Your complete guide to going back to school as an adult

Returning to school can help someone pivot in their career or lead to even more employment opportunities.

When thinking of going back to school, it’s important to consider your career goals, past career experiences and what you hope to gain out of more education. Think of how the degree or certificate may improve career mobility or increase your earning potential.

Will This Degree Help Me in My Career Path?

When going back to school as an adult, it’s important to position yourself for continued growth based upon the career progress you’ve made to date. Sometimes, your continuing education of choice will take you further on the same career path you’ve already established.

Talk to Trusted Colleagues

To make sure that the program you’re choosing will help you to accomplish your career goals, consider talking to people whose judgment you trust, including those who have pursued the path you’re considering.

Review LinkedIn

Another resource that might be worth checking out is LinkedIn. You can search the profiles of people who work for companies you admire or who are in a job position you’d like for yourself. What educational credentials have they listed? If they have a graduate degree, which one? Does this mesh with what you have in mind?

Evaluate Career Opportunities

If you’re considering a pivot to a new field altogether, investigate carefully to determine potential opportunities as well as the amount of time and money you’ll need to invest to obtain your career goals.

Is This Degree Necessary to Continue on My Career Path?

Sometimes, of course, obtaining additional education is necessary in order to fulfill your career goals. This is true if you want to become a doctor or a dentist, a nurse or a lawyer.

Will This Degree Increase My Job and Life Satisfaction?

With college or university, you’ll likely want to receive a promotion, a boost in salary, and the like, which is reasonable. But it’s also important to consider whether those accomplishments will really make you happier.

Will My Investment in This Degree Be Worth the Cost?

To help you determine the answer, perhaps consider your financial return on education (ROEd). As an initial step, you might look to see the typical lifetime earning potential for graduates in your field.