5 reasons you should invest in yourself

Furthering your education is one valuable way to increase earning potential. While the thought of going back to study may be daunting, it proves to be financially rewarding in the long run.

According to the recent AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report, Smart Australians, it pays for people to invest in their education first and foremost. This research has shown that those with a Postgraduate Degree will earn more than $3.17 million over their lifetime, while a person who went to Year 11 or less will have a projected income of just $1.74 million. Follow these tips to get you started.
Set goals:
Ask yourself what it is you're hoping to achieve in the next phase of your career and how much you want to earn. Do you want to get ahead in your current field or are you looking for a total career change? It's important to set both short term and long term goals. Also investigate whether or not you will need to re-skill to reach these goals.
Do your research:
Find out what job opportunities exist in the current market and what type of skills employers are looking for. There's little financial benefit in investing time and money in further study if it's unlikely to lead to a higher paying job. It's also a good idea to research which courses are most appropriate for the specific roles you're interested in.
Go back to school:
When a person decides to return to study and advance their career, it can be very exciting but also a little overwhelming. There are plenty of ways for older people to improve their qualifications including TAFE courses, Vocational Education Training (VET), university courses, post graduate degrees and online courses.
Employer support:
Some companies offer professional development or tertiary studies assistance programs to help staff improve their qualifications and long term value to the organisation. Some employers will assist with course costs and be flexible if staff need time off to attend lectures.
Draw up a budget:
Many tertiary courses cost thousands of dollars so it's vital for anyone returning to study to create a budget. Work out how much your course will cost and how you're going to pay for it. Those who can't afford to give up full-time work could consider studying part-time. Low interest student loans can be applied for through the Federal Government's HECS-HELP program.
Dianne Charman is an AMP financial planner and mother of two.
Dianne Charman is an Authorised Representative of AMP Financial Planning Pty Ltd, ABN 89 051 208 327, AFS Licence No. 232706. Any advice given is general only and has not taken into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, before acting on any advice, you should consult a financial planner to consider how appropriate the advice is to your objectives, financial situation and needs.
To find your nearest AMP financial planner visit www.amp.com.au/findaplanner.

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