A Guide on How to Go Back to College: Part One (Page 4)

The Job Case for A College Degree

Given this economy, it may seem doubtful, but it’s true -- not enough students in the U.S. are completing college to fill the unfilled jobs which require a college education.7 According to a recent study by the Georgetown University, the U.S. will be down 300,000 college graduates every year between 2008 and 2018. Jobs of today and tomorrow require the high levels of education and training that only a college degree can provide.

Furthermore, by 2018, the U.S. will need 22 million new college degrees (post-secondary, associates or better) to meet the job demands in the economy —but are slated to fall short of that number by at least 3 million. Higher education requirements to meet job demand doesn’t just reside in the domain for college graduates; the U.S. will need at least 4.7 million new workers with who have taken college level courses and received postsecondary certificates (non degree).8

Truly, the case to return to college is compelling, but unless you are prepared to go back, you may not have the success you seek. There are steps you can take now, as you research your higher education options, to help move you towards a goal that fits you.

What Can I Do Now Before I Decide A Career and College Path?

As you learn more about different fields, look at your educational background. You may want to take some developmental courses to help you prepare for your return to college. If you are weak on math, but know advanced math skills are required for certain degrees and careers you have interest in, you can take a developmental math class now. If your writing skills need polishing, you can take a developmental writing course. Many college courses are available online. Taking classes now can help prepare you to go back in full when the time is ready.

Furthermore, taking developmental classes can help place you back in student mode and refresh that student brain muscle memory. Taking developmental classes now, in your research phase, can also save you time and money by setting you up to conserve your financial resources for the required college-level classes when you are actually enrolled in a college.

It’s important to know yourself and give yourself permission to set the stage for future college success. The more you know about your ultimate end goal, the better able you’ll be to design a path to educational success without spending unnecessary time, and money, and making ill-advised career choices.

7 Carnevale, A, Smith, N., Strohl, J, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Help Wanted: Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018, June 2010, p.1


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