When you think of the typical college student, what image comes to mind? Is it a hard-partying fraternity brother, a wide-eyed ingenue away from home for the first time, or a freshman who’s just turned 18? It might surprise you to know that fully 35% of students enrolled at the nation’s colleges and universities are over age 25.
This demographic used to be referred to as “non-traditional students,” but they are fast becoming much more traditional than ever before. That means if you’ve been thinking about going back to school as an adult learner, there’s no need to fear that you’ll be the oldest one in the classroom.
Need more convincing? We’ve got three great reasons for adults to pursue college degrees!
1. You Will Make More Money
It used to be that you could get a good-paying manufacturing job or another career right out of the gate. Not so much these days. In fact, some employment experts consider the Bachelor’s degree to be the new high-school diploma. It’s the base-level prerequisite for getting a job that lets you earn a livable wage.
In fact, according to the U.S Department of Labor, there are serious wage disparities between full-time workers who have an education and those who don’t. In the second quarter of 2017, those who didn’t graduate high school had median weekly earnings of $515, while high school grads made $718.
That number jumps to $1,189 for Bachelor’s degree holders. Finally, workers who had a Master’s degree, professional certification, or other post-secondary degree made median weekly earnings of $1,451. That’s twice that of people with only high-school diplomas.
2. You’ll Open More Professional Doors
Some educational paths lead pretty directly to professional careers: if you attend nursing school, for example, it’s with the intention of becoming a nurse after graduation.
On the other hand, enrolling in school as a major in a broader field — business, communications, traditional and digital marketing, etc. — can open up a lot of diverse doors. In these cases, it’s less about the specific courses you take or the lessons you learn. It’s more about developing self-discipline and skills like research, critical thinking, and clearly communicating your thoughts.
Demonstrating that you have the capacity to synthesize ideas, make connections, and work well as part of a team or in a management role — these will serve you well for the remainder of your career.
3. You Will Experience the Sheer Joy of Learning
All young children know that learning is enjoyable. They pester their parents with questions all day long and experiment through play, even though it sometimes gets them in trouble. Somewhere along the line, however, we start to associate school — and by extension learning– with drudgery, social pressures, and standards that may be difficult to meet.
We all have an innate love of learning, no matter how badly middle school treats us. Why else would trivia games, documentaries, podcasts, magazines and books, and even meeting new people all be such popular pastimes?
You can actively rekindle that love of learning. Just ask the education experts at Magna Publications, who have seen this phenomenon — a grown-up getting back in touch with their inner learner! — time and again.
What College Degrees Interest You?
Maybe you’ve always dreamed of earning college degrees in psychology or social work so you can help others. Or you’re simply tired of your dead-end job and want to expand your career horizons.
Need a little inspiration? Bookmark this section of our blog and browse the informative posts there to help kick-start your imagination!