Want to go back to school? Here are the factors you need to consider

26 Aug 2019

Continuing education is a great way to keep our skills and knowledge relevant.

Other than short courses, degree programmes such as Masters, Post-Grad Diplomas, and certifications like CPA or CFA are common routes people take on after they start to work.

There are also mid-career professionals who went into medicine, nursing, or teaching.

Elsewhere, general interest courses like baking, arts and crafts, perfumery, and more are also skills that people are looking to delve into new areas of expertise.

And, if you might have the inkling to do so - let's look at the factors you may wish to consider before tendering in your resignation.

What is your motivation?

The above programmes mentioned can sometimes come up to a hefty sum, especially if you are embarking on a Masters overseas.

We would need to think deep on your source of motivation - are you trying to fulfil a childhood dream, get higher pay, move into a new industry, or got inspired by someone?

Passions can come in many forms, so before you make any significant decisions, you may wish to discuss with your friends and family, and deeply reflect on your motivation to know that it is not a whim.

Is your new career interest strong enough to take on a pay cut?

If pursuing a long programme, you may wish to assess your savings to see if you can go without a full- time salary during your study.

After using up your savings for education, you may be probably starting again as a fresh graduate pay.

You may wish to consider your finances and family status. For example, if you are married, is your family able to take a lesser income?

Also, in other aspects, will your new career path be an in-demand industry or skill, and if so, will it be difficult for you to secure a job quickly after?

Finances are usually a major consideration for continuing education, and you would not want to be cash-strapped and end up taking up a loan.

Expectations vs. reality

Another important aspect you will have to look into is if your expectations did not meet the reality of the new job or industry.

Before signing anything, you may wish to do as much research as you can and speak to the people working in the industry to find out the realities of the job, and even find a chance to try it out.

There are many short courses and volunteer programmes for you to have a feel of things.

Especially when deciding this, you must be clear of what you are heading into and understand the drawbacks of the new role.

There are many success stories, but do mind the pitfalls.

Main image from Pexels

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