The education system is being overwhelmed by the rising costs and demands. Your parents and teachers don’t often know the current real world challenges you will face. They have lived in a world that’s not going to exist anymore. Many jobs are being outsourced making it very hard to keep up with your competition because your competition isn’t going out every weekend or taking a bunch of gender study courses. Your competition is from another country like India, and they are working EXTREMELY hard.
All of the face-to-face experiences and camaraderie will also be somewhat overrated since technology is changing the way business is done. Therefore, getting an online education, as predicted by Bill Gates is going to be five times more relevant. In other words, a campus based education will be five times less relevant. In addition, going back to school midlife and being able to network will give you a huge advantage in staying current in what you need to know in your employment. You will have to pick your classes carefully. Taking the basics and the classics for your core group of class’s texts that have shaped our world will be prudent, since they will be studied year after year and is considered basic knowledge. In other words, you’ll need to achieve literacy in math, a science (specifically biology and chemistry), a firm understanding of American culture and then a non-western culture. You should also have a basic working knowledge of art and music and more importantly a proficiency in another language. And finally, what’s even more important, is that you need to learn to write really well. This point is so important that it should be a factor in choosing a school. However, the old advice of following your passion still holds true. Studying your what you love will require you to talk and network with folks to find out where and how they got where they did. Furthermore, newer courses such as, "How to Learn at the Workplace" -and problem solving skills that are geared to adult learners will also be extremely valuable. Don’t forget that you can create study groups with both the online students and students who attend on campus classes. Just because you’re not physically on campus doesn’t mean that you can’t have study groups with students from both spaces. If you are pro-active, you can create the kind of experiences to make your online education positive. You can intentionally involve yourself to create the kind of educational experiences to fit your needs and match your goals for the future.