There’s a revolution taking place. For businesses around the globe, it’s quickly becoming a digital world. As a result, many working adults are going back to school to add to their skill set and remain relevant in the workplace.
Going back to school is equally challenging and rewarding. There are papers to complete and assignments to hand in, along with the continuing need to manage family matters. Fortunately, learning institutions and the government recognize these demands and have taken steps to make it easier for working adults to further their education.
Education Pays off in Many Ways
There’s an immediate benefit of going back to school that some people fail to recognize. The government has taken measures to relieve the financial burden of students by offering financial incentives.
The biggest financial incentive offered by the nation’s lawmakers is the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC). It’s important, however, to note that tax deductions and tax credits are not the same.
Tax deductions lower the income that the government taxes, while tax credits decrease your tax bill. Furthermore, select tax credits are refundable. This means that in addition to a decreased tax bill, you may also receive a refund of your unused credit. If your income is below $90,000 per year, or $180,000 if you file as a married couple, you may qualify for the AOTC.
While students who’ve already completed four years of college don’t qualify for the AOTC, there are other tax breaks for education. The Lifetime Learning Credit, for example, is available to help with school related expenses of up to $2,000. You can claim this credit an unlimited amount of times for every year that you attend an eligible institution.
This credit is limited to single students who earn under $65,000 a year, or $130,000 per year if filing jointly. Also, the Tuition and Fees Deduction allows for up to a $2,500 deduction on interest paid on student loans.
Preparing for Leadership
The technological revolution is creating a need for more leaders who can help enterprises make use of innovative, new resources. Resultantly, many professionals are returning to school to earn their MBA degree.
An emerging specialty degree, the Master of Science and Business Analytics degree (MSBA), is designed to prepare the leaders of the future. A career in business analytics is a growing opportunity as the world’s enterprises leverage increasingly complex information technologies.
Students who train in this field learn advanced techniques for evaluating massive stores of information. The resulting reports help business leaders find opportunities for improvement and optimize any number organizational functions.
Many of today’s Master degree programs are geared toward adults with some professional work experience. To make it easier for professionals and individuals with many responsibilities to manage their role as students, many institutions offer online Master degree programs.
This learning experience prepares students to help executives solve business problems using information. Upon completion, business analytics professionals are charged with presenting complex findings in a meaningful and beneficial way for stakeholders, making the information specialists invaluable for any organization.
Older Adults Are Going Back to School
Today, going back to school is not just for those seeking a mid-career change. For instance, 88-percent of recently interviewed students who completed Ohio University’s Master of Engineering Management reported that their training helped them to become more competitive in their current field.
The United States college student body has transformed from one that encompasses fresh high school graduates to mostly middle-aged working professionals. As an example, today it’s not surprising to find experienced workers in their early 60s who are completing a bachelor’s degree.
Many older adults who go back to school have already experienced a successful career. Now, however, the job landscape is changing drastically as new technologies emerge. As a result, many experienced employees are going back to school to remain relevant and valuable in the workplace.
Because demand is so high for information specialists, many employers are partnering with learning institutions. Taking advantage of these partnerships is a great way for working professionals to remain in demand and up-to-date. In fact, many older adults are doing just that.
Online learning is making it easier for ambitious professionals to keep up with the latest trends in the workforce. Furthermore, convenient and flexible online training allows working professionals to advance their education and career while continuing to stay on top of family matters.
Improved career opportunities and tax breaks aren’t the only perks of going back to school. Adult learners are also privy to many student discounts.
The discounts allow current students to save on activities and entertainment such as concerts, museums and movies. This is a great way to entertain the family on a budget. Often, all that’s required to take advantage of the discount is to show your student ID at the venue.
Going back to school is an endeavor that’s well worth the challenge. Fortunately for adult students, there are quite a few immediate benefits that make the journey toward improvement all the more convenient and satisfying.