Learning doesn’t stop once you’ve finished high school or college. For adults, continuing their education can open the door to new professional and personal opportunities. Whether taking classes to improve job skills, furthering a degree, or even just picking up a new hobby, adult education can help individuals unlock their potential and take advantage of life-changing experiences. In this article, I discuss the positive aspects of pursuing higher education as an adult, as well as some of the most common barriers which can be overcome and finally, a few motivating words if you are dreaming of undertaking adult education but lacking the courage to take the first step.
As someone who returned to higher education to study psychology, this is a topic I am passionate about, and I fully understand the sacrifice it takes to make it happen. I am not going to say it will be easy, but success awaits you after a time of hard work, and the opportunity to grow as an individual outside your usual function is significant.
One significant benefit of pursuing adult education is that it can create career advancement opportunities. With the modern economy changing constantly and technology rapidly evolving, staying ahead of the curve by continuing your education through online courses or seminars can give you an edge in the competitive job market. If you can demonstrate knowledge in specialised areas like coding or data analysis – skills that are increasingly in demand – employers will be more likely to hire people with relevant qualifications. Moreover, adult learning programs often offer apprenticeships that allow individuals to gain real-world experience while developing the necessary skills for their chosen field.
Another advantage of choosing adult education is that it allows people to explore different interests without committing long-term resources such as money or time. Many courses today offer shorter duration programs that require minimal financial investment but still provide valuable information on a wide range of topics, from business management and computer programming to music theory and philosophy. Such options allow adults who may not have the means for lengthy academic pursuits access to educational materials they wouldn’t usually have, offering them an exciting opportunity for personal growth and discovery.
Additionally, adult learning provides individuals with a chance for social engagement within their community and with other learners from diverse backgrounds who share similar interests, making these programs perfect for those looking for intellectual stimulation outside of traditional learning environments such as universities or colleges. The ability to learn from experienced professionals and interact with peers who may come from various walks of life makes these courses enriching experiences where participants become part of something larger than themselves – ultimately leading them down paths they never knew existed.
Education helps develop personal, professional and economic skills that people can use to improve their lives and the lives of those around them. However, there are often barriers preventing adults from pursuing further education.
Adult learning has become increasingly more accessible due to technological advancements allowing people all over the globe access quality educational materials at any time, day or night; however, there are still some valid reasons why some people may feel further education is beyond their reach, which we will explore.
“Returning to higher education as an adult can be a daunting and challenging experience, but it is also one of the most rewarding and empowering things you can do. It is never too late to learn new skills, develop yourself, and gain wisdom. The obstacles may seem intimidating at first, but by pushing through them, you will find that they are only small steps towards achieving great success!”— Rose Stark
Financial constraints are significant barriers to pursuing adult education. For many adults struggling to make ends meet, tuition fees, books, and other educational materials can be prohibitively expensive. To help overcome this barrier, some governments provide subsidies and grants to cover the costs associated with adult education programs for low-income earners. Additionally, approaching your employer with the benefits of supporting you to upskill could result in tuition reimbursement or discounts on educational materials. Some employers already offer these incentives to employees seeking further education opportunities.
Lack Of Time
Many adults have limited free time outside their jobs due to family obligations or other commitments such as childcare or eldercare needs, making it challenging to find time to attend classes. To address this issue, employers could offer flexible work hours so that employees have more time available for studying in addition to working during regular office hours. Depending on your type of job, it would be worthwhile to ask your employer. Alternatively, many educational institutions now offer online courses, allowing students flexibility when accessing course material and completing assignments at times most convenient.
Low self-confidence is another major obstacle facing many adult learners who may feel embarrassed about returning to school after being away from formal learning environments for an extended time. Such individuals may also lack confidence in their abilities due to negative past experiences in school or work-related settings. To boost confidence levels, universities often implement mentorship programs where experienced professionals and advanced students mentor new adult learners so that students can gain advice on how best to approach learning tasks and emotional support throughout their studies. Additionally, peer support networks within universities can provide a sense of community where students can share experiences, ask questions and get feedback from others who are going through similar challenges while studying.
Despite the obstacles faced by adult learners, such as financial constraints, lack of time, and low self-confidence, there often exist viable solutions which, if appropriately implemented, can go a long way towards making higher education more accessible to all members of society regardless of age, gender or socio-economic status.
So now the big question is, do you dream of undertaking adult education but need more courage to take the first step? Are you looking for some inspiring words that will motivate your journey? If so, keep reading, and you may find some helpful information to ignite your passion for learning and give you the courage to pursue your dreams.
One of the most motivating phrases to remember when pursuing adult education is “never too late.” This phrase implies that no matter how old or young we are, it’s never too late to learn something new. This idea can be empowering because it allows us to recognise our potential and encourages us not to give up on our dreams, even if they may seem impossible initially. Furthermore, this phrase also reminds us that age should not limit our ability or desire to learn something new.
Another inspirational view is “no limits”, which emphasises that there are no boundaries when achieving success in life. This phrase encourages us in terms of educational pursuits and other areas, such as career goals, relationships and personal growth. It reminds us that we have a higher opportunity for success if we put our minds towards it and work hard enough for it, thus motivating us further to take the initiative when trying different paths in life.
Finally, another powerful message associated with adult education is “you can do it”, which conveys a strong message about ignoring the negative stories we tell ourselves that can keep us from achieving big things. I am not a massive fan of the “believe in yourself” movement, and I will cover why in another post sometime. Still, I do know that if you look back on all the things you have achieved in your life and any obstacles you may have faced along the way, you’ll have more than enough proof that you have what it takes to make this dream a reality, all of those skills are transferrable. So, it allows us to acknowledge our capabilities while reminding us at the same time that nothing should stand between achieving what we want out of life – regardless of age or circumstance – if only we remember where we have been and put maximum effort towards realising those goals.
In conclusion, these three ideas serve as reminders geared towards helping to gain inspiration and motivation when pursuing your dreams via adult education and no matter how difficult those paths may seem initially, especially when self-doubt creeps up on you due to discouragement from others or internal uncertainties you might possess. By keeping these three phrases close by – one can push themselves better than ever before into embarking on their journeys to fulfilling their particular educational aspirations!
One last thing:
In the Personal Statement for my application to attend university as a mature-age student, after outlining the historical barriers that had prevented me from succeeding at school previously, these were the closing lines:
“I have since become much more resilient, resourceful and capable of overcoming any challenge. Having reached the right point in life, I feel confident in my ability to approach my studies with maturity, attention and dedication.”— Rose
My acceptance letter arrived three days later. I am no more special than you or anyone else, and you can do this. One life. Go for it.