Going Back To School After 40

There you were, halfway through your bachelor’s degree, when you had to quit school. Whether it was because you had to go to work, started a family or could no longer afford the cost of tuition, the percentage of adults who have partially completed degrees is actually quite high in the United States.

The good news is, it’s never too late when it comes to higher education, and with the plethora of online college classes, degree completion programs and adult education programs available, it’s easier than ever to get that degree. You might think you’re too old, too set in your ways or just too busy to contemplate a return to school, but there are also some pretty good reasons to consider cracking those textbooks open one more time. Here are four reasons to go back to school after 40.

1. Enhance Your Career

For many careers, a bachelor’s degree is equivalent to what a high school diploma used to be, and a master’s degree is almost a necessity for any kind of specialized profession. Even entry-level jobs often prefer some kind of higher education, whether it be a degree or training certificate.

Obtaining that degree can not only mean new job opportunities opening up for you, it can mean more opportunities in your current career. Employers will also sometimes offer continuing education perks, such as tuition reimbursement or pay increases for degree holders, which can make getting your degree well worth the time and effort.

2. Keep Your Brain Healthy

Research indicates that keeping our minds active can help prevent and minimize cognitive decline, which in turn can improve our lives as we get older. Going back to school is one way to keep our minds active and our brains functioning at their optimum level.

Refreshing yourself on complex math equations, reading textbooks or learning new computer skills are all things that help improve our thinking process. You’ll not only learn about the usual school subjects, you’ll be exposed to new and different ways of looking at the world, which helps to expand our views, challenge our intellect and keep our brains working.

3. Meet New People

 All too often, we find ourselves trapped in the rote of daily life. We go to work, go home, go to sleep, all to get up and do it all again. We see the same people at work, at home, at the store, in our neighborhoods. Going back to school can expand our social circles and put us in situations where we meet people we might never encounter otherwise.

College classes are no longer the domain of the freshly-graduated high school student, often consisting of a much more diverse dynamic than you might expect. You might find yourself sitting next to a young single parent going to school for the first time, an exchange student from another country or a retiree seeking continuing education.

4. Inspire Your Children

Many people want to explore their options in life, whether it’s going back to school themselves, getting a different job or moving to a new place. Yet so many of us are creatures of habit, and changing things up can be a scary proposition. By improving your own life through education, you just might inspire others to do the same.

And if you’re a parent, your hard work and perseverance not only provides huge rewards for your own life, it can help your children feel empowered in finding success in their own future. There’s nothing quite like leading by example to show our children that anything is possible and there is always time to reach for your dreams.