Being a degree holder with a steady job doesn’t necessarily mean that your education is over. Continuing your education can be a good idea for many reasons. There are career benefits, personal benefits and even health benefits to continued education.
Continuing education refers to vocational training or college courses for older adults. Typically, these types of classes are taken by people who are older than the average college student. Some courses can be attended on college campuses, and some are available in other venues. Taking online courses is another way to continue your education. Getting a certificate, diploma, degree or simply course credit are some of the goals of ongoing education.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people who have college degrees make a significant amount more than those with high school diplomas only. Having a bachelor’s degree can increase your worth in the job market. You don’t have to attend classes full time to earn your degree. Classes can be taken online or in the evenings to give you time for your current full-time job. Getting a degree can be worth it in the long run.
Even people who already have college degrees can benefit from continuing education. In certain fields, it can increase your take-home pay to specialize in a certain area. Whether you want to search for another job or improve your income in your current one, having specialized training can make you a more valuable employee. An advanced degree like a doctorate or a master’s isn’t always necessary, but in some fields of work it can boost you up to another earning level.
In certain fields, such as medicine, it’s beneficial to continue to learn because of the ongoing advancements in the field. Nurses, pharmacists, CPAs and teachers all have requirements to receive continuing education to maintain their licenses. Real estate agents, engineers and those who work in criminal justice are also required to stay updated on the latest advancements in their fields. Laws, technology and scientific knowledge are constantly evolving. Continuing education can help professionals stay up to date in their chosen areas of expertise.
Another good reason to continue your education is a change of career. Many people realize in the middle of a career that they may have chosen the wrong path for them. People also may feel that they have gotten all they can from their current profession and have become interested in another field of work. It isn’t always necessary to go back to school to change careers, but frequently it is. Working toward your dream job is a good reason to go back to school for additional certificates or degrees.
Elite Reviews said, “In addition to career benefits, continuing education can have personal benefits.” If you have always wanted to earn your degree just for the sense of accomplishment, it is still possible to do that. Even if you can’t be a full-time student, classes are available at convenient times to help you meet your goals. Some people also go back to school simply to satisfy their curiosity. Learning about new subjects or gaining more knowledge about a favorite hobby or pastime can be great reasons to go back to school.
Another personal benefit to continued learning is that it contributes to brain health. This is especially important as we age. Studies have shown that learning new things can help keep your mind sharp and your memory strong. The more challenging the mental task, the more the brain benefits. Learning a new language is a good example of something that benefits the brain. However, language learning is at the more challenging end of the spectrum. Taking classes in anything that interests you can improve brain health.
There are many reasons to continue learning, but it may sound like an expensive path to pursue. However, there are grants, scholarships and other types of financial aid available to nontraditional students. It’s also possible your employer may reimburse you for your continued learning. Some colleges also offer free classes to senior citizens.