A Guide To Studying In Later Life.

by Jada, May 22, 2015
There are various reasons why we may want to study in later life and I am using the term later life very broadly here, if we haven't picked up a text book in a good few years we are all classed as ‘mature students’ on our return to academia. We may want to better our job prospects, it may be an attempt to jump-start our brain (especially if, like many mums, we have succumbed to ‘baby brain’) or we may just have a thirst for knowledge. The internet has opened up many opportunities to study from home and there are more and more institutions with departments dedicated to further education. Here are some of the ways that you can get your learning back on.
Study at Home
The most famous and well established home study organisation has to be The Open University. The online service offers a broad selection of courses from Health and Social Care to Design and Innovation. The arrangement is largely down to your own motivation but you also have tutors assigned who can guide you with online seminars and phone calls.

Study at Work
A lot of workers have certain rights to take time off for training or study. The best employers will welcome this as it will develop their staff and allow them to better themselves. There are details for those who are entitled to time off for training on the government website here. It is no mean feat to study while working in a full time role but I can be well worth it in the long run and will open you up to promotions and more senior positions elsewhere (but don’t tell your current employer that!).

Evening Classes
A good way to seek out further education is to look at the evening classes programme at your local college or university. A quick Google search for evening classes should bring up a list of lots of evening classes in your locality. It is a fantastic, sociable way to learn and you benefit from the teacher interaction.

Free Online Courses
Over the past few years there has been an explosion of free online courses from universities and specialist companies. Coursera are one of the prominent course providers bringing in free from a variety of sources from around the world. Many of these courses come with real qualifications which you can put on your CV and will be recognised by employers – although if this is your aim you should check with the provider before you invest your time in the course.

Post-graduate Study
The option which is perhaps most guaranteed you to get good results, if you already have an undergraduate degree is to go back to university as a postgraduate student. This way you get to take part in seminars, experience lectures, be in the university environment and even live in the plush student accommodation like that provided by Urbanest.

I would recommend further study for the reasons I outlined above. It is also easier than ever to take part in such studies. So, good luck and enjoy the learning!

Until next time,
Jada x
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