Should You Go Back to College After Fifty?
Be realistic, what is there to gain from returning to college after fifty? After all, it is 2012 and in fifteen years retirement will be just around the corner. A life of vacations, becoming a master gardener, playing golf; altogether enjoying the life dreamed of since the kids were in high school. One or two of those are accurate statements. However, because the year is 2012 and many will experience retirement in the next fifteen or so years, returning to college now is an excellent time to either learn new, more marketable skills or hone those we already have. The economic situation at present lacks security, and if an employer notices his older employees making a viable effort to better themselves, they no doubt have an edge over others.
When contemplating the return to an institution of higher learning, consider the end result desired. For example, after fifty then what; how will this training be advantageous in subsequent years? Additionally, it is important to incorporate a conversation with the boss, approaching the visit with sincerely realistic expectationshellip;though not pessimistic. During the meeting listen to all the details, including any unspoken concerns voiced by the employer. Of course the ability to have this talk initially indicates a good working relationship with the employer, which is imperative.
If the company offers to pay for the education, the decision becomes an easy one. If the expense will be a personal one, evaluate the needed courses, and if some are available at a local community college, or possibly even audited that would be helpful. Many employers agree to share the cost, particularly if they want you to take specified subjects; often this secures the position in the future.
Along with business goals, what are your personal expectations? Presumably aspirations of a raise once application of the new skills proves beneficial, contributes to the complete picture. But more than monetary remuneration, both the resume, and employer’s file will reflect the addition of further education; education in applicable, job-specific fields. In addition, the schooling will enhance present marketable skill, as well as those anticipated in the future: the next ten or fifteen years. Another possible expectation would be an increased benefits package. Discussing all of these at the meeting on goals would also be helpful to alleviate as many unexpected reactions as possible.
As you explore the idea of furthering your education, and insurmountable obstacles keep appearing, it may be necessary to reevaluate the situation from top to bottom. If the employer is approachable, consider another informal meeting to voice any concerns. He or she may have suggestions to benefit everyone, thereby also giving you the encouragement needed to continue. But of course some are unavoidable hurdles, the solutions to which will need to be resolved amicably in order for you to pursue excellent, quality work preparing the way for an honorable retirement.
Reflecting back on your accomplished goals throughout your career, or life, reconsider the original question. Could returning to university be a venue to solidify a comfortable retirement; is it a dependable one? After weighing the facts and the boss’s input, making a decision should be fairly clear cut. Notice, however, that age plays only a somewhat marginal part in the final outcome.
Senior Advocate Terry Ford believes life is a series of lessons learned. As a prolific, professional writer; she polishes her pieces with the world’s best grammar checker.