If you think you’re too old to go back to school, think again. More than 74% of college students are considered nontraditional, meaning they’re not recent high-school graduates. While their ages, stories and reasons for returning to school vary, all share the desire to improve their lives through education.
If you have the same desire, you may be wondering if it’s worth it — or maybe even whether or not it’s too late for you to succeed. Will taking on debt to earn a degree pay off at 30, 40, 50 or older?
Age Is Just a Number
You’ve heard the saying, “Age is just a number.” But is it true? Should you consider your age when deciding whether to return to school? The truth is, it depends. It’s true that you should never let your age hold you back from doing anything you want to do. After all, Vera Wang would never have become a famous, wealthy designer if she thought 40 was too old to start over.
However, going back to school is a bit different than changing career paths. It involves money, time and dedication. Furthermore, it will be some time before you’ll be able to reap the rewards. For this reason, you must consider the pros and cons of going back to school. And while your age should not be the deciding factor, it should at least be considered.
Benefits of Going Back to School
The benefits of going back to school do not disappear because you’ve reached a certain age. Going back to school can help you advance your career, earn more money, change career paths and improve personal and professional relationships. What’s more, it can give you a great sense of achievement and place you on a path of lifelong learning.
In a world of ever-changing technology, going back to school can also prevent you from becoming obsolete. This is especially true if you began your career before the technological boom.
Challenges of Going Back to School
On the other hand, going back to school later in life presents some challenges. You may have a family, full-time job and bills to consider. You may not have a lot of time and energy to devote to school. However, you may also be more focused and dedicated now than you would have been a decade or more ago.
Keep in mind that you will have less time to recoup the investment you’re making. Going to a four-year college for a nominal raise might not make as much sense as obtaining a training certificate that will earn the same raise. You may also want to look for ways to spend less money. A community college, for example, often costs a lot less than a private school.
If you’re thinking about returning to school, don’t dwell on your age. Rather, weigh the pros and cons. If you can greatly improve your quality of life or financial standing by furthering your education, then go for it!
~Here’s to Your Success!
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