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Should I Go Back To College? 

If you’re an adult that never finished your degree, you’re in good company. According to the National Center For Education Statistics, only around 64% of us do. But no matter how long it’s been since you left college behind, it’s never too late to open yourself back up to the learning experience. And doing so can lead to many positive outcomes in your life. 

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Education And Entrepreneurship 

While it’s true that you don’t have to have a degree to start your own business, an education, particularly in management and leadership, can give you the tools you need to succeed. A degree can go a long way toward helping you better understand marketing, accounting, and more. A quick tip here: form your business structure (such as an LLC, partnership, or corporation) early on. This can help protect you from issues relating to your business, and the last thing you want while you’re paying for school is to get sued as a sole proprietor. If money’s tight, do your state-specific research and look for an online formation service to get started. 

Education And Family 

When you have children, you always want what’s best for them. And although not all careers (or all individuals) require a degree, going back to school can show your children that there’s nothing to fear. And, as Fierce Education notes, given that the vast majority of students who don’t go to or finish college cite financial concerns as a barrier, your degree can help you earn more, which will put you in a better position to help your children attain their own education. 

Education And Your Career 

Going back to school can also help you succeed in your current career by giving you the knowledge you need to take on additional responsibilities, which Idealist explains can put you in a better position to request a salary increase. Further, earning your degree at the height of your career shows your current and future subordinates that you are always willing to learn and grow as a leader. 

Going Back To School: Tips For Success As An Adult 

  • Look for an online program that’s affordable and flexible. There are many educational opportunities that don’t require you to be in person at a brick-and-mortar location. When you take steps for a bachelor of science in education, for example, you gain valuable skills like learning the latest concepts in the teaching field. You’ll take coursework in areas such as instructional practice, learner development, and leadership. 
  • Embrace the opportunity to meet new people. Even as a professional in your 30s, 40s, or beyond, you have much to learn from the younger generation. Take the opportunity to learn from the exuberance of your younger classmates. 
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself. You’re already dealing with work obligations, and your commitments double when you have a family. Throw in school, and you may find you have very little personal time. But you must carve out time for yourself. Staffing firm The Lee Group explains that taking a day off now and then will help you reset mentally and be more productive so that you can best attend to your responsibilities. 
  • Talk to your employer about your decision. Whether you plan to work for yourself or pursue a higher station at your current job, let your employer know that you’re going back to school. They may be willing to be flexible with your work schedule knowing that your education will benefit the business as well. 
  • Set up the perfect study zone. Going back to school means that you need to concentrate. If possible, set a study zone away from distractions. If you work from home, consider keeping these two areas separate so that you’re not thinking about work while you’re trying to do your homework. 

As an adult, you already have many responsibilities. But you also have goals and aspirations. If one of these is to earn a degree, there is no time like the present. Whether you plan to start your own business or are simply seeking to hone your skills in anticipation of a promotion, the knowledge and credentials you earn from earning a degree now are priceless gifts that you give to yourself. 

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