3 Signs You Are Ready to Go Back to School

By Staff Writer Published on July 1, 2014

We’ve all been in the position where we just feel plain unsatisfied with our jobs. Maybe it’s because our skillset is being underutilized or because of occupational burnout or simply because we know there’s something better out there.

Whatever the reason, oftentimes this discontentment can lead to the realization that we’ll need to go back to school, learn some new skills, and get ready for nabbing the job of our dreams. Or does it? Following are three signs that will help you know whether or not it’s truly time to go back to school.

You have a clear idea of your goals

If you already have a roadmap of what it is that you’d like to do—and what you’re doing now “ain’t that”—it can be a sure indication that you’re ready to jump into becoming a student with both feet. But what does that mean and how do you know if you have goals?

First, it’s important to remember that goal-setting isn’t about dreaming. For example “being rich” isn’t a goal. It’s an aspiration, and while it’s okay to have that feeling, it won’t get you far in your life planning. However, “getting a job that pays me X more” is a goal. It’s something achievable that you can work toward. If you haven’t set out specific goals for yourself, it might be a good idea to spend some time considering the exact things you’d like to accomplish.

You understand the financial impact

Going back to school isn’t cheap. But many people are surprised to find out that it’s doable, even if you’re not making a lot at your current job. Between financial aid, scholarships, and loans, people are able to make it happen. But it can mean making some sacrifices. If you have a firm grasp on what kind of financial impact going back to school will have, and you’re feeling good about it, that’s a great clue that more schooling might be in your future! If you don’t know what it might mean for you, spend some time exploring financial aid and tuition options.

You’re ready to control your own future

If you spend a lot of time wishing for your circumstances to magically change, it’s probably a signal that something needs to be adjusted. That’s a good time to think about what will make you happy. Try making a list that breaks your life down into yearly increments. What do you want and how do you see yourself getting there? But if you’ve already done that, and you’re ready to take the bull by the horns and make the changes to your life that will allow you to direct your future, there’s a great chance that you have the determination you need to head back into the classroom.