Saturday, June 23, 2018

Should you go back to school in later life?

I was chatting with some mommies from my sons' school the other day. They were asking me about my work-at-home career. One of them was a housewife and the other one was a manager at a company. The housewife wanted to earn money from home while the manager wanted to quit her job so she can spend more time with her kids. We got to talk about how our sons' school was looking for more teachers and we tossed around the idea of getting an education degree and applying as school teachers. I got excited enough to even ask my husband about it later that day.

Me back to school again at 41? If I had an education degree, I can always find a job, to be honest. Here and abroad (fingers crossed!). My husband and I have been wondering about migrating to another country since we don't feel good about what's happening in our country in the last two years but no one's looking for our skills so maybe it's time to learn new ones and earn new degrees. 

I also feel that I'm falling behind because it's a fast-changing world. My boss, the people I work with now, and my mentors are all about a decade younger than me. I've been looking at online courses, distance-education colleges, and workshops so that I can learn new skills to be on equal footing with my younger colleagues.

The problem is going back to school means time. I barely have enough time to get through my day! Plus, a new degree will cost money and we're already pouring a huge chunk of our income into the kids' education. That’s why I'm thinking think long and hard about this. If you're in the same boat as I am, these 3 questions will help you decide whether you should go back to school in later life.

Can You Afford It?
This is the first thing to consider because college is so expensive. An MBA and PhD don't come cheap either. If you can’t afford it, you might end up landing yourself in some serious financial trouble. Think about the impact of 4 years without an income.

If your husband can support you both, you might be ok. But if not, you need to work out how you’re going to pay the bills. If you have a healthy savings account, that might sustain you, but then you’ve to decide whether you want to spend all of that and start saving for the future all over again. You may also be able to get a loan to go back to college but again, think about whether you want to take on that huge amount of debt at this stage in your life.

Is There Another Way?
Thinking about what your motivation actually is can help you to decide whether it’s the right choice. If you’re thinking about it because you feel that your younger colleagues are more qualified than you, that’s not always the best reason. As long as you’re happy in your job and you have the skills you need to do it well, you don’t really need to get a new degree.

However, if you’re looking at moving into a position that requires a certain degree, then you will have to go back into education. But that doesn’t always mean having to go back to college full time. You can do an online msw program in your spare time. Being able to do the degree from home while you’re still working makes it so much more affordable and you won’t have to leave the job market for 4 years.

Will It Pay Off?
If you do decide that full-time college is the right thing for you, there’s one more question you need to ask yourself before taking the plunge: Will it pay off? If you spend 4 years at college, getting yourself into loads of debt, sacrificing time with your family, and you end up in a job that pays the same salary, is it really worth it? Sometimes, if you change career and that was your motivation, then it’s worth doing. But if you’re going to work in the same industry for the same money, it’s not worth spending all that time and money.

Going back to college in later life is a big decision so ask yourself these 3 questions before you do anything. Good luck to us, mamas! So many things to consider now that the world is changing so fast and everything costs so much more!

*Photo from FlickrThis post contains affiliate links.


  1. I was also thinking about going back to school so i could have a degree in Education. My daughter's school offers 50% off tuition fee for kids of teachers and faculty members so i thought we would save a lot money if i will become a teacher in her school and i could also monitor her hehe!
    I had Education units while i was taking up another course when i was in college but i still need to take a few more then pass the exams so i could teach. Problem is that we are already struggling financially and just what you've mentioned above- College is expensive.
    I'm still undecided about this. Thanks for this post.

  2. Hi, Frances! I just feel that this question is very important for many moms out there. As with all other priorities, we tend to put our personal development in the backseat because we want to take care of our kids first. But time has changed and increasingly, the modern moms are forced to take on many challenges that they may not necessarily learn from formal education. I still feel that regardless of the situation we are in, we have to study. We have to always "sharpen the saw". It doesn't even have to be full time schooling. There are already a lot of online platforms that offer flexible certificate courses. As I have mentioned in your FB page, there are also free courses being offered by TESDA. They offer Events Management and Communication Skills Training!! :-) If you have the finances, you can go to De La Salle-CSB-SPACE or Ateneo CORD/CCE. Or try the UP Open University for flexible courses that you can take online. There are so many opportunities to learn. Let us just not forget that we have to go to school too to be more productive moms! :-)

  3. Hello Mommy Frances! I also have the same dilemma. Sometimes I feel like I want to continue schooling and pursue Medicine. I already took my NMAT before I graduated college, got good NMAT score but did not push through with Medicine. There are days that I regret not pursuing my dream. Sometimes I feel envy to see some friends that are now successful in their careers and here I am taking care of my 2 children. Though I am happy that I teach preschoolers as a part time job. I just feel incomplete sometimes. Maybe when my children are a bit bigger, I can go back to school and pursue my dreams. Maybe soon. . :)

  4. Hi Miss Frances!

    It was my dream of pursuing a Masters Degree in Nursing. But things got a little bit more interesting when I got pregnant last 2013.When I gave birth to my daughter my world turned 360degrees, it was much more fulfilling and rewarding to become a full time mom. I still dream of it, but I chose to pursue other passions where I can have more physical time for my child. Yes we need CPE (continuing professional education), but it is your own choice. A choice that will determine who you are as a woman, as a wife and as a mother. If you cannot pursue what you have dreamed of maybe you can envision it on your children. I also dreamed of working abroad but I stayed and chose family over abroad. I salute all mommas at home, working mommas, and mommas who can handle work, education and family at the same time.

    I wanted it, but I chose my child over other things. It takes a lot of skills and courage to become a full time momma and for me that is something more better than anything else in the world. Kudos to all mommas!


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