There is a growing trend around the world – older citizens are heading back to college. While in times past it may have been strange to see someone in their 30s or 40s trying to earn a degree or get college credits, now it seems to be the norm. But why have so many people decided to go back to school, and more importantly, how do they use this education to enhance their careers?
Benefits of Going Back to School
While school may not have been your strongest suit growing up, there are benefits to returning to the classroom to earn more credits or a degree:
Learn New Skills – Technology and other societal advancements have changed the way in which work is completed. Those who haven’t been in school for a while can go back and learn skills that will help them to execute their jobs more efficiently.
Broaden Your Horizons – Many people would love the opportunity to earn a living doing something they love. Unfortunately, however, many end up taking a job as a means to pay the bills. By going back to school, you can learn a skill or trade in a field you’re passionate about thus broadening the horizons on what you can do. For example, someone who decides to take courses at one of the top fashion schools in New York can quit their dead-end job and enter the field of fashion and design fairly easily.
Get More Money – Believe it or not, those who have a college degree will earn thousands of dollars more than someone with a high school diploma over a lifetime. If you’d like to increase your earnings potential, going back to school is the best solution. The more skills you have in a particular area, the more your employers are willing to pay you to work with them.
Leveraging Your Degree or Credits
Now you know why going back to school is a good job to advance your career, but how do you use your degree or course completion certificates to get ahead? Here are some solutions:
Notify Human Resources
If you’re going back to school, make sure that you talk with your human resources department before, during, and after. Your HR department may have funds that can be used to help you obtain your degree. Not to mention, once you’ve obtained certain credits or completed a course or degree program, your HR department may automatically increase your pay.
Update Your Resume
If you’re looking for a new job, make sure that you update your resume to reflect the type of courses you’re taking. You may even consider including a description of the courses so that potential employers see what skills you’re learning. Lastly, make sure that you attach a copy of your completion certificate or degree to your resume for further review. There are certain positions that may require an educational background check and including these documents can make the process go faster.
Create a Portfolio
What better way to let employers know you’ve learned something new than to show them. If you’ve taken courses in fields like web design, photography, literature, or fashion design, creating a portfolio is a great way to show off your skills. Your portfolio will show onlookers what you’ve learned and how you can put your skills to work for their business.
Higher education may have been the last thing on your mind when you were thinking of ways to earn more money, but it is an effective solution. By going back to school to learn new skills you make yourself more attractive to employers. Once you’ve enrolled in a school be sure to update your resume, inform your HR department, and develop a portfolio of works that can be used to put you ahead of the competition.