If you are part of the baby-boom generation, born between 1946 and 1964, you grew up in a world unlike any before. Child-rearing became more about instilling self-esteem rather than imposing will, and youth meant shaking up the world and making your mark. This has guided your life and the lives of your peers.

Finishing College – A New Path Forward

By age 50, you’ve gained a lot of life experience, but you know you still have more to do, and that may include finishing college. Your reasons for fitting college into your 50s or 60s may be personal or professional, but they likely reflect a deep need to continue moving forward and sharing your talents. Here are just a few potential driving factors that may be motivating you.

1. Reinventing Yourself

As a boomer, you know that you can re-invent yourself at any age. You are still thinking about what you can become, what you can accomplish, and who you can be. This may mean returning to college and finishing your degree so that you can pursue that long-delayed dream or a new ambition.

2. Qualifying for Promotion

Instead of sitting back and waiting for retirement, boomers are taking the next step in their careers. Some hope to use their career experience to start a business, while others simply want to take the next step along existing tracks. Whichever category you fall into, a college degree can boost your resume.

3. Higher Pay

As an older adult, you may have higher expenses than your predecessors had in their 50s. For example, multiple studies have shown that the proportion of homeowners over the age of 55 with housing debt continues to climb. In 1998, just 38 percent those homeowners still had mortgages, but in 2013 it rose up to 50 percent, and many of those homeowners still owe high amounts after borrowing against their home for years due to life’s circumstances.

Meanwhile, you may be looking at your retirement savings and wondering if you will have enough to support yourself. Finishing your degree may be a way to qualify for higher pay and invest in your future.

4. Skill Development

Thanks to new technology, 400 million to 800 million people across the globe could be phased out of their jobs by 2030.  If you are a younger boomer, this translates to the possibility that your current job may become obsolete before you are ready to retire. By going back to college and learning new skills, you can stay relevant longer.

5. Switching Careers

After two to three decades in the same career path, you may be finding that you are ready for your next. Maybe, like many, you felt shuttled into a career that didn’t quite fulfill you on a personal level. Or maybe you had to take time out of the workplace to care for your family. Either way, a college degree can give you the tools you need to start a career that you will find meaningful.

6. A Feeling of Accomplishment

As social consciousness rises among Americans of all ages, retirees and pre-retirees are thinking about making a difference in the world around them. Retirees can choose to improve their communities every day, whether its through volunteering their time or working with local community organizations.

Still, there are few opportunities for ambitious older adults gain the skills that they need to have an impact at this level. College can fill that gap.

Ready to Finish?

At WVSU Online, you can use your life and work experience to complete your degree.

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Using Work for College Credits

Work and family responsibilities lead many college students to put their degrees on hold, and the setup of many traditional programs don’t make room for those other commitments. But thanks to its participation in the Regents Bachelor of Arts, or RBA, you may be able to get your degree through West Virginia State University (WVSU).

WVSU understands the value of the life and work experience that a non-traditional student offers. All students pursuing an RBA at WVSU can apply to use work or employment training for college credit. By submitting a Work and Life Experience portfolio, students can earn up to 30 College Equivalency Credits at a rate of three credits per 100 documented relevant hours.

Regents Bachelor of Arts

The online RBA West Virginia State University offers provides the convenience and flexibility that adult learners need. If you are interested in a program that lets you fulfill your existing responsibilities while pursuing a new or left-behind dream, the university encourages you to inquire about more information and take the first step to achieving your educational goals.