I just wanted to take a minute to talk something that can be tricky for some people – that of achieving their college degree after the age of 22. For many, it is something that is a challenge because their careers and or lives took a different path than others. Today we have a very high level of college graduates but there are still people for whom life got in the way and they did not complete their requirements, course work or maybe did not even start a college degree program.
I happen to be extremely lucky that I completed my BS and MBA before 22. And even luckier that I did my MBA in Rome, Italy with St John’s University as a Graduate Assistant.
For those who have not been as lucky or for whom life has just gotten into the way, I want to talk about going back to school after being out of school for a while (or maybe never starting).
I have been an adjunct since 2003 and for some classes, I taught students balancing working full time and/or family life and trying to finish their degrees. I have always been understanding for those students as I try to be for all students, of course.
For those of you considering as your New Year’s Resolution getting back to finish (or start) that degree, I want you to know that it is possible to balance but it can be tricky. It pays to be honest with your Professors and let them know you are balancing school and work. It is not good to lay it on too think, though, especially because some adjuncts are also balancing tons of stuff – although an adjunct will have more understanding perhaps than a tenured faculty who is teaching for many years and maybe forgot what Corporate America can be like (no offense; I hope to be a tenured faculty someday, too…)
Even if you never “use” it; there are many people who have found their careers stagnate because they never received their BS or BA degree. Even just having an Associates is not always enough. I recently met a potential client who has associates degree only and I was talking with him about going back to get the BS. It means everything to yourself and your potential future – and it is something that can never be taken away from you. It becomes a part of you and will always help and not hurt. In other words, the only potential downside is if you pick a school you cannot afford. If you find a school that fits your budget and has the degree that will hopefully lead to your next step, what are you waiting for – go for it! If you are not sure where your next step is or should be, consider a liberal arts major to just get that piece of paper.
If you already started the journey back to your degree, congratulate yourself and hang in there. If you did not start it yet, feel free to reach out to me for advice, questions or just words of encouragement. Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or other information about continuing your education. It might never be the “right” time but now is a great time to go for it! Happy Hunting!
Lisa Vento Nielsen