This article is sponsored by Houston Community College.
If you've ever daydreamed about what it would be like to start your own business or enter a new industry -- but perhaps you've hesitated or you had too many reservations -- it's time to give in.
You're having those thoughts for a reason and you should really give them some consideration.
It's never too soon to start thinking about how you might enter a field you're truly passionate about. And on the flip side, it's never too late. Even if you have family obligations or another career on the line, you can still go to school, or go back to school and find a way to fit your dream job scenario into the mix.
Here are some reasons why you should seriously consider it.
You only live once. You should do something you love.
If you take a position you're passionate about or engage in any type of work that you truly love, it won't feel like a job. And it will likely lead to an overall happier life.
For many people, a large portion of our day is spent at work. The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime -- up to a third of your life, according to this research.
It's safe to say your job can make a huge impact on your quality of life.
But if you love it, opportunities can open up, maybe you'll be inspired to apply for that promotion you've always wanted or even open that business. It sets an incredible example for those around you too, especially if you have children. You can show them the sky is the limit.
College doesn't have to be all-encompassing, taking 16 credit hours at a time. You can build classes into your life.
At Houston Community College, for example, the school offers online classes and 21 campuses across the Houston area. You can take classes at your own pace, whether that means you really do want to get in and get out, getting your education as quickly as possible or balance your schooling out with other obligations and commitments. It's all up to you.
Colleges will work with you these days, offering flexible schedules and options.
HCC has a path for anyone, whether it's your first time in college or you'd like to change careers.
The school also has more than 100 programs.
If you're curious, you should see what your options are when it comes to class schedules and how much work would be required. HCC offers degrees and certificates in high-demand fields, such as automotive, oil and gas, energy, public safety, transportation and fashion design -- just to name a few.
The numbers confirm: Getting your degree will always be a worthy investment.
Maybe you're working in a field without a degree or maybe you've just graduated from high school, but you're wondering if college is worth it.
All indications point toward yes.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the pay gap between those with a four-year degree and those with a high school degree is at a record high.
People with a college degree earn a median weekly salary of $1,137, whereas employees with a high school degree average $678.
Going to a community college could be your first step.
Regardless of whether you want to get a new degree, a second degree, upgrade your skills or just get certified, HCC will help you pave the path. Going to school could provide a change of pace or possibly a whole new life.
Worried about tuition? The school offers a discount for those who are ages 55 or older.
Learn more about your options and programs.