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Online Study – Why it’s Never Too Late to Continue Your Education

Online Study Courses

Some say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.  That once you reach a certain age, your formal education is behind you and returning to your studies just isn’t the done thing.

But then again, pretty much everyone in the world once thought that the Earth was flat…people don’t always know what they’re talking about!

Right now, tens of millions of adults of all ages spanning are exploring a world of incredible distance learning opportunities.  In fact, research suggests that by the end of the current decade, more than 50% of all classes being taken worldwide will fall under the online learning bracket. Why?  For a multitude of reasons - not least of which being enhanced access to reliable Internet connections

Over and above this however, there is the way in which more adults than ever before are coming to the same realization;

A job is no longer for life.

Generation Job-Switch

These days, changing jobs on a relatively regular basis is considered perfectly normal.  Most people enjoy greater flexibility and scope than ever before when it comes to their careers, enabling them to pursue something they find genuinely fulfilling and rewarding.  Distance learning opportunities allow anyone wishing to do so to either further their knowledge and understanding of a subject relevant to their profession, or begin mastering something entirely new from scratch.

Not only this, but employers universally value these kinds of demonstrated commitments to your continuous personal development.  Simply by embarking on an online study program at any time, you make it clear that you value your ongoing improvement.

Longer Working Lives

For quite some time, the standard state pension age in the United Kingdom remained static – 60 for women, 65 for men.  More recently however, the government has implemented legislative changes which by the end of 2018 will see this disparity removed.  In addition, it is generally expected that the standard state pension age for both genders will be increased to 66 by 2020, followed by a further increased to 68 by 2045.

It may all seem like far off future talk, but will nonetheless have a direct impact on most people in their mid-30s or younger right now.  As the general population slowly moves toward a much longer working life, the viability and importance of seeking additional study opportunities increases likewise.  The longer you’re working life, the more important it is that the career you choose is suitably fulfilling.

Mature Students Are Often More Successful

Contrary to popular belief, those who may not have set foot in a classroom for decades often succeed in education with greater ease than their younger counterparts.  It’s assumed that building new skills and obtaining qualifications as a mature student is much more difficult – the reality pointing to quite the opposite.

Which when you think about it makes perfect sense. 

First of all, mature students choose to continue their education because they want to – not because it is simply an expectation or the standard way of doing things.  Not only this, but when you return to your education as an adult, chances are you will only ever select a subject or specialism you are genuinely interested in.  On top of all this, mature students tend to be much more disciplined when it comes to things like time management, punctuality and personal scheduling.  Bringing it all together, it’s hardly surprising that mature students routinely outperform younger students in terms of success rates.

High Quality Education

In terms of value, the days of online education and distance learning qualifications being snubbed employers are over.  According to the results of a recent survey by eLearners, no less than 73% of organisations believe that online programs are every bit as credible as standard university courses.  In addition, 87% said that perspectives on the quality of online education had changed radically over the preceding five years.

To select a high quality distance learning provider is to gain access to equally high quality course content and educational materials, as would be provided in any university setting.  Not only this, but the assumption that distance learning means sacrificing essential tutor-student interaction is also entirely misguided.  Any decent distance learning service provider currently in business will offer full tutor support as standard for each and every candidate – experienced professionals selected in accordance with their specialist subject.

Total Flexibility

Last up, while most fully understand the concept and benefits of creating your own study schedule, the subject of deadlines and time limits is one of much confusion.  In certain instances – some online degree programs for example – it will always be necessary to complete assignments within a specific time frame.  Nevertheless, the vast majority of distance learning programs run these days offer comprehensive flexibility.  Along with studying when, where and how suits the candidate best, there are absolutely no time limits or deadlines imposed.

Which is precisely why one of the primary motivators behind choosing to study online is being able to fit high quality education in with existing commitments.  Realistically, there is no such thing as a lifestyle too busy or hectic to accommodate a distance learning program.  Research from College Atlas suggests that no less than 60% of students involved in online courses are employed full-time – 46% of whom enrolled to help their future career progression.

The Takeaway…

There’s really only one primary lesson to be learned from all of this – phrases like “if only I was younger” or “I’m too old to…” simply no longer apply.  The evolution of distance-learning over the past decade has been nothing short of spectacular. 

From course quality to accessibility to affordability to diversity to value in the eyes of employers, it could be that everything you think you know about distance learning is long overdue a rethink.