Should You Go Back to School?

Should You Go Back to School?

With many industries shrinking or disappearing altogether, many job seekers consider retraining.  While this can be a great benefit and aid to getting a new job, retraining isn’t right for everybody.

When should I consider retraining?

Many people go back to school without a clear idea of what they wish to do.  Going back to school with no focus is an easy way to end up with a pile of debt and no guaranty of a new job.  Instead, focus on your goals for the additional education. Some reasons to consider new training include:

  • You keep running up against a skill you’re lacking
  • Your skills have become out of date
  • You’re transferring your skills to a similar profession but are lacking in a certain area to make you competitive
  • Training for a completely new job:
  • Adding a certification that may make you more marketable

What programs should I look at?

If you have decided that retraining is right for you, research different programs.

  • Be cautious about for-profit “universities”.  They may charge much more money for an education you can get elsewhere for much less
  • Steer clear of scams that make promises that seem too good to be true.
  • Think carefully about how much debt you are willing to take on and compare it to the benefit you think the training will bring.
  • Consider Certificate or Continuing Education Programs.  Many universities and community college offer post-collegiate programs that are very focused in what they teach.  These programs are designed for people who wish to update their skill set or transition careers, and are generally much cheaper than going back to school full time.
  • Look at government funding. In many areas the government is paying for retraining for some.
  • Check out community colleges. They often offer appealing programs for adult learners at a very reasonable cost.

Retraining or adding new degrees or certifications can be great for your career but weigh the costs and pros and cons first.  Consider talking with a mentor or trusted member of your network to get their input on re-education.

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