A female adult student earned her degree from CCU.

Top 10 Reasons Why Today's Adult Students Want to Earn a Degree

Whether you have a career in healthcare, business, education, or any other industry, the demand for jobs is high. And if you want to advance in your career, potentially earn a higher salary, and stand out among your peers, your experience and knowledge has to be competitive. That's why continuing your education and earning a degree is more important now than ever before.

If you're contemplating going back to school, you're not alone. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 8.2 million adult college students ages 25 and older in 2014, and that number rises every year. Although you may have more responsibility as an adult — such as family life, a career, and enjoying your favorite hobbies — earning your degree is easier than you think. Most adult education programs are offered online, giving you the flexibility you need to graduate.

Pearson, an education and publishing company out of London, recently released its 2016 Adult Learner Report entitled, "Adult Learner Motivations and Expectations." After surveying 1,634 adult students, the research shows why adults are enrolling in or already attending college after 25.

If you're thinking about going back to school to earn a degree, consider these reasons – provided by over 1,600 adult students from all over the world:

1. Advancements in their field

In the report, Pearson stated that 72% of the adult students they surveyed said they “will need additional education to keep up with advancements in their field.” Healthcare, IT, and business are just a few industries that have ongoing updates, from their education to technology. Keeping up with these updates, along with industry trends, is key.

2. Higher salary

The top “motivation” for adult students to continue their education is the potential of earning a higher salary, whether it’s at their current company or at another. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a master’s degree could provide up to a 12% salary boost — and in some industries, such as healthcare, possibly even higher.

3. Better future

Thirty-six percent (36%) of those surveyed said that furthering their education “will lead to a better life for my family.” Paying for college, buying a family home, and having some financial stability could be the product of earning your degree now.

4. Advancing in current position

Another top motivation from Pearson’s survey is advancing in one’s current position at their current company. Interested in a promotion? Want a higher salary? These may be possible with advancing your education with a master's degree program and hands-on experience.

5. Change in field

Are you looking to switch careers? You’re not the only adult who is interested in making a change. Forty-six percent (46%) stated that they are likely to enroll in an adult education program in the next five years in order to work in another field or industry.

6. Keeping up with peers

If you’re worried that your position might be replaced by someone younger, with possibly more education, you can do something about it: Educate yourself! Your peers might be younger and fresh out of school, so there’s no better time than now to learn what they know about today’s technology and education.

7. Setting a good example

If you never finished your degree or if you’ve had only a little post-secondary education, earning your degree might be a great way to set an example for your family. According to Pearson’s report, 21% of those surveyed said that is a motivation for going back to school.

8. Required for job

If you are required to maintain a license for your career, ongoing education might be required. Twelve percent of adult students said this is a motivator, whether their company is requiring them to obtain further education or they are required in their field.

9. Starting a business

Are you interested in being your own boss and starting your own company? You might need some extra education in order to do so. According to the report, 18% of adults are interested in starting their own company or becoming their own boss.

10. General interest in the field

Do you love your career and just want to learn more about it? You’re not alone, because 15% of the surveyed adults are “curious about the topic and want to learn more about it.”


Colorado Christian University does not guarantee any job placement as a result of earning this or any other degrees offered by the university.

Whether you’re exploring new careers, you want to achieve a goal at your current company, or you’re starting from scratch, it’s never too late to follow your dreams! Enroll now in an adult degree program, and start investing in your future.

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