Should I go back to school?

Should I go back to school?

When you first started your job, you might have thought the sky's the limit – it’s nothing but clear blue skies with an unlimited ceiling. But then you came to find out after two to three years of working the same job with the same responsibilities that the once unlimited ceiling above seems to be getting cloudier every day. Maybe there’s no room to move up in your position. Maybe you need a degree to make that move. Or perhaps your job has simply grown stale.

Of course, not jobs are like this. Some folks find great opportunities where advancing through the ranks seems to just happen. But, that’s not always the case. Your career might be approaching a dead end. Now what? Do you look for another job? Do you relocate? Do you change careers? It’s too stressful to think about. Maybe it’s time for a change—but how can you be sure? Here are some things to consider.

Going back to school as an adult: it’s different for everyone

I meet students with all different scenarios—“I took time off to raise my kids”, “I was tired of my job”, “I wanted something different”, “I left school years ago because I didn’t think it was for me”, “I want to make more money.” Despite their different situations, all of them have asked the same question: should I go back to school?

Maybe you’re doing it to set an example for your kids. “My kids, now teenagers, are proud of my choice to finish my degree. I wanted to set an example for them”. And perhaps even more importantly, “I also want to do it for myself.”

It’s a big commitment, so think and talk about it

If going back to school is high on your list of options, it’s important to take time to reflect on your career goals. Ask yourself:

  • Would this enhance my current career?
  • This is completely different: am I ok with it?
  • Why is this the right decision for me?
  • Is this new step a step in the right direction?
  • How will this career move affect my family and my support system?

As for the logistics of returning to school, time, work, family, and money are just some of the things you are currently or have probably thought of at this point. But don’t forget to talk to your support systems. Visualize your career change process through a realistic lens of what life might be in the coming years, and share this vision with your family and friends as you will need them there to support you.

It’s not always easy, but you’ll gain tremendously

Let’s be clear. Going back to school is not for everyone, and it is certainly not a decision that should be taken lightly. But if you do decide to go back to school, specifically at IUPUI, you’ll gain so many more benefits in addition to earning your degree. You’ll have access to success coaches who can help you with an academic plan of study, professors with real-world experience in their fields, and so many networking opportunities. And being that the focus of completing your degree is to continue or better your career, you may take advantage of the career services to help you prepare and support your career progression.

Whatever’s in your history, change will always happen. If you are looking to start school again, take the time to think about it! And of course, reach out to our team if you aren’t sure where or how to begin.

Joshua Halmi, Career Advisor

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