A little background on me: I received my undergraduate degree in journalism at Ohio University (Go Bobcats!) in 2009. I had been contemplating graduate school since I first graduated from OU and had months of no job prospects and thought maybe I should just continue my education.
However, at that point, I was not sure what I would go back to school to learn. That is the key. You can keep going back to school for your whole life, but if you do not have a purpose or a plan for what it will be used for, it will not only make it harder to keep your head in the game as you go through it. And the payoff might not match the effort.
When 2012 came around, I made the decision to start graduate school. From that moment, I applied and then started classes within three weeks. I think the most important lesson I could give is: 1) Have a purpose for the education you are receiving; 2) When you make the decision, don't hesitate — just do it.
I believe continuing education is always important. Whether it's going back for a graduate degree, special certifications, training, etc. education is important.
Why? Because the world keeps moving even if you stand still. To assume you have nothing left to learn is foolish, in my opinion.
For instance, if you are an automotive technician, it could make sense for you to get ASE certified — or additional certifications. It can make you more marketable to business owners.
Do you work in auto sales? Maybe you'd want to go to college for a sales degree or get some training for customer service, how to respond on the phone, etc. Maybe you won't pursue a formal degree, but rather get other training to enhance your skills.
Certificates are a great way to continue to enhance your skills without making the time or financial commitment that some longer programs require.
One of my life goals has always been to not plan my future — but to be prepared for it. With my graduate degree in tow, I believe I have done that. Until the next challenge arises, that is.