Nontraditional Students: Reasons Professionals in

Just as stress increases as life-change events accumulate the motivation to cope with change through engagement in a learning experience increases” for the individual (Zemke & Zemke 1984).

Money or enhancing ones salary is a fairly obvious, but nonetheless important reason workers commonly cite for going back to school. Obtaining a higher-level degree often results in better pay, better promotion prospects, and less of a likelihood of being let go during tough economic times. This is one reason workers with managerial aspirations often get their MBA after several years in the working world. A small business owner wishing to expand his or her business may also go back to school to get an MBA, to ensure that he or she has the skills to fully capitalize upon the potential of the enterprise he or she created.

A interrelated reason to the desire for more money is that, quite simply, many workers go back to school because they can — because employers may pay some or all of the tuition for an advanced degree, if they feel that the workers enhanced skills will enhance the workers value to the organization (“Should you return to college,” 2006, Penn State York).

Investing in workers increases employee loyalty and skills, and workers are eager to comply as a way of deriving further professional collateral from the organization they work for and enhancing their personal worth in a fashion that will give them more marketable skills, regardless of where they work.

Regardless of the reason they choose to return to school: “Adult learners…typically return to school with a particular goal in mind, which often makes them more focused and dedicated than their younger, more traditional student counterparts” (“Back to school considerations for adult learners,”2008, Cliffnotes). Workers who were lackluster undergraduate or graduate students when young may find themselves infused with a new sense of intellectual purpose and vigor upon returning to the classroom.

Works Cited

Back to school considerations for adult learners.” (2008). Cliffnotes. Retrieved 30 Aug 2008 at,articleId-55301.html

Should you return to college?” (2006). Penn State York: Lancaster Center. Retrieved 30 Aug 2008 at

Zemke, Ron & Susan Zemke. (9 Mar 1984). “30 Things we know about adult learners.”

Innovation Abstracts. 4(8) Retrieved 30 Aug 2008 at


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