6 reasons to go back to school

While it’s always challenging to juggle a job and education, now may be the best possible time to take the plunge if you’ve been wanting to advance your knowledge, skills, and qualifications. Here’s why:

  1. Flexibility: Even as the US emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic closures, many employees are continuing to work remotely (either partially or fully). And that makes it easier to fit in classes while keeping up with family responsibilities and maintaining your job performance. With many employers adopting a more flexible work environment on a permanent basis, now is a great time to pursue your educational goals.
  2. Online options: Distance learning has been around for a while, with significant growth occurring over the last decade. Even before the pandemic, the online education market was projected to reach $350 billion by 2025. But now, there are more online learning options than ever before. In fact, more than 5 million college students are pursuing their undergraduate degree fully online, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics.

    Your online learning options range from skills-based websites like Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning) and Udacity.com to more traditional college education through online programs at top-tier universities like Stanford and Harvard. Whatever type of education you’re looking for, there’s truly no shortage of online options. For example, Coursera gives you access to numerous online courses, certificate programs, and degrees from world-class universities and companies. And, Udemy offers 150,000+ online video courses on a wide range of topics.

    What are the best online degree programs?

    If you’re looking for an objective resource for evaluating online college and graduate degree programs, take a look at the new rankings by Academic Influence.

  3. Business changes: As a result of the pandemic, many businesses have had to evolve and change how they function. This shift has created a demand for people who are willing to learn new skills and take on new challenges. You can show you’re ready for new job opportunities by pursuing educational opportunities.
  4. Affordability: With so many options, online schools are offering competitive rates to attract students to their program. And if you need to borrow money, low interest rates may make getting a loan less expensive right now. In addition, the Department of Education has extended its pause on federal student loan payments and interest to January 31, 2022. There are even some rumors that student loans could be forgiven entirely.
  5. Distraction: With so many forms of COVID fatigue going on right now (mask fatigue, virtual meeting fatigue, stay-at-home fatigue, etc.), now could be a great time to inject something new and energizing into your life. If you’d like to expand your skillset into a new area, deepen your knowledge of your current field, or simply broaden your educational horizons, consider going back to school to learn something new.
  6. Career advancement: Having a college degree, graduate degree, or specialized certification is a great way to differentiate yourself. If you're looking to get a promotion, move into a more advanced role, or change departments/divisions, furthering your education will help you achieve your career goals and reach your fullest potential.

Sources:
Academic Influence (academicinfluence.com)
“Now Available: A New Ranking of Online College Degree Programs,” Forbes (www.forbes.com), August 15, 2021
“The Rise Of Online Learning,” Forbes (www.forbes.com), May 2, 2020
“Top 10 Reasons to Go Back to School,” Champlain College Online (online.champlain.edu)
“Why Is Now A Good Time To Go Back To School?” Creativehype (creativehype.org)