As you get older, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it’s too late to change careers or learn something new. However, the reality is that you’re never too old to pick up a new skill or move into a different field – and this includes going back to college as a mature student.
These days it’s increasingly common for people to study for a degree later in life, whether it’s because they want to switch jobs or purely for personal interest. The prospect of enrolling in a formal education program as an adult may sound intimidating, but you might just find it gives you a whole new lease on life. Read on to find out more about why it’s definitely an option worth considering.
The Benefits of a College Education
Getting a degree at any age can bring you all sorts of advantages in both your career and personal life. These include:
- Greater knowledge of your subject area
- Improved skills in your field
- Better chance of promotion
- Higher earning potential
- A more impressive resume showing commitment to your industry
- The opportunity to broaden your academic and personal horizons
- Improved transferable skills for both work and your personal life
- Networking opportunities with other students, academic staff, and industry contacts
Take a look at the free college chances calculator at campusreel.org to find out where you stand a good chance of acceptance, and get started on your journey towards enjoying these many benefits!
The Advantages of Being a Mature Student
If it’s been a long time since you’ve undertaken any formal education, you might be apprehensive about going to college later in life. Don’t worry, though; mature students are an increasingly common sight on campus, so you won’t feel out of place. In fact, studying for a degree later in life can have several advantages over going to college straight from high school.
Firstly, you will likely have a better idea of what your specific goals are and exactly what you want to achieve during your degree studies. This clarity will help you stay motivated and focused, even during difficult assignments.
Secondly, if you already have a few years of work experience under your belt, you will likely have stronger self-discipline, as well as better organization and time management skills than your younger classmates. These will be hugely advantageous when it comes to juggling the reading and essays for your different modules.
Another advantage of studying later in life is that you probably have a better idea of your own strengths and weaknesses and know the study methods that work best for you. Lastly, the fact that you’re closer in age to your tutors and professors makes it easier to build good relationships with them. You’ll likely feel more confident approaching them with questions and asking for advice, which helps make your experience at college all the more rewarding.
Tips for Balancing Study with Work and Family Life
One factor that can make going to college more difficult for adults is trying to balance your studies with any existing work or family commitments you have. Although it might seem daunting, there are plenty of tips and tricks you can employ to give yourself the best chance of success. Some of the most effective include:
- Choosing a part-time program rather than studying full time to ensure that you still have time for work and family without burning out
Finding online bootcamp and degree programs rather than attending a course on campus to gain greater flexibility over where and when you study.
- Joining a college society for mature students. This will enable you to meet other people who are studying later in life and build a support network
- Working out a study schedule that fits around your existing obligations and sticking to it
- Reading blogs by mature students to get a more accurate idea of what the experience will be like
- Checking whether your current employer offers any schemes that contribute to tuition fees for courses relevant to your job
- Making use of college support services when you need them – it’s what they’re there for!