In a job market that remains tight and competitive, workers are going back to career-oriented schools to finish degrees, get additional learning, or add specialized certifications to their credentials.
At the University of Phoenix, for example – an accredited university offering computer career courses online and at 100+ campus locations around the US – there are over 63,000 students taking online courses. Many of those students are working adults, with at least some college credit.
Other leading computer career schools – including ITT Tech and DeVry University, and ITT Tech Online – also report strong levels of interest and enrollment.
Of course, going back to school can be a challenge. Workers must juggle daytime business demands with evening study and personal activities.
So to address the needs of today’s students, career-oriented colleges and universities are working hard to make their offerings as practical and flexible as possible. Career schools have hired skilled teachers with real-world experience, and added programs that allow students to complete studies online or at local campuses in evenings and on weekends.
Going back to school can be a smart career move.
According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in May 2018 for workers aged 25+ broke down like this:
|Education Level – Unemployment Rate|
High school diploma – 4.5%
Some college – 3.9%
Bachelor’s degree or higher – 2.4%
Additionally, many experts believe that the motivation behind the back-to-school trend isn’t simply a reaction to the recent bad economy. It is also a reaction to positive forces:
• Average earnings for a bachelor’s degree recipient are 50% higher than average earnings of those with only a high school diploma (U.S. Dept. of Education).
• Adults feel more comfortable returning to school, because the face of students is changing. Two out of five college students are now 25 or older (U.S. Dept. of Education).
• Companies are helping more. Almost 80% of employers offer educational assistance today (Society for Human Resource Management).
• Career schools are offering valuable courses – at costs cheaper than traditional private schools.
• Employers are looking for workers with the latest skills. A degree in computer science or electronics engineering, for example, is more valuable to an employer if it’s been obtained in the past 10 years or less.
• Employers have discovered that people with the self-discipline to complete a degree online or after hours are likely to be very good employees.