Why you should go back to college

Making the decision to go back to school is a very personal choice, but one that most likely will pay off in a big way

In years past, it may have seemed unusual to return to college later in life, but that has changed over the last decade. Today, more older adults are heading back to the classroom, whether for education programs, liberal arts programs or anything in between, than ever before. In fact, data from the National Center for Education Statistics found that there was a 42 percent increase in the number of students age 25 and older between 2000 and 2010. Many of these adults earning a degree later in life do so to advance their career, and a recent study from Northeastern University shows just how many benefits going to school can offer.

Increased earning power

Completing a degree program has the potential to help you earn more, especially since many higher-paying jobs require minimum degrees. While earning a degree cannot guarantee higher earning potential, the more skill sets you have, the better your chances of finding a job and moving up within the business. And, the more you move up, the better your chances are of earning more money. 

More than just money

Although the figures from Northeastern University indicate that heading back to the classroom later in life is likely worth the financial investment, there are benefits outside of monetary gains. The social, personal and health benefits offered by indulging your intellectual curiosity can sometimes outweigh any additional figures on your paycheck. A recent study from Spain’s University Program for Older Adults found that its students often enjoyed a more active lifestyle and better moods than those who did not attend classes there.

Finding the right program

Of course, locating the ideal education program requires considerable legwork. Not only do you have to take price and location into consideration, you also need to get a feel for the classes, the campus and the students. Regardless of what kind of degree you are pursuing, you should look for help in the search by making use of BacktoLearn.com’s Adult Education Guide, which can lead you in the direction of the perfect program for you, one step at a time.