Why More Adults Are Going Back to School

Online adult learner

When you think of a typical college student, you probably picture an 18-year-old wearing a university sweatshirt with a backpack slung over one shoulder. But times are changing. Of the nearly 20 million students enrolled in a degree-granting institution in fall 2019, approximately 6.5 million were adult learners. And that number is projected to grow even more by 2030. Today, “nontraditional” students actually outnumber their “traditional” counterparts. The adult returning to college has become more the norm than ever before. Here are a few reasons why:

Finish What You Started in College

Did you know that only a third of students starting out as freshmen at public colleges and universities graduates in four years? If you started at school and weren’t able to complete your degree, you’re hardly alone. For the same reasons you may have gone to college right after high school, it may be time to consider it again. Many colleges accept transfer credits from accredited institutions and offer financial aid to help you cover the cost of tuition.

Career Advancement when You Go Back to School

Going back to school—to complete your degree or add another—can open doors of opportunity. It can help you advance along a current career trajectory or consider something entirely different. A degree can prove that you’re ready for new responsibilities and deserving of a better title and higher pay. Your program can help you grow your knowledge base, develop new skills, immerse yourself in technological advances, and gain experience through internships or field work. And it can provide you with a competitive edge against others who are applying for a new position or vying for a promotion. Furthering your education also helps you build a more extensive network as you forge new connections with students and professors.

Online Programs Make School Flexible

Even before the pandemic, colleges offered students more flexibility. Not only could students take courses on campus at night; they could also access the same quality instruction, materials, and professors online. The flexibility of online learning means that you can learn from anywhere that has a reliable internet connection. That’s enticing to adults who might be juggling jobs, family responsibilities, and some sort of social life.

Pandemic Priority Shift with Career and Education

Whether you were on furlough during the pandemic or enjoyed working from home so much that you’re not ready to go back into an office, your priorities may have shifted. And the job you had may not be the job you want. Do you need new training or deeper knowledge? According to a survey from EAB Global, the pandemic accelerated some students’ education plans.  Going back to school can provide you with the knowledge and skillset you need to pursue the kind of career you really want. And if you happen to still work remotely, you can earn your degree from wherever you happen to be.

Reskilling by Going Back to School

As those priorities shift, and opportunities abound, now may be the perfect time to gain more comprehensive skills. Whether that means augmenting what you already know with a course or two, moving from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree, or bachelor’s to a master’s, learning new skills can be a benefit to you and your future.

Are you ready to go back to school? Limestone University can help you further your education so you can take the next step in your career. We offer programs in Business, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Health Professions, and we offer online classes to help you fit school into your busy schedule. Click the button to learn more.