Going back to school is an excellent way for non-traditional students to get a college degree. If you’re over 25, a return to school can help you change your career, boost earning potential, or increase job security. Even if it’s for only personal achievement, going to college as a non-traditional student is a great way to make a difference in your life.
Enrolling for a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate program is now common among non-traditional students. But you may be putting off a decision about going back to school if you’re in your 30s or 40s. You could be worried about being the oldest in your class. Or you may be wondering if you can keep up with your studies.
The good news is that there are plenty of reasons to go back to school in 2021. There are already many non-traditional students enrolled in college degree programs. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), nearly 40 percent of college students are non-traditional. And depending on which college you attend, the number could be higher.
In this article, you find seven excellent reasons to help you decide about going back to school. If you’re thinking about college and have not yet made up your mind — please continue reading.
Non-Traditional Students Going Back to School
Typically, students enroll in college immediately after graduating from high school. But more and more folks age 25 and over are deciding to return to school. Here are a few examples of non-traditional students and the reasons they go back to school:
- Some students didn’t attend college after finishing high school and now want to pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
- Many non-traditional students have challenges raising kids and caring for family responsibilities and want to provide financial security.
- Some people didn’t finish high school because of personal circumstances, and they return to college with a GED.
Of course, your situation may be unique. However, you’ve much to gain from going back to school.
Reasons to Go Back to School in 2021
Here are the top seven reasons why going back to school in 2021 could be the best choice you ever made.
1. Improve your earning potential
Going back to school to earn a degree is a positive move that can boost your salary. Reports show that workers with a college degree earn more than those with a high school diploma. For example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that having a bachelor’s degree can almost double your earnings.
So, maybe you’ve reached the maximum you can earn in your current job. Getting a degree can allow you to apply for more lucrative jobs. In the end, you could be making more money without working more hours.
2. Boost your career chances
Getting a degree as a non-traditional student can help broaden your current career. Some workers with an associate’s degree find that their job reaches a plateau. To progress in the same industry may require a bachelor’s or doctorate’s degree. So, going back to school is the perfect way to further your career.
For example, an associate’s degree can land you an excellent job in heathcare as a technician or assistant. However, getting a promotion requires further education. Or you may want to go back to school to specialize in a specific area of your industry.
You will find many courses that will help you achieve greater success in your current career
3. Take a new career direction
You may need to go back to school as an adult to change careers. Some jobs are no longer in demand in a changing economy, whereas there is tremendous growth in other industries. But your reasons for heading back to school could be that you need to take your career in a new direction. And education could be all that’s standing in your way of getting a well-paying and enjoyable career.
4. Going back to school helps increase job security
Furthering your education by returning to school can help secure your current job. Holding a degree makes you more valuable to your current employer. You may even learn additional skills that make you more competent at your work. So, if there is a threat of layoffs, your degree may help secure your employment.
However, even if you are laid off, the fact you have a degree increases your chances of successfully applying for a new one.
5. Keep your skills current
Sometimes the choice to return to school is simple — it’s necessary to stay current. Many industry jobs require workers to get re-certified, re-train, or learn new industry-related skills. For example, many healthcare workers and teachers need to keep their skills up to date. Also, technology is changing many industries and require trained workers to help make the transition.
6. Personal achievement
Going back to school is worth it for your own personal achievement. You may have gotten where you are through hard work and dedication. But getting a degree or diploma can give you a greater sense of accomplishment. Your education will also teach you much about yourself that will have a positive impact on your life.
There’s another thing to consider — your personal achievement will inspire others. For example, your inspirational example could encourage your kids to pursue a college education.
7. There are now more options for non-traditional students
Getting an online degree is one factor that encourages many non-traditional to return to school. Online learning allows adult students to juggle the many responsibilities they have, such as work and family. Also, going to a school that offers online education is cheaper and more accessible than living on-campus.
Also, some colleges have on-campus daycare facilities to help parents get a career. Many parents find that this eases the burden of balancing careers, home lives, and learning. And, when mixed with hybrid learning — classroom and online learning — getting a degree becomes so much easier.
Related reading: How non-traditional students can get financial aid to attend college.
Going Back to School in 2021
Now can be the right time to earn your associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree. Going back to school is an excellent way to maximize your earning potential, secure your career, and benefit your family. With many colleges offering degree courses online, returning to school has never been easier.