The Top Reasons Adult Learners Return to High School


Too often, adults who never earned their high school diploma feel isolated in their experience. “Everyone else my age finished school,” they might think. Perhaps they even feel ashamed, believing that their missed opportunity indicates some personal shortcoming.

Therefore, talking things out can be profoundly beneficial – “normalizing” the experience, as the younger generation might say. You aren’t alone; several adults reach their 20’s, 30’s and beyond without receiving their high school diploma (around 1 in 10 adults).

And it isn’t a personal shortcoming. You had your reasons back then, whether personal, financial, familial or otherwise.

Luckily, education always allows for late bloomers. As further motivation for your journey back to the classroom, here are a few of the top reasons adult learners head back to high school!


The statistics don’t mince words: “The greater one’s education, the better the chances of finding work.”According to the numbers, the employment rate for adult high school graduates in 2007 was 75.5%, compared to roughly 64% for those who hadn’t completed high school. And university graduates enjoyed an even bigger bump: their employment rate was 83.2%

Anecdotally, you can find examples that bear out the statistics. Hiring managers and interviewers often look at education as a first criteria when making their decisions.

Perhaps sensing this hurdle to employment, several learners take online high school courses for adults to increase their employability.

Access to Employment Options

It isn’t just general employability that increases with a high school diploma. It is also options. Several adults who complete high school later in life do so for a particular dream job.

Let’s say you want to be a nurse, a pharmacy technician, a firefighter or a plumber. All of those jobs require a high school diploma (or equivalent). And if you want a job that requires post-secondary education, you first need to earn your high school diploma.

Therefore, a common reason adult learners hit the books again is access to employment options.

For Their Kids

For some, it isn’t about employment at all. Maybe they are perfectly happy working the job they have. Perhaps they even make great money!

No, for some adults, heading back to school is their way of modelling good behaviour and breaking a generational cycle of missed education. They want to show their kids the value of secondary education by completing it themselves.

Changed Priorities

The reason for re-entering high school can be as simple as “changed priorities.” Maybe when you were 17-years-old, school wasn’t high on your list of priorities. You wanted to move to another city, make some money or start a family. But now, with some years of reflection behind you, you decide that education is a priority.

There is certainly no rule that says high school is for the young. It isn’t a time in your life so much as it’s an educational process – there for you when you need it.

If you see yourself in any of these common reasons, consider taking the plunge. Research online courses for adults near you and enroll in an online high school to finally get your diploma.

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