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If you are considering going back to school to get your degree, you are not alone. There are over 4 million people in the United States that have completed 2 years of college and were not able to gain their degree according to a recent article published in the US News and World Report. The article also states that over the past 20 years, 31 million people fall into this same category. Whether the reasons that lead to not continuing their studies vary from demanding work schedules to important family commitments or events. Combining this group with individuals who have their bachelor’s degrees and are seeking graduate school, there is a high demand for returning to school. If you fall into either of the categories mentioned, I would like to offer 3 compelling reasons why you should be strongly considering returning to college.
By returning to college, your career prospects could be expanded. Many industries from business to the medical field require varying levels of education in order to obtain a position or to be considered for promotion. When changing careers, heading back to school is a requisite step in gaining the expertise needed to complete the transition. Salaries are also impacted by the level of education you possess. In the chart titled, Earnings and Unemployment Rate by Educational Attainment (2013), The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides solid data showing the variances in salary at each level. Using weekly wages as a measure, the BLS shows those who only possess a high school diploma made $76 less per week than those who have some college. Furthermore, the same individual with some college compared to a college graduate with a bachelors degree stands to lose $381 per week (just under $20,000 over 52 weeks)! The BLS also analyzed the unemployment rate within the same construct and showed the more education one has the lower the unemployment rate. The bottom line based on the data is a college degree offers higher wages and secure employment over time.
Your professional network can be enhanced by returning to school as well. Within in the classroom you will be taught by very knowledgeable professors who bring a treasure trove of information that will make more marketable, whether you are studying at the undergraduate or graduate level. Within that same classroom environment, you will collaborate with likeminded classmates that share your enthusiasm for learning and, most importantly, made the important decision to obtain that degree as well. From working on assignments or just providing moral support for one another, the bonding with a classmate can provide a lifelong friendship or, quite possibly, a business partnership. What do Public Enemy, founders of LinkedIn and Google have in common? They all met while in college!
Advancing your professional interest or networking with intelligent people are great reasons for returning back to school, but you will also impact others in your life in a positive way. Whether you have family to support or a family that assist you, all are key participants in your journey towards graduating from college. The time dedicated to studying for exams or conducting research for a paper will be a sacrifice for you and those you love. Take heed in the fact that while they are providing support for you, in turn you are inspiring them with your fortitude and perseverance to finish school. You are a role model for your children, your siblings and your friends for the decision you made to advance your career.
You have your reasons to return to college and now it is up to you! The spring semester at many institutions begin in January so you have the time to visit admissions offices to gain a better understanding of what is offered and learn the application process for the next term. Take the next step and return to college. You can do it!!!
Written by Terence Peavy, Vice President for Enrollment Management
Stephen is the Director of Admissions at Metropolitan College of New York and has been immersed in higher education and enrollment marketing since 2000. Having served in admissions, student affairs, residence life and as a faculty member, he takes a holistic, integrated approach to helping students achieve their academic goals. Follow him on Twitter - @Ostendorff
At Metropolitan College of New York, our students are committed to using what they learn both inside and outside of the classroom to transform the world around them. That dedication to helping others has earned us a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college can receive for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.
MCNY students and faculty deserve all the credit. This honor goes to each person on this campus that identified a challenge, organized a group of committed individuals and worked to be part of the solution. Teaching kids, managing afterschool programs, helping patients on the road to recovery — our students did all this and more. We believe that service is how we will meet the challenges of our time, and we are proud that our students exhibited the leadership needed to make an impact on future direction of our nation.
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