4 Myths about Going Back to School
If you are considering going back into full-time or part-time learning, it’s normal to feel a certain amount of trepidation. What if it’s too draining, too time-consuming or, worst of all, the course turns out to be irrelevant or unfulfilling? Or maybe it’ll be the other way around, and you’ll find that your degree or certificate opens new doors and fulfills deeply-held dreams?
Unfortunately, none of us can know what the result will be until we try. But for those experiencing jitters, we would like to offer counterarguments to 4 commonly-held misconceptions about resuming learning, and provide compelling reasons why you should be looking at applicable courses or degrees.
1. It’s too expensive
It’s true that higher education can cost a pretty penny. However, it’s important to think of what you can gain from it – and a bigger paycheck is one of those key benefits. Many companies and organisations have separate pay structures for degree and non-degree holders, so you might be weathering this loss now for future gains.
A method you can use is to determine number of years you need to recover your learning cost and if you feel it is worth it. Also, there are many ways to reduce the financial burden. Research on scholarships you can apply for and grants from the government that can subsidise your learning. And if you don’t want to quit your job, there are options for distance-learning and part-time studies.
2. I’ve done all my learning already
“I have a stable job and a stable life, I don’t need anything more,” many tell us. Comfortable and sedate, they regard the days of studying as a chapter in their lives that has already closed.
However, rampant digitization and the Covid-19 pandemic have shown us that nothing is that stable any more. Additionally, many jobs are vanishing as they are replaced by technology, while other opportunities open up. Thus, upskilling and upgrading yourself is the minimum needed to keep up with the times rather than a bonus.
3. I’m too old to go back to school
Many professionals resist going back to school because they think they’ve outgrown that stage of life. Some even say that they can no longer learn, or that they don’t want to change the way of operating they’ve known.
This mental block can be difficult to overcome, but we assure you – it’s all in your head. No one is too old to start on a new path or pick up a new skill! We encourage you to think of the fulfillment and achievement you’ll feel on your new learning journey, rather than dwelling on age and (perceived) experience.
4. Book learning is not as good as getting work experience
There is a certain glamour associated with the image of an O-Level graduate clawing his or her way up to management, rewarded for years of painstaking work “on the ground”. The picture painted argues that “real-life” experience more directly correlates to what you’ll find when you actually begin work, and hence you don’t need anything from school beyond the basics.
The reality is a bit different, though. Education is more rigourous and targeted than a job which only teaches you what you need to know, when you need to know it. Additionally, degrees and courses equip students with a breadth of knowledge, applicable in many situations – all of which help in the workplace. And that’s not counting soft skills like self-discipline and perseverance learnt through study.
If you’re considering taking up a degree or learning course, we’d say you’re on the right track. Besides the potential financial gains, further learning develops skills and the right attitude that make you indispensable anywhere – from your organisation to your own self.
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