Going back to college after 50

Posted by John H. Heinrichs

Apr 1

Do I or Don’t I?

Going Older Student Joseph Martin Krausback to college after 50

When I began working at a university 4 years ago, I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be going back to school.  The thought never even entered my mind.  When the talk in my office turned to school, my thoughts were often, “I’m too old,” “What is more education going to do for me at my age,” “How can I compete with the younger crowd?” All really good arguments, right?

After I made the decision to go back to school, I actually found out I was not much different than most of the other students in my classes.  Most of us hold full-time jobs and attend school only part-time.  Most of us wanted to better ourselves in our current positions.

(Portrait of Joseph Martin Kraus as a student at Erfurt university.  This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. This photographic reproduction is therefore considered to be in the public domain.)

Do Your Research

If you don’t work for a university, how do you decide where to go?  Doing good research is critical.  Being tech savvy is definitely a bonus as many institutions have made it more convenient, and easier by offering online classes that fit into any schedule.  With online classes in mind, social media interactivity can play a big part in making this decision.  Social media is a huge part of everyone’s life no matter the age.

Social Media Influence

Many times word of mouth can help make decisions easier.  With Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, people regularly share their opinions.  Many organizations now have social media sites, and they need to establish the importance of social media interactivity for their customers.  Because social media is constantly changing, organizations need to be able to adapt to meet these changes.  It is also vital to measure the success of how the organization’s social media sites have influenced the customer’s experience both offline and online.

Great Decision!

The number of students over the age of 50 keeps increasing each year.  The reality is the retirement age keeps going up, and there is no guarantee of social security funds.  Being confronted with the thoughts of forced retirement, and good job skills to keep up in the current workplace are always hanging over my head.  The bottom line is people need to survive, and to do that we need to have good competitive advantage to show we belong in the work place.  Though school loans can have an impact on the decision for many, returning to school for me was a great decision! 

Number of students over 50 by decade


(All credit and accolades for this tremendous blog post are for Kathleen Page, who is the author and content creator.)

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