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Should I go back to college?

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According to Aontas, there are currently about 300,000 adults in Ireland who have returned to education. Several factors, such as the relative affordability of third level education these days, the competitiveness of the jobs market over the past few years, and the fall of the construction sector have all contributed to people choosing to return and further their education.

To some, the idea of going back to school is a fate worse than death. To others, it can represent a second chance to; take their career in a new direction, break through to new heights, listen to the stuff they ignored the first time around. Going back to school isn’t for everyone, but it can be a good career move if done wisely. Let’s take a look at the Pros and Cons of going back to school.

Pros:

Expand your knowledge

Whether you’re considering returning to college or going for the first time, continuing your education as an adult can be just as beneficial to you as it can for someone entering college at 18. College is an opportunity for you to become an expert on a topic and get some signed credentials to prove it. As someone who has already spent time working, this allows you to either expand on your existing knowledge base, or compliment it by learning something new.  

Change career paths

One of the findings of our Q2 Employment Monitor last year was that 60% of respondents say they wish they had done a different degree. College can provide an opportunity to completely overhaul your career, and to re-enter the workplace on much more solid footing. By now, you have likely built up a lot of experience from being in the workplace. A new degree is the chance to use that knowledge in a new way. 

Increase employability

Like it or not, the reality of finding a job is that employers want to see that you have experience. This could be education, practical work experience, or both. If you’re looking to switch careers, getting a degree not only makes you more employable on paper, but it also enables you to hit the ground running and get off to a good start.

Even if you’re not considering switching career paths and just want a degree in an area you already know a lot about, having certified proof, projects, and grades that you can point to will always make it easier for you to prove you’re the right choice.

Cons:

Quite an undertaking

As beneficial as it may be to your career, going back to college can take a major toll on your personal life. Working and studying at the same time can be a lot of stress on its own, and will only be exacerbated if you have a family to care for at the same time. There’s also the issue of timing. Doing a part-time degree can take up to 4 years in some cases, while studying full time is not an option for most people.

Doing it for the wrong reasons

Although deciding to go back to school can be a great way to make changes in your life turn your life around, you have to make sure you don’t do it for the wrong reasons. If you’re tired of work and looking for a change of pace, a degree may seem like an interesting & rewarding way to spend your time. But if you’re not adamantly committed to the cause, you could end up with another workload that you don’t like.

Going back to college can help you to achieve a lot of your goals both personally and professionally. These days you can take courses in everything from administration to IT in your spare time, study on campus or remotely,  and really build a degree around what you want to do.. It is an incredible chance to pursue your dreams, but you have to know what those dreams are. As I already stated above, over 60% of jobseekers wish they had done a different degree. That’s a mistake you don’t want to make twice.