggest as many as 60 percent of adults have thought about going back to school once they’ve passed the traditional age of college students.
Going back to school as an adult is becoming increasingly common, but what sparks this decision? What brings someone to the moment where they finally bite the bullet and say, “Today is the day I am going back to school!”?
Let’s look at the top 7 reasons why adults are returning to the college classroom.
#1: More Money
Adults often choose to go back to school for career advancement and to earn a higher
salary. After all, it’s no secret that high-level management positions are reserved for individuals with at least a bachelor’s, if not a master’s, degree. Thus, obtaining or completing your degree can help you move past your current position and into a leadership position with higher salary potential. Going back to school as an adult makes perfect sense if it means there is a greater chance for financial opportunity.
#2: A Career Change
Changing your career path is scary, but it is not as uncommon as you may think. In fact, many adults find that, after a decade in their current field, they don’t love it anymore, or worse, they never did. In pursuit of their new career choice, adults go back to school for additional training to open doors to a new career path. And one of the best ways to beat out the fierce competition for these well-paying positions is to enroll in a career-specific degree program. Obtaining or completing a specific degree will help your resume stand out and provide you with the industry knowledge and contacts to back it up. If you are considering changing careers, be sure your program offers developmental resources and a faculty with real-life industry experience.
#3: Desire to Start a Business
What happens when you love your career but are ready to start a company of your own? Starting a business can be fulfilling and profitable, but not knowing what it takes to run a company will leave you stressed, both personally and financially. It’s for that very reason that adults going back to school choose to do so in order to acquire the business training they need to run a successful business. By going back to school, you’ll combine the skills you already have in your career with the up-to-date best practices for leading and managing your business.
You no longer have to choose between working or going back to school because earning your bachelor’s degree is more accessible now than ever before thanks to today’s technology. Online programs have changed higher education for the better. They allow you to complete your degree at your own pace and work from anywhere. Despite some negative assumptions, enrolling in a quality online program ensures you receive the personalized instruction that will aid your professional goals. If you prefer a more traditional classroom setting or are in a field requiring a more hands-on approach, many universities offer evening classes. These classes allow you to fulfill your daily responsibilities and attend class a few nights a week.
Furthermore, many adults going back to school choose the class delivery option based on the course and subject. For example, if you know you learn physics better in a face-to-face setting, but you’d be perfectly fine sitting through a psychology lecture from the comfort of your own home, then a hybrid model would be perfect for you. Online learning and flexible delivery options have opened numerous doors and pathways to obtaining or completing your degree!
#5: You Didn’t Go to School When You Were Younger
Going to college right after high school doesn’t make sense for every individual. After all, 18 is young to decide your whole future! Whether you needed to start working to support yourself after high school, took some time to focus on your family, or wanted to join the workforce for a few years to explore your interests, there is certainly no shame in starting or returning to a degree as an adult learner. There is no better time to pursue higher education than now.
#6: Financial Stability and Control
Young and adult learners alike are no strangers to student loan debt. In fact, Forbes estimates the total amount of student loan debt in the United States is over $1.5 trillion (that’s trillion with a T!) with an average of $28,650 per borrower in 2019. If you didn’t finish or start your college degree because you were afraid to add to your debt load, you are not alone. But, if you, like many other adults pursuing a college degree, have seen your income increase, you have the resources to return and complete your education without the fear of burdensome student loans.
#7: Pride (the good kind!)
Finally, earning a degree for both yourself and your family is a huge motivation for many returning to school as an adult. It’s a difficult thing to do, and certainly a feat to be proud of. Earning or completing your college degree may be a goal you have been working on for years and the reward when you graduate is worth the wait. Plus, it can inspire and set an example for your family and other loved ones to achieve their own educational and professional dreams.
Going back to school as an adult is an equally courageous and fulfilling decision. This is why the University of Bridgeport is ready to help you every step of the way.
We are a recognized institution in Connecticut, with numerous career-oriented undergraduate and graduate programs specifically for adult learners. Whether you need to finish that degree you started in your 20s, or start from scratch on a new career path, we are here for you. To find out how to apply and enroll, visit our admissions page here.