Many of us believe that education is a privilege that should not be reserved solely for children and teenagers. It should be a lifelong journey which should continue well into adulthood and beyond, allowing everybody to achieve their own personal goals.
So often at school age, people are not sure what they want to do ‘when they are a grown-up’, or how they plan to get there. For many people, making such a significant decision at a young age is entirely out of the question. There may be other factors involved; becoming a parent at a young age, the need to go out and get a job as soon as possible or lack of resources. This is why it is essential that adult education courses are readily available once people are ready to make that choice. If you are on the fence about going back into education, check out the rest of this article and find out ten reasons why we think you should consider it.
Adult education allows us to keep up with the changes in the world
Since the dawn of technology, the world has been undergoing a rapid transformation, with things changing on an almost daily basis. How we work, communicate, travel and even study have all been changed forever. If we are to continue living independent, productive and fulfilling lives, it is essential to keep up with these developments. This is where adult education can come in handy. Keeping up with the advances in the world and gaining a better understanding of issues surrounding things such as history, race, gender, sexuality, politics, and religion will make more a better and more in tune and harmonious society. In fact, those who leave their views and beliefs in the past can often be seen as a barrier to progress.
Adult education helps us keep up with the changes in ourselves
Throughout our lives, our minds, bodies, and circumstances are continually changing. Very few of us are the same people we were as fifteen-year-olds. For many people this means their interests and passions differ; for some, it may mean that their financial situation takes a turn; and for other people, it may mean an injury or a change in health. In any case, as things move on, it is good to be one step (or more!) ahead. Someone who started their career in one industry may long for a change, while another, who grew up with plenty of money, may find that they require extra income due to a change of circumstance.
Adult learning courses make all of this possible. The availability of such an education makes it much easier for us to follow our minds and achieve our very best. In previous times, education meant going to a physical classroom and learning there, but we are priviledged enough to now have access to information literally at our fingertips. For many, distance or online courses, such as an online bachelors degree in organizational leadership are easily accessible and make the difference between being able to continue their education or not.
Adult education is essential for retraining.
As the world changes and technology advances, many jobs that used to exist are sadly no longer necessary. For many industries and trades, this shows no sign of slowing down; in fact, positions such as checkout assistants are already on their way out thanks to self-service machines. Fortunately, adult education provides these individuals with other choices. Having the option to retrain quickly and efficiently will be beneficial to the lives of many adults in the future. Adult college courses are also essential for individuals who simply do not like their current role and want to embark on a new path, or find that they need something else to suit their new circumstances.
Learning keeps the mind active
There have been numerous studies to prove that keeping an active mind can benefit your health. Those who put their brain to use regularly often find themselves benefiting from better memory, sharper reactions and a greater attention span in their old age. Keeping the mind active certainly does not have to be difficult either. Things like learning a new language, mastering a new skill or even something as simple as filling in a Sudoku puzzle or crossword can have numerous mental benefits. Exercising the mind is just as important as exercising the body.
Learning keeps you socially active.
People who open themselves up to new learning experiences often find themselves involved in more social experiences, which is important to prevent loneliness and isolation, especially as we get older. This is linked to the above point of keeping our mind active – isolation and loneliness are linked to numerous mental health conditions, so taking steps to prevent this is always going to be a good thing. Developing new skills also adds a new layer of interest to a person’s life. People with strong interests and passions are likely to gravitate towards others with similar interests and create healthy and long lasting friendships. These people, who are surrounded by friends and interests, are also expected to benefit from feeling more confident and outgoing.
Education enhances a person’s creativity
It is believed that the more a person knows, the more creative they can be. If an individual has more knowledge in particular areas, then it is likely that they can come up with innovative solutions to problems in those areas. Therefore, it’s only fair to say that continuing education into adulthood helps people to think more creatively.
Further education sets an excellent example for future generations
So often, children in the Western world see education as a finite chore rather than a privilege, which ends the minute they leave school and graduate. However, if children were to witness their parents, guardians or role models embarking on continued educational journeys, they would likely begin to see learning as a regular part of life that benefits them in many areas. Widely available adult education could work to provide young people with a much more positive attitude towards learning and education, helping them to view it as an exciting privilege rather than a necessity. In addition to this, a more educated and motivated adult population is likely to pass on better values, sturdier morals and a stronger work ethic to future generations, which is always a good thing!
Adult education gives people a second chance.
As we mentioned above, many people did not manage to finish their school or college education to the standard that they may have wanted for many reasons. Choosing to start a family, coping with illness, or managing finances can all get in the way of a person’s educational goals. However, just because certain people have had to put their education on hold, it doesn’t mean they are not entitled to it. Re-entering education should be made possible for anyone who wants to, regardless of their financial or emotional constraints, which is why online and distance learning is a good thing. These allow people not to be shut out of education because of childcare or other caring responsibilities or other reasons that may prevent them from attending a physical site. It usually offers more flexibility than a regular college course.
We are living much longer.
These days, we are living much longer than we were in the past. This means that people can remain in employment for longer as the retirement age has increased, especially with old age pensions being reduced or cut. Nowadays people spend a large percentage of their time at work. This means that if someone does not like their job, they could find themselves feeling unhappy at work for a long time – well into their 70’s or even 80’s. This could lead to mental health issues such as stress, boredom, anxiety, and depression, so it is vital for adults to feel like there are other options available to them. Easily accessible adult education means that people in these positions can access courses and training to help them build the life they want for themselves.
Adult learning is beneficial for the economy
The more educated and productive people we have in the country, the better the economy. Of course, we will always need a plethora of unskilled workers, but with the development of technology, many of these jobs will become obsolete, as we mentioned above. If our workforce is made up of individuals with an array of advanced skills, then we will be better fit to deal with the country’s problems and in a much stronger position to develop creative solutions. Also, those with qualifications and skills are more likely to find work. This, in turn, will benefit the economy by reducing pressure on the welfare system. The lower the unemployment rate, the more money the country has to invest in other things. They will also have more money to spend in the economy, generating valuable income for the country.
So, if you are hesitant about returning to the world of education, don’t be. It won’t only benefit you but will benefit future generations and our society as a whole.