While a college education or advanced degree doesn’t necessarily teach you how to be successful, own a business or do your job, it does give you the basic building blocks to creating wealth. I know we hear stories of entrepreneurs who hit it big without a college education or even without knowing how to read. True. I bet life was a great deal harder for them in many respects. And even the famed founder of Kinko’s who was illiterate learned how to read eventually. An education is a strong indicator of earnings over a person’s lifetime. In 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 30-34 year olds who had only a high school diploma earned $638 per week, and their peers with bachelor’s degrees earned $1,053 while those with advanced degrees earned $1,332. If you don’t have a high school diploma odds are you will earn less than $638 per week. You could come up with a great idea and strike it rich or you could set yourself up for success. That may involve going back to school to create more wealth for yourself over the long term.
One of the traits of highly successful people is constant learning. Acquiring new skills and knowledge is what moves people forward. Even people with formal educations take classes or participate in some form of learning in order to grow their business or in their chosen jobs. If you’re saying to yourself that you’re too busy, too broke, too many responsibilities, so on and so forth you are choosing to stay in your circumstance. I am in no way saying I think it will be easy, but with work you can make it work. Education has come a long way since I was in school. You can take courses online through accredited Universities. Community colleges offer a broader selection of study. And many top Universities are offering adult education classes geared toward working parents and financially strapped households. Harvard University offers a catalog full of classes online for FREE! Believe me when I say the challenge isn’t in finding options, the challenging is in doing.
If you don’t have a high school diploma enroll in a GED class immediately. These are widely available and fit almost everyone’s schedules and budgets. Many public high schools offer this service for free. A quick search of the internet will get you dozens of options in your area. Once you have that accomplishment, celebrate! The next step is to continue your education. You can apply to a traditional four year college, it isn’t just for 18 year olds. There are community colleges, trade schools and online programs all which you can graduate from and put on your resume. From there you can go just about anywhere, start your own business even. The sky is the limit you just need to sign up for the ride. Many people don’t go for it simply because they don’t know what to do. School seems like a game for young teenagers trying to get out of their parents’ house. There is a ton of research around adult learners and the working poor to gear programs these communities. According to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center 38% of post high school students were age 25 and up from 2009-2011. With a slight dip from 2010 to 2011. A significant portion of these were age 40 and up.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Adult Options in Education, www.adultoptions.org
- Adult Education Path, www.adulteducationpath.com
Your homework is to investigate your options. You don’t need to make any decisions, just take the first step of seeing what is available to you.
REAL TALK | REAL THINGS | REAL RESULTS