Most of us associate higher education with students in their late teens and early 20s – fresh out of school and straight onto campus to pursue a degree that they’ve just achieved qualifications for. This isn’t too ludicrous – the majority of students in higher education undergrad schemes do tend to be aged between 18 and 21. However, if you’re considering a return to higher education, it’s absolutely essential that you never doubt your decision. There are huge student bodies of mature students (who are students aged over 21 at the commencement of their studies) and these students receive just as good a quality education as any other students. So, if you’re interested in higher education but are worried that it’s too late to start, brush away negative thoughts as they’ll only inhibit you. This is a journey that you can definitely take steps towards and benefit from in the long run!
Learning Opportunities are Flexible
One thing that often puts mature students off studying is that they may already hold responsibilities. They may have children. They may have pets. They may have mortgages. They may already have jobs. But you should be aware that there are flexible learning opportunities available at most universities that will allow you to maintain your life, uphold your responsibilities and study at the same time! Here are some to consider.
Perhaps the most flexible learning option is an online course. Online courses allow you to engage with distance learning, meaning that you don’t have to be present in lectures or seminars on a campus. Instead of this, you can watch lectures online, skype tutors and lecturers for consultation and communicate with course mates online. It also means you can study with a high quality institution who might not actually be anywhere near where you live. There are plenty of online courses out there, ranging from literature degrees to accredited mba online programs, so no matter what you’re interested in studying, there’s a good chance there’s a good online course out there that you can participate in.
Another option you could consider is part-time study. This allows you to complete your course over a longer period of time. If you’re doing an undergrad course, you can extend it from three to four years to six to eight years. If you’re doing a masters degree, you could extend it from one year to two years. This gives you more time and can mean that you work or take care of your responsibilities around the course, rather than one area of your life impinging on another.
Remember, whatever you end up doing. It’s never too late to head into higher education. You can go straight from college. You can go once you’ve already worked a job. You can go in old age! All you need is the commitment and drive to actually complete the course and gain the qualification.