As children and teenagers, we are surrounded by opportunities to develop, train and further our education, as we grow older we would expect that the opportunities would become much more limited. This doesn't seem to be the case anymore though, with platforms such as the internet, university courses and adult education centres, there are plenty of ways adults can 'go back to school'. Even the celebrities are doing it, ex presenter Kate Thornton recently enrolled on a three-year course in counselling1. There are lots of fun courses out there too, whether it be photography, cookery, art or something else you are passionate about, there are numerous ways in which you can explore a hobby further. Is adult education worth the hassle? We've explored the myths and benefits.
adult education myths
'continuing education is only for really intelligent people' – false, as adults we don't have to rely on how intelligent we are to be good academically, we can draw upon our foundation of knowledge and life experiences instead.
'I'm too old to go back to education'– false, we are continuously learning, even years after leaving the classroom - so what's to stop us from advancing our abilities in adulthood? Some could say we are in a better position to learn when we are older because we are mature enough to appreciate it's true benefit.
'it's too time consuming' – it is true of course that some courses are very time dependent, but this is is not always the case, there are plenty of night classes and online courses where you can fit learning around other commitments without having to sacrifice your job.
benefits of going back to school
personal learning – want to fulfill a personal goal? Many people participate in adult learning for enjoyment and are driven by the desire for personal fulfillment, it can also boost confidence and aid better development in a career field. You can research all sorts of courses by using the national career service search service.
increase earning potential – Having qualifications in a specific area can make you more marketable to employers and may also push you into a higher salary bracket.
making the most out of unemployment – Unemployment can be painful but it might open up doors to the career change you've always wanted. Taking a course in an area of interest may be the kick start you need to pursue your ambitions. Research undertaken by the careers advice service shows that 46% of 50-plus adults in the UK say they are not too old to find their dream job and start a new career.2