Nowadays, students have many options when considering which model of higher education works best for them, and their wallet. Whether you’re looking to fast-track your career advancement, keep up with changing industry trends or simply continue learning in an academic setting, it is never too late to go to college or return to higher education. Busy lives and other personal reasons may seem like a deterrent, but today there are endless ways to make college work for you. Read on for more reasons to go (or return) to college and seek continuous learning.
Choose your own experience
The way we learn is constantly evolving, and so are the outlets for college education. Classrooms are shifting from in-person or traditional campus settings to more flexible online environments, making it easier for anyone to go back to school. For adult learners who may be returning to college after a long break or enrolling for the first time, this flexibility enables students to continue learning at a pace and space that works for them. This way, each student can determine how to best mesh college learning with their personal life and various responsibilities.
Increase your worth and earning potential
Individuals with college degrees tend to have more professional opportunities, advance in their careers more quickly, and earn higher salaries than those who do not have a degree. Research has shown that this pay gap is increasing; in 2013, Americans with four-year degrees made 98 percent more per hour than their peers without degrees. While making more money is not the sole reason to pursue higher education and a degree, boosting your financial worth in an unpredictable economy is always an advantage.
Expand your skill set
The great thing about college is that no matter what you’re studying, the skills you build – writing, presentations and public speaking, critical thinking, ethics of the professional world – can translate to a variety of career options. This will set you apart from people without this skill set. Necessary career skills and job competencies are changing incredibly quickly with advancements in technology. It is crucial to continuously learn and improve your “hard skills” to stay competitive with others in your field. The next step is infusing your advanced “soft skills” into your resume and in your interviews as well, proving why you’re the best candidate for the job, project or promotion.
Be a lifelong learner
The personal choice of continuous learning can enhance your quality of life, and is comprised of many of the aspects mentioned above. Taking a proactive approach in continuing with higher education can provide exceptional benefits throughout one’s life. These include gaining a better understanding of the world around you and wide-ranging subject knowledge from your advanced comprehension. Lifelong learners are self-motivated in their pursuit of new information, and witness personal development and enhanced competitiveness and employability.