Going Back to School – A Mid-Career Option

You’ve been thinking about leaving your career to do something else. You understand that you are no longer happy in your current job and another one in the same field won’t make you any happier. Even better is you know exactly what you want to do, but you’ve realized that you will need to go back to school to pursue it. And, you are scared.  

That’s totally normal! 

Everyone has their own journey, and some people go from undergraduate school to graduate knowing exactly what they want to do. For others, they may have several years of work in between the two before going back. It’s nerve wracking to give up a job to pursue another field and go back to school, especially if you are older. But, guess what, it can be done and you won’t be alone! 

Start by looking at what kind of jobs you want and what they require. Some may just want a bachelor’s degree with some certificates, whereas others will need a graduate degree. Then, identify what kind of programs and schools offer that degree. If you are unable to quit your job, you might find schools that offer online-only or night classes to meet your busy schedule. Look at the different program requirements and how long it takes to complete the degree. All of these can help you decide which is a bitter fit. We also recommend making a spreadsheet of the different programs and including their application process, graduation requirements, and tuition. It’s also good to find the accreditation body of the field and look at what schools are accredited for that program.  

You can apply to a few and decide from there. You will want to see what you can afford and what makes the most sense with your schedule and where you live. Also, apply for financial aid and ask the school about scholarships and graduate assistant programs.  

Once you’ve decided on a school, start preparing yourself to spend more of your free time working on school. This might mean letting your friend and family know that you will be less available and giving up some extra hobbies and activities.  

School won’t always be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. Good luck!