Recessions can be a persuasive case to reevaluate your current career path, your income, even your current employment status. If your career path hasn’t been as rewarding as you had thought, it might be time to change careers. If your income seems too low, a college degree or graduate degree like a masters degree will definitely improve your income. Finally, if you’ve been laid off as a result of the recession, going back to school can perhaps be the best investment you might make. Let’s go over the top 5 reasons people have reported for going back to school.
1. A Recession is Temporary, an Education is Permanent
Recessions never come at a good time as their unpredictable nature is not something we typically plan for. However, what is predictable is that recessions are temporary, typically 2-3 years, just enough time to finish that degree you might have started on. If you haven’t started it, now is definitely the time. An education is permanent and will carry you throughout your life, both financially and intellectually. And it only takes 4 years to almost double your income. The average high school graduate will top out at $31,000 per year while a post graduate will earn more than $75,000.
2. There’s No Better Time to Build a Better Future for You and Your Family
A recession, particularly a layoff, provides a ripe time for some reflection on your achievements and how they relate to your ultimate goals in life. If you find yourself without further opportunity, then it’s time to create that opportunity. To do so, you need to be competitive and increase your skills and knowledge with a degree. Employers value degrees that add value to their organization and reward them proportionately.
3. Career Change
During your self-reflection, you might find yourself asking whether your career is emotionally and intellectually fulfilling or if you even enjoy your current industry. Too many people go through life in misery of their job and it’s completely unnecessary. All it takes is a little planning and commitment. First find your passion, and then find out what schools and degrees can train and validate your career change.
#4. College is More Flexible and Affordable than You Might Expect
Universities are becoming more and more flexible with class times offering morning sessions, evening sessions, even weekend classes. These same institutions are also offering full programs online eliminating the need to actually attend class in person. Furthermore, although a 4 year degree is increasing in costs, with careful planning you can achieve your education without sinking into debt. Testing out of classes with CLEP is certainly one of the most effective. Finding and obtaining scholarships from Fastweb can help tremendously. Finally, Federally Subsidized Stafford loans are a huge benefit to consider as the Government will actually pay your interest while you’re in school.
5. Insulate Yourself from a Poor Job Market
A recession might just be the time to commit yourself to school full time. By removing yourself from the job market altogether, you can ride out the recession without the stress of trying to make ends meet. This might require more planning and perhaps more school loans, however depending on your circumstances and with a proper cost/benefit analysis, you might find that the debt incurred by such a commitment will more than payoff in the long-term.
Ultimately you need to consider an economic recession as opportunity for advancement, rather than a gamble to keep your job. If you choose to increase your skills and knowledge with that degree you’ve always wanted, you might just find that recession over before you know it while working in an emotionally, intellectually, and financially rewarding career.