It’s that time of year again. Summer vacation is over, and the kids are heading off for the first day of the new school year. Lately you’ve been thinking about your own education. Perhaps you didn’t finish your degree and you’d like to complete it. Perhaps you are thinking of changing fields and a different degree is necessary. Whatever the reason, deciding if you should go back to school is a big decision. How do you know if it is right for you? The ultimate decision is all yours, but the following seven questions can help you make the right choice.

Are you thinking about changing fields?

If you are considering a remarkable change in your career, returning to school may be a good idea. Assess how your current skills and education parlay into your new field. If there are substantial gaps it could be time to dust off the old books.

Are you confident furthering your education will likely help you earn more money?

If you are not convinced that furthering your education will result in an increase in income the expenses may not be worth it. Ask colleagues and mentors to share their experiences and advice.

Do you have the time and financial resources to dedicate to your studies?

The two most common things that derail an older student’s education are too little time and too little money.

Is your current educational background holding you back from advancement?

This is the second most common reason for older students returning to school, just behind changing fields. If a degree will help you climb the ladder at your company, it might be a very good investment.

Can you complete your education with little or no student debt?

College cost increases have been steadily outpacing salary increases for decades, pushing a degree out of reach for many. Student loans are one way to bridge the gap, but they have to be paid back eventually. Even bankruptcy doesn’t usually erase student debt. Review your financial situation carefully and avoid finishing school with what could be a small mortgage.

Will your employer pay for your education?

Many employers offer full or partial tuition reimbursement. This is an exceptional benefit, and if you have it you should consider taking advantage of it.

Do you have the necessary support to complete your education?

School is a big commitment and will take a substantial chunk of your time. You still have all of that adulting stuff to do outside of school – chores, kids, work, etc. Before you enroll make sure you have ample support at home and the office.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.