Back to School-Is now the right time?

In Jobs, Money

Practical Reasons One Should or Should Not Go Back To School.

If you are thinking about going back to school or staying in to further your education, there are several practical issues to consider. The decisions on whether to go back to school or not can be daunting. Increasingly so when you have been out for a while and have extra responsibilities. There are good reasons why anyone should go back to school. There are also pertinent reasons why one shouldn’t consider going back to school. The decisions, therefore, lie in your personal situation. You have to weigh the pros and the cons against your reality and decide what the best course of action is. Will it improve your life, or will it cause unnecessary setbacks? Here are some things to consider when deciding if you should go back to school.

PROs

1. Higher Earning Potential.

More education can enable you to get a higher earning. Case in point around 2012 the income of those with degrees was about $1066 while those with high school diploma was about $652. Even then the income difference between undergraduate degree holder may not be significantly different from that of Master’s Degree holders. The margin begins to grow smaller the higher you go. This increase in potential income could be a big motivator in going back to school.

2. Lower Risk of Unemployment.

The rate of unemployment among those with a diploma is about twice the rate of those with a bachelor’s degree. The more education you get, the higher your chances of getting a job. Going back to school opens a wider range of employment options across several industries. It also increases your range of skills and makes you more employable. In the jobless growth around the world, those who get the few salaried jobs are mostly the educated.

3. More Career Opportunities.

In the absence of a good education, you will be mostly limited to non-technical, general and service related jobs that pay much lower. More education opens up doors to very may opportunities across industries. It gives you options. The better education you get, the greater the qualification you carry into many different jobs. The lower ranking jobs tend to be tenuous, poorly compensated, less satisfying and open to labor violations. Most importantly going back to school enables you to change career fields if you need to.

CONs

1. Chances Are It Won’t Pay Off.

Not only is schooling very expensive it may not pay off in terms of better wages. The tuition fee alone is prohibitive. That does not even include loan interest, fees, and living expenses. A lot of people are going back to school which translates to increased graduation rates. This dampens the labor market even high up the ranks. Therefore if higher income is your primary motivation for going back to school you might end up disappointed.

2. Value Of College Education Is Contestable.

Most employers don’t hire papers they hire specific skills. Therefore they would gladly pick someone who has those particular skills even if the person doesn’t have an extra education. That’s why going back to school may not necessarily be a good idea if you can get the skills through other means. That’s why going back to school may not necessarily be the answer. The artificial reward of grades and rote learning tends to kill creativity and inventiveness. Focus on skill, not just general education or going back to school.

3. Independent learning is better.

Most people who want to go back to school should rather pursue independent learning. This type of learning is far much more satisfying than rote education. In independent learning, you get to choose what you want to learn and what you don’t want to. It helps you get the skills without having to be under rigid structures and expectations. Independent learning saves you fees since if you don’t like the course, you can simply change or drop out without significant financial implications. When choosing whether to go back to school or not make a decision based on time, cost, flexibility, and return on investment.

Life Goals

As you review your life goals be careful of competition, and pride. Consider what is most beneficial for you at that time in your life. How will going back to school affect your life? Consider formulating a life plan:

Long Term Goals

  • Where do you want to be in 10 years from now?
  • What do you want to accomplish in that time?
  • Who do you want to be?
  • Do some research and find out what is required to accomplish these goals. Odds are, you already have a pretty good idea, but really map out the steps, so that you know exactly how to proceed.

Mid Term Goals

  • Where do you need to be in 5 to 7 years in order to Achieve your Long Term Goals?
  • Working towards your long term goals can meet many hurdles. Sometimes life gets in the way. Think about what is most important in life, and work for it. You won’t always get what you want, but there is always another way. Never give up, never panic. There is always another way.
  • Set deadlines for your goals, and stick to them. Be realistic, but push yourself. Always work for progress, and beware of comfort and stagnation.

Short Term Goals

  • What habits can you change immediately to start working towards your dreams?
  • What do you need to do in the upcoming weeks and months?
  • Take an honest look at yourself and think about what you will have to change in order to achieve Your Goals.

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