3:12pm Friday 23rd September 2011
The thought of returning to the classroom can be daunting if you’ve been out of education for a while. You might have questions around your ability to understand and retain information at an older age, or you may be concerned about finding the time and money for further study. These are all valid points to consider, but there are also plenty of reasons why going back to school could be the right move at this stage in your life.
Below you will find advice from our training partner Home Learning College on why you might want to consider further study.
A job is no longer for life
Nowadays it’s considered normal to change jobs with relative frequency, which means we all have greater flexibility when it comes to our careers. If you’re feeling bored or unfulfilled by your existing role then you have the power to create positive change and do something more satisfying. Gaining new qualifications is a highly effective way to take the next step in your current line of work or secure an entry level job in a brand new sector.
Professional qualifications are particularly valuable in this respect as they develop practical skills that are in demand in the workplace. Look for courses which are accredited by recognised awarding bodies to ensure that potential employers recognise and value your achievements.
We’re all working longer
For many years the state pension age remained static, at 65 for men and 60 for women. However, recent changes have been implemented to remove this disparity by the end of 2018. Further adjustments are in the pipeline and are likely to see the pension age increase to 66 for men and women by 2020, and potentially up to 68 between 2044 and 2046 – a shift that will affect anyone currently in their mid 30s or younger.
As the length of time we all need to work increases, so does the viability of continuing your development through further study. If you’re going to be working until you’re almost 70 then it makes sense that this should be in a rewarding and fulfilling role. Commit to gaining new skills and you’ll be able to make the most of your potential throughout your professional life.
Mature students are often more successful
We’ve all heard the phrase that education is wasted on the young and, while this may be an exaggeration, it is certainly true that older learners tend to be more focused and achieve better results. This is partly down to having greater control over the subjects they study and partly due to a clearer understanding of the benefits of hard work. Either way, mature students consistently outperform their younger peers, proving that you absolutely can teach an old dog new tricks! Don’t let the fact that you haven’t studies for a while put you off trying something new – you might surprise yourself.
There’s no need to set foot in a classroom
For those who like the idea of acquiring new knowledge and skills, but lack the time or the inclination to attend regular classes, then distance learning is the perfect solution. In this scenario, students are provided with printed or digital course materials, underpinned by tutorial support delivered by phone, email or online.
This form of learning has numerous benefits for mature students. Many courses offer the flexibility to enrol at any time of the year, and the duration is determined by the amount of work completed on a weekly basis. This is ideal for anyone who feels uncomfortable with the idea of going back into a traditional classroom, or who has existing work or family commitments. The social element of starting a new course is replicated via online learning platforms, where students can chat to their tutor and each other, as well as taking part in virtual classes.
In addition to these benefits, research has also shown that distance learning is as effective as, and often superior to, face-to-face instruction. If you’d like to find out more about boosting your career with professional study by distance learning then visit www.homelearningcollege.com.