You may be considering a return to college. Maybe you have recently retired from a job. Maybe you are searching for a new career path. Maybe you have been injured and cannot return to your old line of work. Whatever your reason, returning for a college degree is a great idea that many others like you are doing.
The number of students returning to higher education is on the rise, according to an NBC news report. The Department of Education projected nearly 20 million students enrolled in college classes in 2018, with a portion consisting of students who left work to do so. They claim over 7.6 million of the students were over the age of 25.
The benefits of having a college degree, from associate degrees to bachelor’s degrees, far outweigh the disadvantages. While not every trade or industry requires a college degree, getting one can still help you in many ways.
Below are just a few of these ways that support the idea that coming back to school after working that make sense.
New College Formats
Long gone are the days when you must enroll in courses that can only be taken in-person and on-campus. You do not have to schedule your life around a college class anymore. Today, local colleges are taking advantage of online teaching capabilities.
This means you can enroll in a class, participate in the class, and successfully complete the class from the comforts of your home. That’s right. You can graduate with a degree from an accredited college while sitting on your sofa.
But if you prefer to attend classes on campus, you can do that to. You can even develop a learning plan that includes both online and on-campus formatting so you can experience the best of both.
Specific Degree Programs Available
Going back to college has previously meant you can obtain a degree in large, general types of programs. For instance, a liberal arts degree is non-specific, but could help you obtain a job in a variety of industries. Because many people were choosing non-specific degree programs, the job force became overwhelmed with general degreed applicants.
This, in turn, decreased the value of a broad degree program. On the other hand, more specific titled degrees became valued.
Local colleges have recognized this change and now offer many trade specific opportunities, in a very short amount of time, to people looking to seek education that will help them qualify for new jobs.
They can choose from degree programs in business, nursing, hvac, and the law. Many of these programs have sub-categories for gaining specialized knowledge. For instance, in business, you can learn accounting, finance, marketing and leadership, depending on the direction you choose.
Or, if you choose the medical industry, you can choose from physical therapy, nursing, x-ray technician, phlebotomist or occupational therapist, to name a few. With so many options, you are sure to find an area of expertise that meets your desired goal.
New Career Options
Trade careers are those that require a specific set of skills obtained through specific training and education. Examples of the in-demand trade industries include nursing; medical office administration; accounting; market research; medical assisting; and heating, venting and air conditioning.
The nursing field as seen a 20% increase in jobs recently and the medical office administration office has seen even higher rates, with upwards of 36%. Furthermore, one of the highest fields is in physical therapy assisting, with over 40% increase in number of jobs.
Whatever your dream, it is likely there is a trade specific local college who can help you get there.
Very Little Pressure
By enrolling in a local college, there is no pressure placed on you to finish in a specific amount of time. You set your own pace. You decide how many classes you take at a time. You can even decide the time of day you want to attend class.
With online courses especially, you can fit your college dreams into your lifestyle, and not the other way around.
You are also not pressured to finish within a given time, like two or four years. However, many local colleges have degree programs that take less than ten months to achieve a degree or certification and get you into a new career.
You will not likely encounter pressure from the college to hurry up and complete your program. They understand that life happens and can interfere with college plans. You can pick up where you left off if you need to take a break for a semester.
You can also extend the length of time it takes to complete if needed. While there is no pressure from the school, they do offer a wealth of support for every student. They have staff that can meet with you online or in-person to discuss issues and develop resolutions to help you meet your goals.
You Are Not Done Being Great
Just because you have ended one job, it does not always mean you are ready to sit around and do nothing. Whether you chose to stop working, or it was out of your control, you most likely still want to feel valued and like a contributor to society and life.
Returning to school can help you achieve that feeling and much more. You can launch a second career, improve the career you already have, start your own business, and of course, find new ways to increase your income.
Gaining skills, even if they aren’t used in the workforce, can give you confidence. Knowledge is powerful and you just never know when your newly acquired skills will be needed. Returning to college opens you to new opportunities that never existed before.
College is a great avenue to meet new people through networking, learn from professionals already working in an industry, and help you get one step closer to achieving your goal.
Any time is a good time to make a return to school. You can start as soon as today.