Today, going back to school to earn a bachelor’s degree is more common than ever. It’s so common that one article cites that the majority of people seeking bachelor’s degrees are now adult students. Adult students refer to individuals who don’t fall within the typical 18-22 year-old range. Students from their mid 20s to early 60s (and older) are returning to college to earn their degree.

There are several reasons for this, which include a desire to start a new career, get promoted, and acquire a higher salary. In some cases, people are going back to enjoy expanding their knowledge in the company of other curious peers or to set an example for their kids. The surge in adult students has resulted in universities and colleges all over the country launching adult degree programs. These programs offer bachelor’s degrees at discounted tuition costs with flexible class schedules and in an accelerated time frame. Such programs are allowing adults who are juggling full-time work and family obligations to earn a degree in a format that works for them.

If you find yourself in that group of Americans without a college degree, then the saying it’s never too late to go back to school is more true now than ever. If you’re thinking about earning your degree it’s important to consider it carefully. It’s a major decision — one that can greatly influence your life and future. As a result, we’ve provided you with a few things to think about along with some questions to consider as you decide if going back to school for you is the right next move.

The majority of people seeking bachelor’s degrees are now adult students.

Creating A Vision of Your Future

Earning a college degree can be a rewarding experience. And it can be worth the investment. Earning a bachelor’s degree has many benefits — which we’ll highlight throughout this article — but the truth is that some of them might not apply to you depending on your goals. Of course, time spent in a learning environment is always worthwhile, but because the experience can require a heavy financial, emotional, and personal investment, it may not always be the right move.

More and more jobs require a bachelor’s degree, which is a trend that will only continue. Having one can certainly help you get promoted and acquire more professional responsibility, but there are some instances when it might not be necessary. For example, if you want to get into a trade, such as carpentry or plumbing, then attending a trade school would be a better option. That’s not to say having a bachelor’s degree might not be worth it down the road. It might just not be the right next move for you at this time.

That’s why it’s important to be clear about your goals and to determine if a bachelor’s degree can help you reach them. Will a degree enable you to apply for a higher-salaried position within your current organization? Will you be able to make the leap from your current line of work to a new one, such as nursing or teaching, with a degree? Or perhaps your reasons are personal. Do you want to set an example for your children by earning a degree to help inspire them with their own dreams? These and many others are worthwhile reasons to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Going back to school is going to require effort, time, discipline, and a steady commitment. Many adult degree programs offer fantastic resources to help students through their schooling. Some of these resources include flexible evening or online classes, student support counselors, and reasonably priced programs. But there is still no way around the fact that you have to be both willing and able to make a substantial commitment. Unless you have a clear vision of what it is you want to do with your bachelor’s degree, it’s going to be hard to find the motivation to complete your program. By keeping top-of-mind your reasons for going back to school, you’ll more easily be able to wake up two hours earlier on a Saturday or forgo dinner with friends to finish that term paper.

Questions to Consider:

  • Where do you see yourself in five years? How about in 10 years?
  • How will a degree help you reach the goals that you have identified for yourself in 5 to 10 years?
  • Are you looking to move up in your current organization? Are you looking to change careers?
  • What is your major reason to go back and earn your degree? Is that reason important enough for you to sacrifice a substantial amount of money, effort, and time?