How to Decide Whether You Should Go Back to School

How to Decide Whether You Should Go Back to SchoolGoing back to school requires a whole host of considerations not found in previous generations. This is because the combination of the rapid pace of change in society and the vast array of learning resources available on the Web shifts the landscape and orientation of the decision making process entirely. Thus, perhaps more than ever before, considering whether to go back to school requires a thorough mapping out of all alternatives and possibilities.

Consider Basic Objectives

The first step is crystallizing your objective. What is the reason you want to go back to school? Do you want to gain a fuller background in the field of work you are in? Want to shift your career? Want a break in your career trajectory? Desire to connect with experts in your chosen field? Would you like to pursue a passion? These are all valid considerations and your reasons could be a combination of these factors.

Special Qualities of Today’s Generation

Where it gets interesting is these same objectives can be achieved without the significant investment of time, energy, and money that going back to school typically involves. Can you learn the same material from free online resources? Can you develop a network of peers and colleagues from Web based discussion groups and meetups? Are there immersion bootcamps or incubators that can provide a more integrated work and study program that might be even more appealing than formal education? These are new considerations available in the current age we live in.

Resources Available

In addition to alternatives is the question of whether you are able to make the commitment to schooling for yourself. Do you have finances available, or loans available, that can allow you to continue your education process unencumbered? Do you have family or geographical restrictions that must be taken into account? Are you able to dedicate sustained energy towards your educational goals, or will you have to struggle to juggle a myriad of responsibilities?

Type of Schooling

If your choice is decidedly to go back to school, you have more options than ever as well. There are a variety of part-time, full-time, and single course per semester options that allow you to take your time in your schooling evolution. Further, you have the ability to take your courses virtually via the Web or directly on campus. With the mix of options at your disposal you can find a way to make school work for you.


More than ever you have options available to achieve your learning goals, whether they involve going back to school or not. While the set of considerations might seem daunting, we can be grateful that educational choices in this day-and-age need not be a black-or-white decision but one that very flexibly adapts to our particular life goals.