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Tips For Adults Going Back To School

Tips For Adults Going Back To School


Did you drop out of school before you obtained any formal qualifications? Do you want to learn some new skills and knowledge, and build your earnings and employability in the process? If your answer is “yes,” adult education might be your next step. If it is, you won't be alone: students over age 25 account for 40% of all college and graduates students, and that figure is expected to be 43% by 2020.[1]') Before you run out and enroll, though, you should make a thorough assessment of what you expect to gain and what you'll have to do to get it. College is an expensive and time-consuming effort, and while the results are worth it in many cases, you don't know what to take on more than you're ready to handle and you may end up not finishing.

Let's look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of going back to school.

The Benefits

You set a good example for your children. Even if you hated school as a kid, beginning an adult education program sends positive signals to your children about the importance of learning. Building a culture of learning in your home encourages your children to strive for greatness at school.

Keep yourself engaged. If you spend most of your time at home, going back to school can help you fill that social void. It will keep you engaged, and it keeps your mind sharp. It also broadens your knowledge and exposes you to new ideas, which provides you with a natural sense of satisfaction.

Boost your imagination & creativity. Children are constantly learning new things and filling their brains with further information. Learning gives imagination a massive boost. That's why young kids are so good at making up imaginary worlds and scenarios. As adults, we too can benefit from imagination and creativity boosts – both of which help us to feel younger again.


Help reduce ignorance. The chances are that since you were at school, viewpoints and accepted norms have changed. Enrolling in school can bring yourself up to speed with what's accepted nowadays and eliminate some of the ignorance in your thinking.

Employers admire initiative, and going out of your way to go back to school shows them that you have the will to succeed.

Get more involved. Many individuals who neglected their education as a child often find themselves isolated from society in their later years. Adult learning courses can help you understand how you can get involved in your local community and give you the confidence you need to explore opportunities around you.

Boost your self-esteem. Success at something gives everyone a happiness boost, and this applies to success at learning. The sense of achievement you get when you pass a test or receive a good grade for a piece of work provides an instant self-esteem boost.

Gain a competitive edge. While some jobs provide training in the workplace, many still require certain qualifications before you can even have an interview. With your high school diploma equivalent secure, you can apply for roles that you might otherwise not be able to. A technical certification, college degree, or even a graduate or professional degree will dramatically enhance your employability. Employers admire initiative, and going out of your way to go back to school shows them that you have the will to succeed.

Earn more money. With a certificate or degree under your belt, you can apply for jobs that command higher salaries. Not only does this mean you can potentially earn more money right off the bat, but it also means you don't necessarily need to start at the very bottom of your new workplace. Every step up the education ladder improves average earnings.

Make new friends. It can be difficult to make new friends as an adult because you don't get as many social opportunities to do so. When you go back to school, you will meet new people and gain opportunities to make new friends.

Choose Your Program Wisely

Does the provider offer a suitable course for you? There is no point enrolling in a program that isn't going to benefit you or isn't going to interest you. Any educational commitment should be taken seriously, which is why you'll only waste your own time, the time of your teacher, and the time of your peers if you begin an adult education class that isn't suitable for you.

Is there enough flexibility? You're an adult, and that means you inevitably have day-to-day responsibilities and obligations. Therefore, before you even consider starting an adult education program, ask yourself if it offers enough flexibility to suit your schedule. For example, can you take classes at night? How about on weekends? Will they let you submit some or all of your coursework via the internet?

What about the cost? Again, you're an adult who has financial responsibilities and obligations. Do you have the financial capacity to go back to school? While some GED classes are free, many other adult classes are not. An essential factor to consider is whether you need to take time off work to satisfy the commitments expected with your adult education program. Don't let the cost of education lead you to give up, because assistance is available, as you'll see in our article on financing adult education. You should be realistic, though, and assess your capacity and the aid you can get before committing.