The decision to go back to school is never easy and taking a full-time course is costly. An average student has a debt of $37,172, which is a $20,000 increase from 13 years ago. As competition in the workforce increases, taking a break to go back to school, or studying while you work, could be the step needed to save your career and maybe even help get a promotion or career change. Sometimes your goals are just on the other side of a degree.
With that in mind, here are 6 reasons why going back to school may be the right step to carry you toward the life you really want.
Most employers will soon require people to have a college degree
According to a study conducted by the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, approximately 65% of employers in the U.S. will soon require postsecondary education from their employees and potential applicants. The report states that the reason for this is because of the high demand for certain skills that are most valued in today’s economy. These skills include leadership, critical analysis, and good communication — all of which are being taught and enhanced by colleges.
“Of all occupations, 96 percent require critical thinking and active listening to be either very important or extremely important to success,” the report informs.
Online degrees allow employees to choose a course that is specific to advancing their career. Maryville University outlines that 23,300 new public relations jobs are expected to be made available from 2016 to 2026 in the U.S. This shows that there is high demand for students graduating with specialist degrees in areas like communication. With communication, leadership, and critical analysis being seen as major requirements in the near future, going back to school now might give an employee the edge they need to take their professional life to the next stage.
Automation in the workplace
One of the biggest threats to the job market is artificial intelligence (AI). For those with jobs that are being threatened by automation in the workforce, going back to school to learn a new subject makes a career change much more likely.
Unemployment is worse for those with no degree
A report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the unemployment rate doubles for those with only a high school diploma. Professionals with only a high school education are unemployed at a national rate of 5.3%, while unemployment for those who have a college degree is only at 2.5%. The numbers will likely augment by 2020 when employers demand higher educational attainment from applicants and employees.
Taking a degree increases income by 40%
Start School Now! in their ‘7 Reasons to Go to College’ note that professionals with a high school diploma only make an average of $678 per week. In contrast, those with a bachelor’s degree make up to $1,137 every week. For those who feel that they have hit a roadblock, returning to school could be the boost they need to increase their pay grade.
41% of new jobs come from networking
If you can’t find a good job that’s in line with your career, you need to expand your web of contacts. College is a good place to meet people who can help with your career. There will be a dedicated careers center and networking with fellow students and faculty staff could help guide you on a new career path.
When you go back to school, you’re opening yourself up to more opportunities. Due to the development of online education students, it is much easier to study and work at the same time.
A lot of employers are open to working with employees who go back to school. Fast Company lists stories of employees who were able to work and study at the same time because their respective firms understood their need to grow. In addition, going back to school can be beneficial in combining work and school projects. For example, statistics classes can be useful in improving work reports, while leadership courses can help set employees up for promotion.
Pay attention to what’s happening in your career. Unsure whether or not you need to go back to school to get promoted or save your job? Schedule your complimentary 30-minute consultation with me today to jumpstart your future. Your new life is waiting for you.