If you’re looking for a way to make a big change in your life, learning something new can help you do that, whether it’s formal education ending in a degree, a class in something that interests you or even an online instructional tool or app that you use. The process of learning is good for your brain and good for your self-confidence, and it can provide other benefits to you as well.
Many people turn to education simply because they want to know more about a topic, whether that means learning a language, taking a painting class, or sitting in on a lecture about astronomy. There are an enormous number of opportunities to enrich yourself this way from are attending a two-hour workshop to taking an online course to getting a college degree. Many non-degreed opportunities are free or low cost.
Get a Better Job
This is one of the main reasons people seek more education. A college degree can often mean a better salary, but somewhat ironically, you might be hesitant to pursue a degree because of the cost. However, the difference in what you are paid after getting a degree may make up for that cost, and there are a number of different ways you can cover tuition and other expenses. In addition to other forms of financial aid that the college may offer, you might also be able to take out a student loan from a private lender.
Improve Soft Skills
You might start taking a class to learn how to do something specific, such as bookkeeping, speaking Spanish or brewing beer. However, along the way, you may pick up what are often called soft skills as well. These are non-technical but important skills that can not only boost your career prospects, they can help you be more successful in a number of different areas in life. Examples of soft skills you might acquire in this way include communication, problem-solving and leadership.
Expand Your Social Circle
Studying something that is of interest to you can be a great way to bring you into contact with others who have that same interest. On top of that, turning up to class two or more times per week for a certain period of time can give you an opportunity to start building relationships, unlike a one-off activity like volunteering. You might also make professional connections in these environments, which can help you in your career.
Becoming a Role Model
Continuing to educate yourself long after you are no longer required to do so can make you a great role model. This is especially the case if you have children. Parents often hesitate to return to school to get a degree because they are worried that it will be a big drain on their time and finances, and they want to spend that time and money on their children instead.
While getting a college education can be a difficult project to complete, it also gives you the opportunity to be a good example to your children and other young people, showing them that it’s never too late to work hard and pursue your dreams.