Why Do So Many People Return To College Later In Life?

Posted: October 17th, 2013





Why Do So Many People Return To College Later In Life?

The number of adults going back to colleges has been experiencing tremendous growth over the last couple of years. The National Centre for Education in the USA reported that in 2002, 40% of the students in colleges were adult students. An increase in the number is noted from the 28% that was recorded in the year 1970. Non- traditional students are considered to be adults above the age of twenty six. They are referred to as non-traditional students because it is assumed that by the age of 25, one ought to have completed college education. Some of these non-traditional students go back to college in order to continue with their halted education while others pursue totally different academic fields. Many adults go back to college as a measure of career management and their choices are encouraged by the advancement of technology.

One of the reasons as to why many adults go back to college is to change their career paths. One’s career path is greatly affected by their academic backgrounds. A great number of students pursue degree courses that are in line with their career choices. However, experience in the work field may make one realize their passion for a different field. This experience may also expose one to monotony and boredom that will result to pursuit of a different career. Adults possess this kind of experience and exposure that causes many to return to college. Their choices to go back to college are greatly influenced by their desire to pursue different degree courses. An example would be a nurse who realizes that she is better off working as an accountant due to her lack of personal relations skill and her passion for accounting. Career change then becomes major reason as to why adults go back to school.

Another reason that causes adults to go back to college is the increased technological advancement. There has been an increase in the number of institutions that offer online learning opportunities. Many adults who go back to school desire to do so without arousing attention from the rest of the society. Online colleges allow them to do so because they do not have to sit in physical lecture halls with other students. Apart from this, these online institutions have flexible schedules that allow learners to easily pursue their education while at the same time carry out other activities like working full-time

A reason as to why adults go back to college later on in life is to get advanced degrees.  A percentage of those adults who go back to colleges do not have college degrees. Most jobs in the market today require employees who have college degrees. According to the department of labor in America, out of the 50 jobs that are considered to be well paid, only the nuclear power operator and the air traffic controller do not require a four-year degree in college. This becomes the basis of instability for those who do not have college degrees. Their jobs are likely to be at risks because of potential employees with degrees. In order to maintain their jobs, many adults opt to go back to colleges.  Research also shows that college graduates earn more income than high school graduates. This then implies that people with degrees are more stable at the work place.

One of the reasons that explain why adults go back to college later on in life is to acquire a new skill. Some adults go back to college to attain specific skills in the area of Information Technology, Public Relations or even counseling. With the growth of the technological industries, many workers need to be at per with current technological advancements. Employers also look for workers who can easily adapt to the rapidly changing society. College is a way of ensuring that individuals maintain relevance in their work places.

The choice of going back to school among the adult population is most of the times influenced by the desire to gain career advancement. Many adults go back to college to gain a college, degree, acquire a new skill or specialize in a skill that they acquired before. This specialization is often seen in the acquisition of masters and doctorate degrees. The advancement of technology has also increased the number of adults who go back to college. This is because of the convenience that on line learning gives adult learners. In order for adults to remain relevant to the fast growing society, colleges will continue to see an influx of adult learners.


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