It might have been some time since you were in formal education, and back then so many of us couldn’t wait to leave school. Ten, fifteen or twenty years later, little did we know we’d be back- and this time paying for the privilege with our hard earned money! However, it’s when you reach adulthood that you really appreciate and understand the importance of education. You realize how going back and gaining more qualifications can improve your job prospects massively and set you up for a better life. It’s never too late to build on your education or learn something new, so if you’re in a bit of a slump with your job picking up the books could be exactly what you need. Whether you want to advance in your career or start something new, going back to study is a smart move. Here are some questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge and beginning your education in adulthood.
If you’re making the big decision to go back and study as an adult, chances are you already have a subject in mind. If not, have a think about where your passions lie. If you want to study to change career, what kind of career will different courses lead to? For example, if you want a job in mental health and already have a degree, you could do an online masters in clinical counseling. Otherwise, an undergraduate degree in psychology, mental health nursing or other related subject can all lead you down this path too. The trick is to find something you’re really interested in but which also has good job options when you finish.
The main considerations for starting a new course is whether you will attend a local college or university, or whether you will study from home. There are of course pros and cons for each, so weigh them up and work out what will be best for your personal circumstances. Maybe you want to study around a job or have childcare, and other commitments meaning travel to somewhere else is tricky. On the other hand, you might want to get into the full student spirit and go and sit behind a desk to listen to a teacher or lecturer. This way you have no distractions like you might at home, and have the support of the tutor as well as others in your class. You can submerge yourself fully in the learning experience.
Just like schools, colleges and universities generally run from September through to May- although some offer late starter classes in January. This means that you can’t always just sign up and go whenever you want, and will need to wait until the autumn time before you can enroll. Once you have it in mind that you want to study, check out what the start dates are so you can make arrangements. If the start date of your course is a few months away don’t just give up on the idea, it gives you chance to tie up any loose ends and get yourself prepared. Save up some money as a buffer if you’re cutting down your working hours (or quitting your job) get hold of the textbooks and other equipment you need, get your home office or desk set up if you’re going to be working from home.