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Work/Life: Continuing education in a time of recession

On this episode of Work/Life, Ciara Pressler, founder and author of Pregame, talks with Greg Nibler about the pros and cons of continuing education and going back to school during a recession and whether the potential benefits outweigh the monetary investment.

Pressler discusses the different avenues of schooling, from traditional universities to trade schools and online learning. “There are a lot of considerations before you jump back into education,” Pressler says. In this segment, she give tips and tricks for both identifying the goal you have and finding the best path to help you achieve it.

“It’s always a good time to continue learning,” Pressler notes, “and learning has never been more accessible than it is today.” There is often a surge in investing in education when the economy falters, and many people consider either furthering their education in the field they are already in, or learning a completely new skill set. The decision on whether it make sense to take yourself out of the game to do so is a tough one.

“Going back to school in the traditional sense isn’t the right fit for everybody,” Pressler says. “You have to know your goal, and find the path” that leads you to that goal.

There are other things to consider. A return on your investment is a big one, she says. “For example, if you’re looking for a career in tech, you don’t necessarily need to get a four-year degree from a university,” which places you in a high amount of debt. “It’s time to look at alternatives to traditional college,” she points out, whether that’s a trade school, an internship, or finding entry-level work in the field you hope to enter.

Pressler advises to “always talk to people who have actually done it, not just people who are marketing to you. Find out how people got to where they are,” she says. By identifying your exact goals, researching the paths to achieving them, and speaking with others who are already in the position or field you want to be in, you can find the path that will benefit both you and your bottom line.

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Todd Werkhoven
Todd Werkhoven's work can be read at numerous publications and he co-authored a personal finance book called "Zombie…
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