Most of us associate higher education with students who have recently left compulsory education and either have a set career plan in their head (in which case they know exactly what subject they want to take and specialise in) or aren’t really sure what else they want to do (and consequently pick a more generalised subject and pursue higher education in order to give themselves more time to decide).
But it’s important to remember that higher education doesn’t solely lie within the reach of eighteen to twenty one year olds. You can pursue a higher education at any point in your life.
Sure, if you begin your studies after the age of twenty-one, you will be considered a mature student. But mature students comprise an extremely important part of any college’s alumni and can produce some seriously high-quality work.
Not only do you have the benefit of already having taken time to determine what kind of work interests you, but you are less likely to become distracted by the more social aspects of college like parties, antics and frivolity.
So, why might you want to head back to higher education when you’ve already entered the working world? Well, there are all sorts of reasons, and there are various ways that higher education can benefit anybody in regards to their career path! Let’s take a moment to learn more!
Increased Flexibility and Learning Options
In the past, pursuing higher education meant following a very clear cut path. You’d have to dedicate three to four years to full time study on a college campus.
You’d have to attend lectures and seminars at set times on set days and missing them would mean losing points due to poor attendance, or potentially being dismissed from a course.
This, of course, isn’t an option for everybody. Some people have commitments that mean they cannot leave home to attend the college that has caught their eye.
They may be carers. They might not have sufficient funds. They might have to work to make ends meet and wouldn’t be able to dedicate to a full time course alongside a full time job. Whatever the reason, times have changed, and the majority of institutions are now offering more flexible learning options for students.
Almost all institutions now offer part-time courses, which means that you can complete a course in six to eight years on a part-time basis.
This could allow you to work at the same time as study, maintaining your lifestyle at the same time as achieving a qualification and benefitting from the full college experience. Many institutions are also now offering online courses, like an online electrical engineering degree.
This is even more flexible, as it means that you don’t even have to attend a college campus in order to graduate. You can simply complete your work from the comfort of your own home.
This makes higher education more accessible for those who work full time (as you can study around your set working hours) or individuals who are raising children at home (as you could study early in the morning, in the evenings, or when your little ones are at school).
As you can see, many people may return to education as a mature student as the venture is now accessible, whereas it may have been an unfeasible venture in the past.
To add to this, there are several companies like GK & partners who are working to improve the learning options available for students.
Change of Career Path
Some of us might work in a field for years before determining that it isn’t for us, or that it is taking us in a direction that we don’t want our life to take.
Sometimes, we end up railroaded into a certain job role by circumstance and then feel trapped, as we become dependent on the position to pay bills like our mortgage, energy bills, and to repay any debts that we owe.
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important that you consider other options. Not only can working in a role you dislike prove unfulfilling, but you can experience stress, a low mood, and other negative mental and emotional symptoms that will have a significantly detrimental effect on your overall quality of life.
You need to give your professional life purpose and actively enjoy what you do on a day to day basis. You can achieve this by heading back to college. Pursuing higher education can give you the means necessary to completely change your career path.
Someone who is stuck in a dead end job could become qualified in teaching, practicing medicine, engineering, or another specialist field. Having a degree in these areas can open doors to previously inaccessible positions.
What’s more? Specialist roles that require a degree tend to come hand in hand with a higher salary, meaning that not only could you end up working in a field that genuinely interests you, but you could be financially better for the change too!
Pursuit of a Promotion
There are, of course, people who adore the company that they work for or the kind of work that they do, but still head back to higher education. The main reason for this is generally to become qualified for a promotion.
If you started at the bottom of the ladder in a particular company and actively enjoy working for the company, you don’t necessarily have to leave in order to improve or land a better position.
Instead, you could work your way up by studying, as courses provide you with the right knowledge and skills to prosper in more specialist or managerial positions. By graduating, you could bag a promotion, climbing higher up the ladder in the company you already work for and receiving a pay rise at the same time!
Sure, you may feel relatively intimidated by the thought of returning to education. You may find yourself having to complete tasks and activities that you are completely unfamiliar with, or to engage with teachers and tutors in a way that you probably haven’t in years.
But the effort will all be more than worth it when you see yourself steadily progressing and achieving things on a professional basis that you might not have been able to without a degree!