There are more options for getting a degree online than ever before, but how do you know if now is the right time to go back to school? There are a few key indicators.

It would help you advance in your career
Many people find they can’t go much farther in their chosen field without a specific degree. Or even if they can, a degree is really helpful as they try to move up the ladder. If you’re exploring a career in Human Resources, you may find that obtaining an HR MBA online is critical to getting your resume noticed. Practical work experience matters a lot, but education is also important. If you’re looking to break into a field with a ton of competition, you’ll probably need a mix of great experience and quality education. No one wants to apply for a promotion only to be told that they don’t have the required degree. If the “Education” field on your resume is lacking, it’s probably time to start looking for a good degree program. While you’re looking, make sure to ask about tuition reimbursement at your workplace. Many companies will pay for all or some of your schooling, especially if it’s in a degree that’s related to your field.

Your home life is relatively stable

It’s incredibly common for people to put off education because of concerns at home. Maybe you have young kids or aging parents to care for. Maybe your spouse is already in school and you need to keep working to provide a stable income for the family. When you decide to go back and finish that degree, you should first make sure that the situation at home is stable enough. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you wait for it to be perfect, you’ll never return to school at all. But if your children are old enough to entertain themselves while you work on your homework, that’s a good sign. If your spouse can take on a few more responsibilities while you’re in school, that’s also a good indicator that the household will keep running while you’re getting your degree. You should be very clear that you’re serious about your education; this isn’t some half-baked idea you came up with on the fly. If you have support from the adults in your family, that’s huge. Your kids may not quite understand what it means to go to school online, but that’s OK. Just tell them that Mom or Dad will be more busy than usual. Hopefully they’ll get it, especially if you reassure them it’s only temporary.

It’s something you’ve always wanted

Ever since you read a book on abnormal psychology in high school, you’ve wanted to go to college to study psychology. Then you find out you can get an undergraduate psychology degree online, and it seems like a sign. It’s easy to put a dream aside because life happens, but when you get the chance to realize a goal, it’s best to jump on it. Sure, it will be hard sometimes, but if you’ve wanted something for a long time, that may be all the motivation you need to get through the hard days and push yourself toward the finish line.