If you never finished college, or if you’ve always dreamed of going back to earn your master’s or doctorate degree, then you’re probably wondering whether or not it’s too late. Of course, the majority of students at any college are going to be very young and you will probably feel old in comparison, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re too old to be there.
If you’re unsure of whether or not it’s too late, you’re going to have to ask yourself some important questions. Here’s how to know if you are too old to return to college.
What will you do with your degree?
Being too old for college is really just a question of what it is that you want to do with your college degree and whether or not you have time to start a new career. Some employers will offer more money to employees if they earn a higher degree. So if you earned your bachelor’s in health administration and decided to go back for UC’s health administration masters, you could possibly have your education paid for by your employer and earn a higher salary once you finish your degree. If you are going back to try a new career altogether, it’s really just a matter of how close you are to retiring and whether or not you will get much out of it. If you just want to learn, then you’ll never be too old to do that.
Are there other people your age working in your chosen field?
If you do choose to start a new career, you also want to think about how easy or difficult it might be for you to find employment at your age. If you decide that you want to study accounting and you are in your 70s, you want to find some statistics on how many people tend to hire an accountant at your age, and how many of those accountants found those clients when they were much younger. If there are not too many people working in your chosen field at your age, then it might not be the best investment.
Are you tech savvy?
If the last time you went to college you were writing your papers on a typewriter and doing all of your research in the library, then you should take a look at a standard college syllabus. These days, most classes have an accompanying website, assignments are often listed online, and you may be asked to create powerpoint presentations, video presentations, or turn in assignments on flash drives. If any of this is already Greek to you, then you are probably too old to go back to college.
Do you have the energy?
At the end of the day, college requires a lot of focus and energy. You need to be up early going to lectures, carrying all of your things from classroom to classroom, and staying up late reading, studying and writing papers. If you have a full-time job as well, then this may be quite a lot to handle. If you don’t have a job and you feel excited and inspired by the work, then you are probably in a good position to go back to college. You just want to really know what you’re getting yourself into before you start enrolling in classes.