Your education journey isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. With each mile marker comes new challenges and opportunities. If you’ve recently earned your degree, you might be thinking about your next steps. Will you continue your education? If so, where, and which programs? Or maybe you’ve been out of school for a while now and are thinking about pursuing an advanced degree or making a career change.
No matter what the future looks like, the prospect of continuing your education may raise a lot of questions. But there’s no need to panic, with the right approach you can embark on a new educational endeavor with ease.
Here are some of the most common questions to ask yourself when considering the next chapter of your education journey.
What are my long-term goals?
The best way to decide what to do next is to understand where you want to be. What are your goals and aspirations? Why are you going to school? What do you want to do with your degree? Maybe you’re a Registered Nurse looking to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Or maybe you’re a business student who’s looking for more financial success or more leadership responsibilities by completing a master’s program. No matter your reason, identifying an end goal will make it easier to map out your path for moving forward.
Can I afford to go back to school?
When making a big decision like going back to school, finances are often one of the main concerns. There are plenty of resources available to help you make the most cost-efficient and rewarding decision possible. At Herzing University, our financial aid office is a great way to start crafting your financial game plan. Herzing offers a wide variety of programs of different lengths, costs and specializations to help you achieve your personal and professional goals. Tools like our Tuition Cost Estimator can help you identify the program that fits all of your criteria and preferences. You can also consider affordable student loan options to make educational expenses more manageable.
You should also remember to take your current lifestyle and family circumstances into account. Raising a family, having a full-time job or other responsibilities may not stop when you are in school. Can you effectively balance your time so that you can succeed in all areas of your life?
What is my timeline?
If you are ready to return to the classroom, there’s no time like the present.
Life is unpredictable and carefully exploring your options will help you decide the best time to make this significant commitment. With full-time and part-time options, as well as online classes, returning to school is more accessible than you may think — even for those with a demanding schedule. Assess the amount of time you’re able to commit weekly and reach out to school resources for help in understanding the hours needed to be successful in your chosen program.
How will this impact my career?
One last crucial question to ask is how continuing your education will influence your career trajectory. Regardless of whether you’re going back to school in your current field or going out of your comfort zone and trying something completely new, going back to school is a step toward progressing along your career path.
When making these big decisions, numbers help. Consider the ROI of your return to school. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that positions requiring a master's degree are expected to rise at a higher rate than most other positions while also delivering an 18% higher income than jobs requiring only a bachelor's degree.
No matter your motivation, going back to school can spark a positive change in your career path. It may seem daunting now, but with the appropriate amount of planning and preparation, you’ll find your goals achievable and the results rewarding. For more help getting started, Herzing University has a variety of resources available to you.