Returning to school later in life can mean getting a graduate degree, a new certification, or other type of professional training. Finding the right program for you can be a big step forward in your career, a chance to move into a new field, or just an opportunity for self-improvement and new challenges. However, for all its potential benefits, going back to school takes money and time, and it’s important to carefully consider whether this is the right decision. Here are some things to think about before deciding to go back to school.

Weigh the pros and cons

A simple pros and cons list will come in handy when debating a return to school. Identify the potential positives and weigh them against the hurdles and stresses that move may create. Pros might include the skills you are hoping to learn or improve, a higher salary, or a chance to learn more about something you’re passionate about. Cons might include costs, time commitment, or lost income. Looking at the benefits and drawbacks together will help you understand what’s at stake with this decision.

Will this advance your career?

Many people choose to return to school to advance their careers. Education can help unlock new opportunities at a current job, provide a bridge to a promotion, or enable you to seek a new role or a brand-new career. You may want to pursue a new job that requires a specific kind of degree or training, or you may want to learn some new skills to improve your chances in the job market. Consider the impact this new degree can have on your career and earning potential and weigh it against the costs. If going back to school won’t advance your career or give you a pathway into a new field, think through your reasons for wanting to do it and decide whether it’s worth it.

Research programs, including distance learning and part-time options

Research is an important part of the process: it will give you a sense of what kinds of schools and programs are available, how much they cost, what the deadlines are, and what you can expect to get out of them.

If you have kids or plan to work while earning your degree, finding a flexible program can be a priority. Many institutions have built-in flexibility and offer online programs you can attend virtually. Others offer night or weekend classes, or flexible schedules that might fit your needs.

Consider your finances

There are many options to consider when figuring out how to pay for school, and the financial aspect may play into your decision to attend school at all. Consider how much the program costs and how you plan to pay for it. Scholarship programs, grant opportunities, and other types of financial aid may be available to you. You might opt to take out loans, pay for some of the degree with savings, or even use the cash value of a permanent life insurance policy like whole life insurance or universal life insurance.

However you decide to finance your education, it can help to take some time to weigh the short- and long-term costs and benefits before making a decision.

The primary purpose of permanent life insurance is to provide a death benefit. Using permanent life insurance accumulated value will reduce the death benefit and may affect other aspects of the policy.

Source: iQuanti