Earning an Advanced Degree in your 30s, 40s, or even 50s—Tales of a Non-Traditional Student
There are many reasons the people return to school after years in the workforce. They may be looking to move up in their career, want a change of direction, or want to show their own children that it’s possible to balance work, life, and continuing education.
Going back to school to earn an advanced degree was always in the back of Bahareh Sahebi’s mind. Sahebi is currently a student working toward a Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology at Illinois School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University | Schaumburg. She had a genuine interest in psychology and even earned undergraduate degrees in sociology and psychology. But once she completed her four-year degrees, she entered the working world as a corporate business analyst and project manager.
After years in the business world, she decided to follow her passion for psychology. She went back to school as a non-traditional student and completed a master’s degree. Sahebi continued into Argosy University’s Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology program.
As an older student, the transition was initially difficult—but she quickly found her place thanks to the school’s supportive faculty who helped her to re-adjust to academic life. “One of my biggest challenges throughout graduate school was to find my own place as a student transitioning from a non-traditional academic background and also changing careers,” she said. “One thing I appreciated about the program was the diversity in the student population’s age and previous career backgrounds.”
Sahebi added that she was grateful for faculty members who took the time to get to know her—and other non-traditional students in her class. “The instructors provided opportunities to help me bridge my skills from a previous career into competencies within the program that ultimately helped to enrich my overall experience as both a graduate student and a launching professional,” she said.
Today, Sahebi is working in a two-year residency program as a postdoctoral clinical scholar fellow at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. She works with individuals, families, and couples in a clinical setting. And she encourages others in her position to step outside of their comfort zones—whether it means pursuing a degree as a non-traditional college student or finding the courage to overcome a fear of public speaking. “Ask for feedback and take advantage of the many resources at Argosy University, including tutors to help you refine skills,” she mentioned.
Going back to school after a career in any industry can feel intimidating. But the support non-traditional students receive at Argosy University help them to transition back into the classroom and prepare for a new career. Learn how you can return to school to fulfill your career goals by contacting an admissions representative at Argosy University. You may also take an online classroom tour and see the many program options available in undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate programs.
See ge.argosy.edu/programoffering/797 for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, salary data, alumni success, and other important info .