• If you’re considering trading your job in for more schooling, you should first consider your reasoning for doing so: what is it that’s driving this desire?
  • Just as importantly, will it truly benefit you to quit your job and go back to school? If you’re simply bored or unhappy, this probably isn’t the right move.
  • Also, consider the costs or the sacrifices you’ll have to make if you do go back to school: such as the financial endeavors, as well as the time and energy required.
  • Make sure you’re financially prepared to commit to school again, and also remember the time it takes out of your day; ultimately, the benefits should outweigh these costs.
  • Before you make your final decision, consider a final tidbit: you don’t necessarily have to choose between the two. If you have the time, money, and commitment to do both, then why not?
  • Nobody can say whether it’s right for you to quit your job and go back to school; only you can decide that, supplemented by the considerations you made above.

Think About the “Why”

“It’s important to look critically at what their motivation really is—what’s driving their interest, and will it really be helpful to them?” –Joe Casey, Executive Coach and Retirement Coach

“Each person has their own unique journey toward meaning and happiness. We must each ask ourselves: where do these urges come from?” –Vironika Tugaleva, Life Coach

If you’re considering going back to school, narrow in on the “why.” Why is it that you want to go back to school? Would you truly benefit from taking more classes or getting another degree? Or are you maybe just… bored? Here’s the thing: sometimes we think we want or need something when really, we don’t. Many times, those who consider quitting their job and just going back to school are lacking fulfillment. They’re bored or unhappy with their job and going back to school sounds like it’ll fix all of their problems. This, however, is not always the case.

There’s a big difference between your job and your career: your job is your current position at your current company, while your career is the line of work you are in. If you’re unhappy with your job, but still enjoy your vocation, then it’s probably just time for a job change. If, on the other hand, it’s your career path that you’re not liking, maybe it is time to go back to school. In any case, the point is you should make sure you have a good reason for quitting your job and going back to school… because it is no simple or easy feat.

Consider the Costs

“Do you have sufficient savings to carry you through your education process? If not, do you need to maintain a part-time income while you’re going through school?” -Molly Hetrick, Personal and Professional Development Coach

“If they simply don’t like their job, then it’s best to figure out what about it isn’t working and try to fix that part or find another job that has the qualities you do enjoy, without diving into extreme time and money commitment.” –Lynn Marie Morski MD, Esq.

Another important part of this decision-making process is considering the costs. In other words, what will you have to give up to make this change happen? And are these sacrifices worth it? Let’s start with the monetary costs: are you financially equipped to go back to school? Tuition isn’t cheap, nor are the books and other resources you typically have to purchase throughout your time in school. If you’re unsure or uneasy, is there another, cheaper way to build on your skills and gain the knowledge you seek? Explore the possibilities!

Money isn’t the only thing schooling requires… it also takes up a lot of your time and energy. Are you willing to devote much of your day/week to your studies? Do you have the drive and commitment? If the answer is a no or not sure, it’s probably best if you hold off for now. Because even if you decide to take a couple classes and then realize going back to school isn’t the right decision, you’ve already wasted valuable time and—yep—money. The moral of the story is this: the benefits of quitting your job and going back to school should outweigh the costs.

Final Reflections

“Recognize that you do not have to choose between being an employee or a student. You may be able to work and go to school at the same time. This will allow you to apply what you learn in the classroom to the workplace.” –Kyle Elliot, Career and Life Coach

“When you are leaving a job to go back to school, you need to be 100% sure in what you want to study and that you will give it all you’ve got. If you don’t know what you’re passionate about, going back to school won’t necessarily show you.” -Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert

The truth is, nobody can definitively say whether or not going back to school is the right decision for you. Only you can decide that. But before you do, it’ll do you well to make a few final considerations. For one, you should know that you might not have to choose between one or the other. If you have the drive and you make the time, you can be an employee and a student at the same time. Your current employer might even help you make it happen, if it benefits them too. Additionally, you should consider the fact that going back to school isn’t a piece of cake. So, if you do want to go back to school, and succeed in doing so, you need to be completely prepared for what lies ahead.