Going back to school is an exciting (and emotional, at times) moment for everyone, whether you’re returning from a summer vacation or from more than a decade in the workforce. So if you’re wondering “Is it too late to go to college?” and breaking out into cold sweats, that’s both normal and understandable!
It turns out that there are tangible benefits to going back to school as a “mature student”, proving that there is no age limit for education!
Too Old To Go Back To School?
Just to put a fine point on it, local B.C. resident, Joan Deebank, received her high school diploma at 92 years old.
Varathaledchumy Shanmuganathan is one of the oldest women in Canada to obtain a graduate degree at 87 years old! It’s never too late to go back to college!
As a matter of fact, during the past recent decades, the demographic profile of students in colleges and universities has drastically shifted.
Today, a large fraction of the demographic structure consists of “non-traditional” students with these students outweighing the number of students who are between 18 and 22 years old.
Education and knowledge will always be invaluable and worthwhile. Considering this, your educational experience is something that is prized not only by your employers, but benefits your own mind as well.
Beyond a doubt, there are endless reasons why you should go back to school, and as mentioned above there are many benefits of going back to college long after high school. Let’s get into those below, and prove to you why it’s never too late to go back to college!
1. You Know How To Work
If you’ve spent any time in the full-time professional workforce, then you’re coming back to college with a major advantage over your fresh-from-highschool counterparts: you already know how to work!
This sounds almost ridiculous but here’s the hard truth: Even a full-time college program doesn’t require the number of concentrated hours that a full-time job does.
If you already know how to commit yourself to doing 40 hours of work a week, and have your lifestyle set up to accommodate that, you’re going to conquer your college courses!
2. You Know What You Want (And Why)
In a recent in-depth survey, it was found that 42% of college students are there because of their parents’ insistence that they go.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of ‘mature’ college students (those over 21 years old in this case) report that they are going back “to change direction in their lives“, according to an Oxford Brookes University paper on mature students’ university experiences.
This motivator can make all the difference when it comes to academic performance.
Maybe you want to pursue a career that is completely different from your past education or what you’re doing for work right now.
Returning for education will set you on a path that can get you closer to your new dream. Going back to college can change your future by opening doors and creating new opportunities.
3. Career Advancement
Tied closely to the previous point, the combination of your new education and the soft skills (the transferable knowledge and experience you’ve developed to thrive in the workplace) give mature students a major advantage over their more youthful classmates,
This is particularly true when seeking new employment after graduation. Ask any young graduate and they’ll tell you that when it comes to the job hunt, there is no substitute for experience.
While you may lack the hard-skills experience in your new field, the truth is that hard skills can be taught. Soft skills, on the other hand, must be developed through work experience.
Most employers are willing to teach anyone how to do their job, but nobody wants to hire someone they have to teach how to work.
This makes advancing in your new career potentially a much quicker process, especially if you are aspiring toward management-level roles. The years you’ve spent working have taught you things you can’t learn in school!
4. The Job Market NEEDS Educated Workers
If you ask Canadian economists and demographic forecasters “Is it too late to go to college?” you’d most likely get a resounding “NO! Please go for it!”
Sounds like a bold claim, but according to a 2021 study by BDC, appropriately subtitled Hiring Difficulties Are Not Going Away, employees are only going to get harder to find, and skilled workers will be even more so.
It’s going to be an employee’s market for the foreseeable future, and the need for skilled employees is only going to rise. This means that right now really is one of the best times to return to college.
So, is it too late to go to college? It doesn’t matter how old you are, what your previous education is, or where you are now in life, it’s never too late to go back to college!
If you’d like to learn more and/or apply, contact one of our advisors here!