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Degrees

Part of Western Governors University

August 9, 2019

Career Development

Top reasons adults return to school.

WGU Tennessee commencement

Whether it’s buying a house or going back to school, it’s hard to know if you’re ready to make such a big decision. Sometimes it’s because you’re eager to take the leap, and other times it’s because you finally have the time, but the reasons for adults to go back to school always vary. Here are just some of the motivations you might decide to go back to school.

1) You’ve hit your ceiling at your current job.

Even if you have been working in an industry or profession for years, you still may need to go back to school to break through for a promotion. An increasing number of jobs now require advanced degrees. For example, teachers who want to become principals at their schools may need to go back and earn a master’s degree. As jobs become increasingly complex, so will the education required to fill them. 

2) Your kids are growing up.

Raising children is a full-time job in itself, so advancing your education can be an easy thing to put on hold. However, when the kids leave for school or a career, that could be a great time for a parent to work on their own education. Online programs like WGU allow parents to earn a degree on their time so life doesn’t have to be put on hold. A number of WGU graduates have said that their children were the primary source of motivation when earning a degree. 

3) You want to finish what you started.

According to CNBC, about 45 percent of students who initially enroll in college leave without their diploma. Sometimes family obligations take over, or the money just doesn’t add up. Regardless of the reasons for not finishing, going back to school and earning a college degree can provide a sense of accomplishment. The number of adults who are going back to school has been at a steady increase since 1970 and is expected to continue going up.

Bar chart showing the number of adults going back to school *figure from Maryville college

The reasons that people go back to school vary, but the goal doesn’t. Whether you’re 22 or 82, earning a college degree can give you that sense of accomplishment and dramatically help increase your career opportunities. If you’re thinking about taking the leap and going back to school, visit https://www.wgu.edu/admissions.html and learn more!

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