Going back to school can be scary; you have to give up your evenings and weekends, or take a hiatus from work in order to study, attend classes, and meet with classmates and teachers. As adults, our lives are often busy and complicated, making continuing education seem out of reach or impossible.
However, going back to school can also improve your life and provide new opportunities for success and achievement. Here are six reasons why you should think about going back to school to continue your education.
Learn something new
First and foremost, going back to school is going to introduce you to information and skills that you didn’t have before. You don’t necessarily need to completely change your career—although that is definitely an option—you can also use continued education to learn more about a hobby.
Many school boards offer cheap evening and weekend courses in arts, languages, music, crafting, and technology. Have you always wanted to learn a new language, become an expert at photo editing, or reupholster your living room furniture? Now is your chance!
Maybe you’re looking to become a professional photographer—or at least a better one in your spare time—try picking up a beginner DSLR camera like the EOS Rebel T6i and taking a class to learn basic skills for photography and how to use the camera itself.
Perhaps you’re passionate about painting, but you’d like to improve your skills as a portrait artist. Lynn Bertrand, a dental hygienist, is also a talented painter who is commissioned to create skilled portraits. First she snaps a photo of her subject and then uses it as a reference to create an impressive likeness in her work. Consider taking an art class to learn a new technique or style. You might even end up making some extra cash doing it!
Rediscover old passions
Going back to school can be the perfect time to study something you’ve always been interested in or wanted to know more about. It’s your chance to follow your dreams and be passionate about learning.
Many people spend years working in jobs that they don’t enjoy because they were forced to choose an area of study when they were too young. Now that you have been out in the work force and have experienced some of the world, you will have a better understanding of what you want and will be even more motivated to go out and get it.
Start a new career
Continuing your education means that you will be qualified for a whole new set of job opportunities. If you are adding on to previous education, you will open yourself up for higher-level jobs in your industry, and if you study something completely new, you will have the opportunity to travel across fields.
Combined with your previous work experience, your new education will open up doors that were previously unavailable or impossible to reach.
Meet new people
Expanding your network and making friends with similar interests is one of the best outcomes from continued education. It can be hard to make new friends in adulthood, due to competing schedules and obligations. Not only will everyone be studying the same subjects, they have all chosen to return to school and are there to learn. It is a completely different atmosphere when all the students have chosen to be there and made sacrifices in their jobs, family, and personal lives to expand their education.
Most of the people you meet will have a variety of career backgrounds, giving you the chance to learn more about different industries. While they might not be interested in their chosen field any longer, it might just be the career path you have always dreamed about, and they will have the connections needed to help you get started.
Lower chance of unemployment
Basically, the more qualifications you have, the more varied your job search can be. When you are educated and skilled in one particular industry, it means your job search is very limited. With continued education, you are adding to your skill set and qualifications, giving you the chance to apply for jobs previously out of reach.
If you work in an industry that is changing and growing—as most industries are—then continued education might be the only way to keep up with the trends and make sure you are still qualified for your job. For example, technology is a great subject to study, especially if your workplace is online. Learning basic coding, analytics, and graphic editing skills can make the difference between meeting modern job qualifications and being unemployed.
Increased earning potential
This is one of the main reasons why people go back to school. Not only are you making yourself more appealing to employers, you are also providing yourself with the necessary skills to get a better job. When you update your skill set, you become even more in demand, and when you are in demand, you can make your way up into the next salary range.
If you are changing careers, it often means you have to take an initial salary cut because you have to start at a lower level position. However, given your new skills and qualifications, along with your previous work experience and maturity, you will be able to move up the ladder and increase your salary in much less time than it took the first time around. If you are staying in the same industry, continued education will just add to your existing job qualifications, giving you the chance to apply for more senior positions with higher wages.
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