When reaching or passing the age of 40, many reconsider their career choices. Am I on the right career path? Would I be happier or better able to provide for my family if I switched to a new career? Is it realistic to earn a degree around the age of 40?
Returning to college or attending it for the first time is possible at any age. In fact, many who have gone to college around the age of 40 report that it was the a rewarding experience that led to a much happier career. Here are a few considerations if you are ready to apply to college:
* You are not alone
Many are concerned that they will be the oldest person in a class by 15 years or more. This, however, is generally not the case. More people are attending college at an older age, and this trend appears to be rising. Those taking evening courses might be surprised at the average age of their fellow students.
* College takes a lot of time
Many who attend college at a later age will have to continue working while attending classes. It is important to keep in mind that your free time will be greatly reduced while you are completing your degree. Those with families will have to prepare them for this new reality.
* Financial aid may be available
Scholarships for those attending college at an older age may be difficult to find. Loans and certain grants, however, may be available. By doing some calculations about your expected earnings once you graduate, you may determine that your best option is to take out a loan and work part-time so that you can attend more classes and graduate sooner.
* Your age may give you some advantages after graduating
Many who attend college at or beyond 40 or 50 are concerned that employers will be more likely to go with younger graduates. It is important to keep in mind the fact that your previous work experience will be viewed as an advantage in the eyes of many employers. Customer service, construction and any other work experience gives you an advantage that few fellow graduates will have.
Though the time you spend earning your degree may be difficult, almost all who attend college at a later age say that the results are worth it. Being able to work in a field you love as you approach retirement age is a blessing that many are unable to attain.