Gratitude for Going Back to School

Gratitude-CollegeLast night my gratitude levels were on overdrive! I started teaching a new class for the new semester at Brookdale Community College. I have been teaching there for 10+ years. Considering the current state of the economy, completing a college education is more important than ever. While the job market is tough for everyone involved, college graduates are less likely to feel the pinch because employers deem them worthy of hiring due to their credentials. Some of my students are going back to school to get their degree – something they have wanted to do for a while now.

You really can change your life by going back to school – it is never too late! Still not convinced
that society will not be grateful for you and your potential degree? If you need a bit more convincing, here are five more compelling reasons why you should go back to school now:

1. You will have more opportunity to earn more money. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average yearly income for someone who has ‘only’ completed a high school education is around $30,000. On the other hand, the average annual income of a person holding a Bachelor’s degree is $52,000. By completing your college education, you just might be able to give yourself a $22,000 boost in salary.

  • Now, if you currently have your Bachelor’s degree, you can increase your earning by a $10,000 pay raise by obtaining your Master’s degree. Master’s degree holders have an average annual income of over $62,000.

  • Yes, going back to school requires a time investment now (as well as a significant financial investment), but
    you will reap the rewards for the duration of your career in terms of salary and career advancement opportunities. I am sure you will feel more joy and gratitude as your salary increases.

2. Lead by example. Going back to school not only benefits your family from a financial standpoint, but it also helps you set a positive example for your children. When your children see you working hard to earn your degree, you’re showing them that earning a college degree is worth the effort. This is a great way to increase your joy and gratitude. It will also increases your children’s perceived value of a college education.

3. Get into the career field of your dreams. Maybe the job you have now was intended to be a stepping-stone a few years ago. However, if you’re still in the position, it’s no longer a stepping-stone – it’s your career. Going back to school can get you into the career field that you’ve always dreamt of being part of. When you are doing what you love, it is easier to express your gratitude.

  • Combined with your current job experience, a degree or professional certification can also start you off in a new job with a higher salary, considering that you have workforce experience.
  • Remember: You aren’t a new college grad without real world job experience; you bring a lot of value to the table!

4. Gain a competitive edge. It’s no secret that the job market is rather glum at the moment. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that it will improve. If you ever do find yourself seeking new employment, listing a college degree as one of your credentials will give you a competitive edge over other applicants.

  • Employers can get more for their money by hiring college graduates. So if it comes down to choosing between two applicants, one with a college degree and the other without, nine times out of ten the college gradu
    ate will be given the job.

5. Flexibility. Earning a college education is more flexible than ever. In some instances, you don’t even have to leave your home in order to attend classes. Online classes are becoming a mainstream alternative to in-person schooling and fit nicely into the schedules of working professionals.

  • When choosing an online school, ensure that the school is accredited. If you feel hesitant to attend a 100% online school, choose a local college that offers online course options.

If you’re concerned about paying for schooling, talk to your employer. Regardless of the state of the economy, many employers still offer continued education for their employees on the corporate dime. And if your company is one of the many that still offer this benefit to their employees, you stand to gain a college education without a large monetary investment!

Be Well.
The Gratitude Guru


  1. Roberta Budvietas on January 27, 2011 at 12:03 am

    I love training people about business but I have a concern about even some accredited education. Having worked for many years running and teaching tertiary education, I know that so much of the material is CRAP and out of date and creating tick box thinking and behaviour.
    I am an avid learner but having fired 2 tertiary education establishments for incompetence in studying for my Masters degree, I would love to develop PRACTICAL programmes that really help people cope, change and grow.
    Keep teaching Paul. I know you are learning so that will get passed on with the curriculum

    • Paul on January 27, 2011 at 12:11 am

      Roberta – I think the best part of my undergrad education was not the classes and the technical coursework, but the ‘growing up’ that I did. I went to Rochester Institute of Technology for my B.S. degree. Oh the stories I can tell about those years… It was my time there that I started to get involved with Student Government, I was a Resident Advisor, I had all sorts of responsibilities, and to me, that is equally (if not more) important than the curriculum I had to master in order to graduate.

      In the courses I teach (which are also technical) I like to think that I teach more than just the prescribed material. As my students from last semester were fond of asking, “Let’s hear more about the Life Lessons you can teach us!”

      Thanks for the comments!

  2. Menka on January 27, 2011 at 7:35 am

    You are a giver. Thanks Paul.

  3. Lynn Brown on January 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Learning in classrooms, books or online I feel is a growing experience in both knowledge and maturity. I love to learn something new every day. However, I felt I was in a box for so many years working for large coporations. Sure I made the big bucks, but I felt like a robot sometimes. I would attend every seminar the company would offer as I was thirsty to learn more. Instead of college, over 15 years ago, I decided to ‘teach myself’ internet marketing. I am so glad that I did as my industry changed I was able to convert over to my online business fulltime.

    Thanks Paul for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I am grateful for you! Teachers, instructors and mentors are the keys to knowledge!

  4. Martha Giffen on January 27, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I love learning and I always encourage people to go back to school. I was the classic college drop out, got married, had a family, etc. but always knew I wanted to go back and finish. When my last child started school, I went back. Finished my undergrad at age 40 and law school at age 48. I am the ultimate student. It serves me well in my online biz because there is something to learn every single day. I love it! Great post!!

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