It used to be that not many people obtained their undergraduate degrees because high school diplomas were sufficient for securing well-paying jobs. Increasingly, college degrees are necessary qualifications for decent jobs. For many adults who have been on the job field for years, this is discouraging and negatively affects opportunities for security, advancement, and even pay. Rather than accepting the condition, many working adults are going back to college while working.

How can this be done? Colleges are growing more flexible in order to meet the needs of a wider variety of students, including working adults. There are colleges that offer distance learning courses online, some of them full time and others part time. Standard part time education options exist for those working near enough colleges to attend. Some of such part time options include taking mostly or only night or weekend classes. There are benefits and draw backs to any form of education and some are unique for working adults.

Distance Learning Education

Learning online allows working adults’ great amounts of flexibility. They don’t have to worry about being near a specific school or available at particular hours. Colleges which function primarily online often offer an extensive variety of courses in many different fields and majors. Depending on the field of study, online courses may or may not be all that are required for graduation. For those degrees that do require standard, in person classes like a nursing degree might, it is often possible to take some courses online to allow for flexibility.

Part Time Education

For working adults located near a college or university offering their desired business degree program or other related major, part time programs often vary courses to meet the needs of working adults. There might be weekend or night classes offered specifically so that working students can keep their day jobs. Weekend classes also allow working adults to keep their jobs, without the exhaustion of working and learning all day, every day.

This is, of course, the main drawback of part time education. Exhaustion, costs of travel associated with both work and school, health tolls from being occupied all day, and a lack of down time for friends and family are all challenges related to part time education. Despite these challenges, a well -planned part time or distance learning schedule is profitable, worthwhile, and attainable.

Internship or Job Incorporation

Some fields of study require students to get experience in their prospective field. This allows working adults to combine jobs and education together through internships or co-operations. This is obviously beneficial for the working adult student, but such opportunities depend on fields of study, college programs, and field experience. If these align for working adult students, they are an excellent way to obtain a degree while working!


Because many adults are returning to college to earn degrees while working, there are websites and professionals offering advice, tips, and support for working adults in college. For example, has many tools available to working adults to help them discover their options, find support (even financially), and complete their undergraduate education.

Tips given from for working adults returning to college include checking out financial aid options, ongoing support, and learning about the different formats of education available. This document also offers motivation for going to college as a working adult. They are the same as in the introduction: going to college as a working adult increases opportunities for advancement, security, and pay.