The desire of obtaining a higher education doesn’t have to remain a dream. 38% of undergrad students are over the age of 25; and by 2025, 42% of the nation’s college student population will be over 25. Adults are realizing more now than ever the importance of getting a higher degree because 67% of job postings require at least a bachelor’s degree just to even be considered.
Today, we are going to talk about why you would want to go back to school. We aren’t going to talk about the basic stuff like having access to better jobs and making more money. We are going to cover the more unusual benefits.
1. New Opportunities to Specialize in Tech
Advancements in technology isn’t going to stop anytime soon, and by going back to school, you can play a part on those advancements.
Let’s say you go back to school and get a degree in computer science. With that degree, you can focus on cyber security and help prevent security breaches that could affect millions of people. If you want to have a personal impact on the public, you could get a bachelor’s degree in special education and use assistive technology help any of the 6.5 million special needs children and youths under the age of 21. Examples of assistive technology include things like touch screens, screen readers, handheld GPS units, and much more.
2. Reduces Poverty
Okay, we said we weren’t going to discuss the increased earning potential you would have as a result of a higher education, but we wanted to point out that if everyone had access to affordable secondary education, 420 million people would be lifted out of poverty. This decreases the world’s poverty rate by more than half.
3. Society Improves
If more people went back to school, society would become more unified and hopefully trust one another more. Now we aren’t suggesting that education would solve all the problems of the world, but think about the people who are usually incarcerated.
In 2009, the high school dropout rate was approximately 6.2 million, and the collective cost for each dropout was $292,000. This figure accounts for tax revenue that is missed out on because dropouts receive less pay than graduates, and even less than someone with a degree. On top of that, 75% of inmates are illiterate, but when an inmate receives a “solid education,” they are less likely to go back to jail.
As you can see, when a society is educated, they are less likely to be locked up. Also, they’ll earn a higher taxable income. Those taxes can go toward improving our infrastructure.
4. Less Likely to be Unemployed
Generally speaking, a college educated individual is not going to be unemployed for as long as someone with a high school degree. It’s important to note that just because you have a degree, that doesn’t mean you’re impervious to losing your job. A degree simply means you will have more opportunities to find work.
5. Broaden Your Network
For many of us, school was the time of our lives. We had fun. We socialized. We surrounded ourselves with people who had similar goals and values as we did.
Going back to school as an adult can give you the chance to connect with like-minded individuals. You can join groups (both in person or virtually) where you can socialize and network with people in your field. The networking you do in school can set you up with great opportunities (career and personal) in the future if you nurture those connections.
6. Prove Your Worth
Many adults choose not to go back to school because they don’t think they have the time or the grit they need in order to do the course work and still live their own lives. Some people are raising families and/or work full time jobs, which makes completing a higher education that much more challenging.
However, when you do go back and stick it out until you graduate, think of how accomplished you’ll feel. Your loved ones will look at you with a sense of pride because you said you would do something and you did it, despite the challenges. Of all the intangible benefits of getting a college education, the respect you receive will make it all worth it.
7. You Become Healthier
According to the CDC, women without a high school diploma had a life expectancy 8.6 years less than those with a bachelor’s degree. This among other CDC studies shows that college students are more likely to participate in activities that keep them moving, they’ll have a better diet, and they are likely to ditch those nasty habits like smoking.
On top of being healthier in a physical sense, you’re going to have a better opinion of yourself. You are going to be able to look in the mirror and have a better sense of self because you took the steps you needed to in order to fulfill your dreams of success.
Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Although simply obtaining a degree isn’t going to change the world in and of itself, the things you do with that degree can make a difference. It doesn’t matter if you use it to prevent hackers from stealing millions’ of people’s identities, or if you become a special education teacher, you are making a difference.
College isn’t going to be easy. You’re going to want to give up. You may even regret your decision to go back. But, with perseverance and determination, you can do it! If ever you feel like giving up, just remember these 7 benefits of going back.