Many adults regret walking away from their potential degree when they were younger, whether they chose to join the workforce early, or if college just wasn’t right for them at the time. These adults are on the cusp of making the leap into higher education, but they’re understandably nervous – when juggling work and family obligations, adding another commitment can be daunting.

Fortunately, adults returning to college are in an excellent position. They have some work experience, which might translate into college credit. And they know what it takes to balance their life, manage their time and buckle down to get it all done. This guide takes a look at what adults returning to college can expect and why it’s a great idea to make the leap.

10 Reasons to Consider Returning to College as an Adult

  • More pay.There is a correlation between level of education and pay, with holders of advanced degrees typically earning more money than those with lower degrees. Returning to college is a significant step adults can take to increase their earning potential.
  • More free time.The process of earning the degree almost never provides more free time, but after graduation, it’s a different story. With a more advanced degree, higher pay and more flexible work hours are possible.
  • Gain qualifications.Some jobs require a college degree as a minimum for entry-level work. Other jobs might require individuals to possess a certain level of knowledge or training. College can help adults meet these requirements.
  • Networking.Networking opportunities abound with classmates, faculty and staff. Going to college means meeting hundreds of new people; one of them could be the key to a fantastic career change or promotion.
  • Personal growth.Whether it’s figuring out how to study, learning better time management or discovering new academic subjects, college is filled with plenty of opportunities for personal growth.
  • Obtain valuable skills.College, especially at the vocational level, offers unparalleled training. Many of these skills can be obtained in the real world, but rarely in such a structured and forgiving atmosphere.
  • Sense of accomplishment.For some, going back to school to finish a college degree can bring a strong sense of accomplishment. Even if the degree makes little difference in the person’s professional career or pay, “finishing what you started” can bring personal satisfaction.
  • Improve teamwork skills.Study groups and cooperating with classmates are common activities in college. These group learning sessions provide additional opportunities for adults to work on their teamwork skills.
  • Change careers.Changing careers isn’t easy, but a major step in doing so usually involves receiving a formal education in a field related to the new profession. Getting a specific college degree often serves as the first step to a new career.
  • Learn time management skills.Even those with excellent time management skills will be tested in college. In addition to school responsibilities, most adult students have work or family obligations. Anyone who can earn their degree as an adult can be confident in their ability to manage their time.

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