Your Guide to Going Back to School at 30

April 19, 2021

Things tend to slow down by the time we hit 30. Our metabolism certainly takes a back seat, as do our inclinations towards impulsivity. But one thing that doesn’t seem to fade away around this age is our ability to learn. Scientists have concluded that our brains don’t even reach their full development until around 30.

So, what does that mean? We’ll have an easier time learning new concepts once we hit the big 3-0, for starters. It also means we can enjoy deeper sleep. That’s a pretty killer combination, especially for folks who are thinking about getting an education. If you’re considering going back to college, 30 might just be the best time to do it.

Check out our guide to going back to school at 30 below. We’ll let you know what’s important to consider before you make the jump.

What Adult Learners Should Ask Themselves Before Going Back To School

Many adults are considering going back to college

Going back to school always sounds like a great idea. After all, a college degree is a great way to initiate a career change. It can also fast-track your entry into the job market, providing you with the skills needed to start at mid-level or managerial positions. Gaining additional education is also a great way to increase your earning potential.

Still, the process is not free from drawbacks. Going back to college requires time that working individuals or adults taking care of children don’t necessarily have. It can also be expensive. In fact, the cost of a college degree remains one of the most cited reasons why high school graduates decide not to enroll in the first place.

Check out the list below to explore some questions worth asking before going back to college. Learn how to capitalize on the perks of going back to school and mitigate the disadvantages involved. 

How Good Are You At Managing Your Time?

When it comes to life as a 30-year-old college student, time management is everything. By 30, you have a lot going on in your life. Work, family, and friends take up a lot of time you could otherwise spend studying. Before you decide to go back to school, think about the different ways you can enhance your time management skills.

Calendar and reminder apps are usually a good place to start. They can help you anticipate incidents that may interfere with your school work and plan ways around them. Take a close look at your schedule, and look for opportunities to squeeze in some study time. Long commutes, meal breaks, and even a quick trip to the gym can provide a window to review notes or listen to a lecture.

Are Online Degree Programs Available?

If you’re 30, then chances are you are also supporting yourself financially, which means you can’t commit to a traditional school schedule.

 Online classes allow students to participate in classes, turn in assignments, and digest course material on their terms. This is particularly appealing for those who have to attend to their day job or other commitments during regular “working” hours. 

Unsurprisingly, this level of flexibility has made online classes incredibly popular among older audiences. So long as they have a computer and reliable internet connection, these students will enjoy just as much opportunity for success as those attending class on campus.

NEIT’s associate and bachelor degree options offer evening class schedules and can be completed in 18 months or as little as three years. In addition, all of our master’s degree programs are designed to accommodate the schedules of working professionals.

Many of our graduate programs have now moved online. We look forward to evolving our hi-flex options as we continue moving towards the future.

These degree types give students the ability to select their school based on academic needs in place of location. Be sure to vet the program before enrolling by looking through reviews and student reactions.


Earn your degree from NEIT and begin your new career path today!




How Will You Pay For School?

An education will help you advance your career level

According to recent statistics, approximately 42.9 million Americans with federal student loan debt each owe an average of $36,406 for their federal loans. No one wants to get into that kind of debt for the sake of an undergraduate degree. This explains why more adults aren’t going back to college, even if it means lowering their chances of landing their dream job.

Fortunately, there are ways to save money — an online college costs just a fraction of what a campus-based institution may charge. Learning from home also means avoiding paying for things like student housing, meal programs, daily commutes, and more.

If you intend to receive your education from a more traditional university, you should look into financial aid options. If this isn’t your first time going to school, your parents probably filled out the FAFSA. Fill it out again, this time as an adult, to see what kind of federal grants and loans are available. Remember, there is no age limit for federal aid.

Check with your employer, too. Some companies offer education-related benefits that can help you pay for your education.

What Does Your Career Path Look Like?

The decision to go back to school isn’t something to take lightly. Before you make any kind of commitment, take the time to think about your career goals. Do some research and see what requirements your dream job demands. Figure out if you should pursue a certificate, a professional certification, or a degree.

A certificate is usually the easiest, lowest-cost option. Because these programs don’t typically require any college experience, you can enroll right after high school.

Meanwhile, certifications are an excellent option to consider if your job is mainly technical, educational, or task-related. If your particular field happens to have many job openings, these “non-degree-granting programs” will help you stand out to employers.

Data collected by the U.S. News suggests the average age of college students receiving their bachelor’s degree online is now 32.

A degree will help prepare you for a more advanced program, something that is often associated with increased earning potential. For example, an MBA (Masters of Business Administration) is usually required if you plan on transferring to a financial field. An MFA (Masters of Fine Arts) is required to teach at accredited schools and colleges.

Benefits of Going Back To College

Most often, the decision to go back to college is well worth the effort it takes. Even if it’s not your first time attending college, you will have likely developed the life skills needed for people to succeed in school.

Learn more about balancing study time and family responsibilities

1. You’ll Be More Prepared Than The First Time Around

As an adult learner, you may be more capable of handling multiple responsibilities. While younger students may have a more difficult time finding a work-life balance, students who are 30+ have a better sense of how to honor their commitment to work, school, and family.

2. You’ll Increase Your Earning Potential

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), graduates with a master’s degree or higher have 28 percent higher earnings than those with a bachelor’s degree.

Other studies show that students with a college degree earned 57 percent more than those with only a high school degree. College may come with a hefty price tag, but it can offer a promising return on investment in years to come.


Going back to college can be a struggle, but NEIT can help. We offer programs across diverse fields to help you accomplish your career goals. Whether you’re looking for an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or master’s degree, we’ve got you covered.


Earn your degree from NEIT and begin your new career path today!




Many of our programs are designed to help working adults achieve their educational goals while taking care of responsibilities at home. They can be completed in as little as 18 months and may be delivered in the following formats:

  • Evening classes – or day class options for individuals who work at night
  • Weekend classes
  • Fully online for some degrees
  • Hybrid online/on campus – weekends or short residencies on campus per year


Is it too late to go back to school at 30?

It’s definitely not too late to go back to college at 30! In fact, studies suggest that at 30, your brain is most capable of processing new information. Besides, if you decide to go back to school at this age, you won’t be alone. Other statistics show that the average age of an online college student is 32 years old.

What careers are worth going back to school for?

This largely depends on your professional goals, but most people re-enroll to pursue opportunities across the healthcare, technology, and finance industries. Popular titles include registered nurse, information security analyst, and accountant.

Can I work full-time while studying?

Though it’s not easy, it is possible to work full-time while studying. An online program will probably be the easiest way to manage both sets of responsibilities. Try identifying slots in your schedule to study and stick to it. If you find the workload is too much, you can always ask about becoming a half-time student.

Going back to school doesn't have to be hard. Start your new career path today!