Returning to study as a mature age student can offer a number of benefits that traditional post-school pathways don’t.
It could be that you want to study adult learning courses now after never having the chance when you were younger—or you simply want to use adult learning to up-skill and catapult your current career.
Much less common compared to younger counterparts, mature age students often experience trepidation when taking on adult learning courses.
Despite this, those that continue study and take up learning opportunities report better mental well-being, increased life satisfaction, and even better social lives.
Life Experience Counts
Particularly difficult for mature age students to overcome is the ongoing barrage of young graduates entering the workforce with the latest skills. Indeed, that may be why you’re returning to adult training in the first place.
But when it comes to university, your age and life experience may hold more weight than you think.
Entry requirements for mature age students can differ substantially, depending on your learning institution of choice. More likely than not, your years in the workforce can substantially contribute to your study outcomes. You may also need to take a test or undergo an interview.
Drawing on years of real-life experience in managing people, projects and deadlines is one of the most important factors for success in formal education.
During adult education courses, you’ll be faced with the challenges all students address: juggling deadlines, managing social commitments, learning new methodologies and technologies, and branching out to make the most of your time within the campus community.
Although these challenges can feel like they loom over you, you’ll actually be better off than you might think. Drawing on years of real-life experience in managing people, projects and deadlines is one of the most important factors for success in formal education.
You’re Better at Networking
Dedicated adult education courses might cater for a better social experience, however at most institutions, mature age student meetups and study groups give dedicated support for people like you.
However, there is benefit in becoming close to your younger classmates. In fact, many mature age student find unexpected satisfaction in developing friendships with, or mentoring younger students.
It’s important to remember that many of these people may be your future colleagues in industry, or may have contacts that could benefit your career ambitions. Adult learning does not have to mean excluding others from your study experience, but bringing a mature mindset to your advantage.
You Can Be Flexible for Your Success
Perhaps most surprising to many mature age students is the degree of flexibility with modern adult training.
Enrolling in adult education courses later life gives an indication that you know what you want, what you don’t, and how you want to get there.
Quitting your job to study full time is a big decision and can impact your family, so it’s not necessarily the best choice for everyone. The good news is that you can study part-time, defer if life takes an unexpected turn, or take adult learning courses online to fit around your existing commitments.
Nothing is set in stone, meaning you can arrange your adult education courses to suit your preferred lifestyle. Whether this means full-time or part-time study is up to you.
You Have Better Drive
Enrolling in adult education courses later life gives an indication that you know what you want, what you don’t, and how you want to get there. With a good understanding of how you want to apply a new education to the workplace, your drive to succeed will be complemented by clear goal development, time management and preparation.
With a dramatic shift in the numbers of students attending further education, it’s more important than ever to understand your motivations for starting adult training or learning.
Undertaking study at a higher level is not something to be taken lightly, with many young students enrolling in qualifications not suited to their career goals, or enrolling without a clear understanding of what they want to achieve.
Improving your satisfaction with your choice of adult learning course means knowing just what you want to achieve with it, and this comes with experience.