Taking the Plunge: Going Back to School

by Evan

Making the most of each dollar earned is the mantra and overarching theme of many adults in the working world, with the goal to achieve a point in life to be able to retire at an earlier age that the predicted cutoff of age 65. Since the average lifespan is just over 78 years, it’s not very encouraging to work for 40-50 years in a career and job that may be tolerated and not fully enjoyed, only to reap its long term benefits for 13 years after retirement. What are the alternatives to make a better life experience throughout your entire lifespan? For some, going back to school to get educated in a different field, in order to pursue a different career path that is more fulfilling either emotionally and/or financially is the best course of action. For others, reducing expenses in order to maximize savings and investment dollars in their job, no matter their current level of satisfaction, in order to bring that retirement timeline in by a few years, or a few decades, with the notion of enjoying freedom to live and do as they please without being obligated and strained by maintaining a traditional job for their source of income. That may sound ludicrous to many, but quite exciting to others. That journey can be achieved in many cases by adding extra education to their life, in order to maximize income and minimize years spent working.

Job satisfaction is a constant topic of conversation, surveys and content across society. Stress levels, suicide rates, emotional, physical, mental and physical health statuses are directly correlated to our job satisfaction in many cases, so it’s of our best interest to put ourselves into satisfactory and fulfilling careers. No matter where you are currently, going back to school at the university level, to a trade school, or taking online courses for certificates and licenses is always an option to better the position you are in. Some such examples are getting a BA architecture, project management certification, nursing degree, real estate license and so much more are often worth their cost in multiplier returns. Of course, doing a cost benefit analysis and ROI assessment are always worth your time and effort, to ensure you’re choosing a path that will pay off financially. 

Factors to consider when going back to school are the financial cost, time cost, and your resource appetite for these costs. If you’re paying for it yourself, will you need to take out loans, or will you pay out of savings? Will your employer pay all, or a part of it? Will you have support from your family for time to attend class and complete homework assignments and studying? Do you have the stamina to balance your current workload as well as taking the course and the time requirements for the coursework? These are most of, but not all factors to consider. It’s best to talk it over with your closest friends, family, co-workers and boss, as well as ensure within yourself you are ready, as it’s a big commitment. But, a commitment that can pay off immensely in the long run. 

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