Adults going back to school may feel uncertainty about new challenges and requirements in their lives. They want to complete unfinished college degrees or to advance in their careers. Others are motivated by the need for increased financial worth. Some like the challenge of continual learning and intellectual growth to fulfill personal and work needs. Nontraditional students are adults returning to an online university for a higher education, do not fit into the young, living on campus, college student. Nontraditional students are adults over the age of 25, and have become the new trend in higher education at online universities.
Statistics from the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education state that college admissions in colleges and universities are expected to climb from 18.2 million in 2007 to 20.6 million in 2018. The most significant growth will be among older students, minorities and women.
Significant changes in an adult's life especially in their career can prompt the need for continuing college education. A few reasons could be being passed over for job promotions because of lack of skills, job requirements have changed, discontent within their company's hierarchy and the possibility of announced layoffs or mergers.
Personal motivation and self improvement is a high motivator for adult learners. Learning about new topics, studies or special interest is a reason for going back to college. Learning new technological skills not only increases their job security but helps them in the home. Learning about social trends could improve their involvement in community activism and volunteer work. The completion of an online degree could revolve around their career and simply be a desire to finish what they started.
Some adult learners begin a new college degree at the retirement stages of their life. Their involvement in new college studies fulfills a need for community engagement and provides the opportunity to stimulate intellectual growth. Others are motivated by a need for change especially with career prospects. Adult students may have decided midlife to transition into new career paths that require additional knowledge and accreditation for them to begin their change.
Nontraditional students have numerous college opportunities especially with the increase in online colleges and online degrees. Add in the potential for financial aid, scholarships, and grants, especially to specific groups such as minorities and women, and going back to school does not have to be an unfulfilled dream.
Many adults, especially during economic downturns, are returning to online universities to complete previous college degrees or to increase their financial worth. The American Council on Education states that higher education colleges and online universities experience a surge in college admissions during these times. Employed and unemployed workers return to school to advance their skills and seek to increase their appeal to their company or potential employers. The increase of online colleges and online degrees are making higher education accessible to returning students especially for those who continue to work and support their families.
Returning to school gives the adult learner a chance to improve their career skills or change career directions. Many returning students do so because of changes in job structure, being passed over for advancement, job requirement changes and possible layoffs or mergers in their company's future. In general, the higher the education a person holds means the higher the salary and better career security.
The potential for salary increase varies with the type of college degree you want depending upon the needs of your career field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers with advanced degrees earn more than workers with a high school diploma or GED. The Bureau of Labor employment projections for 2008-2018 show that nearly half of all new jobs and one-third of total job openings will require a postsecondary college degree or award. Also projected is that 14 out of the 30 fastest growing occupations will require a bachelor's degree or higher.
College counselors through assessment services can provide valuable guidance when shopping for online universities and degrees. Be sure to find a personal counselor who can access multiple college searches within college programs such as transfer credits, cost comparisons, and accreditation.Will Going Back To School To Earn An Online Degree Help You Get A Better Job Or Promotion?