career college life

6 Reasons To Go Back to School in Your 30s

back to schoolIf you want to go back to school you may be weighing the pros and cons.  You’re probably deciding if you can afford it, if it will help get a promotion and how it will affect your family.  The truth is going back to school can change your life for the better, but first you need to decide if it’s the best option.

Here are six reasons that going back to school makes sense:

If you can afford it

The decision to go back to school is an expensive one.  It will probably be worth it in the end because a higher education can lead to a bigger paycheck, but you don’t want to be in thousands dollars of debt in your 30s, do you?

Before applying to schools do the calculations to see if you can afford it.  Find out if you’ll be able to work part-time while taking classes.  Calculate if your savings will cover tuition, books and living expenses.  If the answer is no you may want to look into scholarships and bursaries for mature students.  It’s a good idea to contact your employer’s human resources department.  Sometimes companies offer a tuition refund program as part of your employee benefits.

It will help advance your career

According to All Women’s Talk going back to school can almost guarantee a promotion.  It’s money well spent. “Even if you employer does not admit it, it is safe to say companies are always looking to promote employees with a college degree.

Yes it can depend on which field you work in, but for the majority of people out there who are held captive by their frugal bosses, getting a college degree can certainly help ensure a promotion.  Among the numerous reasons to go back to college this is clearly one of the most important ones, especially if you are the sole income provider for your family.”

If you’re unhappy in your job

Being stuck in a rut at work sucks.  If you truly hate what you’re doing a.k.a. your actual job then maybe you should go back to school and learn a new skill.  If you just hate your workplace culture, boss and co-workers maybe you only need to change companies.  However if you really, truly hate your job then going back to college is the right option for you.

You want to do something else

When choosing a field of study think about what you want to be doing for the next 20 or 30 years.  Picture yourself heading into retirement, what are you doing?  If you’re going to make a career change it should be for something you love.  It’s also a good idea to consider career growth in your new field.  You’ll probably need to start at the bottom because you won’t have much experience in the field, but eventually you’ll want to move up.

The last thing you want to do is make the time and financial commitment to go back to school only to find out that it’s a dead end career.  Use websites like Glassdoor.com and Payscale.com to learn about the average salary in your new field as well as the types of jobs that require your newfound skills.

If your spouse is OK with it

Going back to school in your 30s will absolutely change your lifestyle.  It takes time and money and before enrolling talk with your spouse to make sure you’re both onboard with the idea.  Time spent in the classroom is time away from home and money spent on tuition is money taken away from the household expenses.  If you’re not able to work when you go back to school is your spouse OK being the sole income provider?

You really enjoy learning

Some people love to learn, they crave knowledge.  If you’re one of those people you may always be looking for the next book to stick your nose in.  If this is the case think about the cost of going back to school.  Maybe a four-year program isn’t want you need, maybe taking night classes or enrolling in a part-time certificate is the best way to go.  Enrolling in a four-year program is a big commitment.  Before you start it’s best to make sure it’s the right decision, if it makes financial sense and if it will help achieve your career goals.

 

About the author

TK

TK is a Certified Financial Planner with over 15 years of experience in the banking industry. She started blogging in 2009 after the market crash. TK enjoys helping people plan their retirement, pay off debt, invest wisely, live on a budget and enjoy happy financial lives. You can see what she's up to on Twitter @TahnyaKristina.

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