Want To Get An Education As An Adult? What’s Stopping You?

Getting an education is possible at any age, and yet many adults put off their dreams of returning to school to get the qualifications they need. With so many flexible ways to study nowadays, there’s no reason to give up on education. Here are just some of the excuses that people come up with and why you should never let these excuses get in the way of your dreams.

‘I’m too old to go back to school’

Youth doesn’t give you any advantage when it comes to education. If anything, age can give you experience and a greater sense of motivation which allows you to commit more to your studies when you’re older. So long as you’re still compos mentis enough to take in and remember information, there’s nothing to stop you getting an education right the way up into your 90s.

‘It’s too expensive’

Tuition fees have skyrocketed, but there are still loan options out there for mature students. Alternatively, you could consider looking into company-sponsored courses which are entirely free with the condition that you must work for a certain company afterwards. There are also countries abroad where higher education is free – if you’re prepared to travel, it could help save you money.

‘I have too many commitments’

You can still study whilst looking after children, running a household and working a full-time job. This is thanks to online courses that allow you to study in your own time from home. This means that you don’t have to travel to lectures or seminars, whilst most essays and exams can be completed online too. You’ll still have deadlines to meet, but you work studying into your own schedule despite whatever other responsibilities you may have.

‘Three years is too long’

For those eager to get into their dream career, you needn’t have to sit through three years of studying first. There are now accelerated courses such as this 1 year online MBA program, that can allow you to condense your studies into a year. This can be quite intensive, but for those dedicated to getting an education it easily achievable.

‘Getting a degree doesn’t guarantee you a job’

This is true – just because you get a degree doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be able to get that dream job afterwards. However, it will broaden your options when it comes to jobhunting, allowing you access to careers you might not otherwise have been able to get into. Besides, there are company-sponsored courses that do guarantee you a job at the end (although these are quite competitive to get into).

‘I’m not smart enough’

Succeeding at education isn’t all about having a naturally high IQ. With enough determination, anyone can get an education – it’s all about how you use your mind. Being older, you’ll probably be wiser than when you were younger and you’ll be surprised by how much more easily you pick things up. Besides, most people aren’t able to get an education when they’re young not because they’re not intelligent enough, but because they’re not focused or motivated enough by education – by pursuing an education voluntarily, you’re certain to be more motivated.

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36 thoughts

  1. My wife worked hard and got her Master’s Degree in Education through University of Phoenix online a few years ago. It was awesome to see her accomplish that in a year and a half! She has been a teacher at our kid’s school for several years now and all that hard work really paid off! You are right, we are never too old to learn and make positive moves in life! God bless you!

  2. There are also ways to self-educate, as Ray Bradbury did out of a public library (George Bernard Shaw did so out of a museum). Both became famous writers/critics. The only obstacle to education is oneself… Nowadays, with internet, there are online university classes; also, e-books from the likes of Project Gutenberg. All of the above are either free of charge or minimal pay.

  3. I don’t do a full-blown educational training (already have this – different system here).
    But I do make sure to attend at least on class a year to keep my brain active and to broaden my horizon. At the moment I’m attending a pottery class. I also enjoyed the First Aid and Gimp classes.
    Every little town here has adult education centers offering a lot of reasonably priced classes.

    So, even if you really don’t want to go for an education, there are still options for advanced training. You are rigth, Ula. No excuses 🙂

  4. I totally agree, Ula, it is never too late to learn. Even when one is not working anymore, it is important to keep the brain working. If nothing else, learn a new language, or about the history of your own country … 😉

  5. Nothing stopped me. At 35 I enroled in an educational facility. The first year I completed a Science Technician Course. Then over the next 3 years I completed a Certificate in Comprehensive Nursing which enabled me to work as a Registered Nurse in General, Psychiatry, and Pyschopeadic Nursing.

  6. I agree that it is never too late. I, speaking from your younger audience, am taking part in my education at this minute. I want to make the most of being in school, and I am trying my best to, because I don’t want it to be wasted when it’s ‘free’. It is compulsory to go to school from 5-14 in England. I am so glad that I am going to school! Even though my school is not very good I do lots at home to make up for it.
    And online courses help. I know someone who took in higher education courses like art and philosophy when they wanted to be a doctor. So they went back into an education and did biology, chemistry and are now earning really well.
    So you don’t really have to stress about choosing your job as soon as you enter high school. Education is always out there.
    I would like to make school compulsory for all countries, all genders.
    Thank you for the very informative post!

    Erin xo | http://kittyjadeblog.com

  7. When I figure out who and what I want to be when I grow up, I will decide what avenue to pursue as a learning path. I would think I would have had an answer by now.
    It is great that you promote the endeavor. Great post.

  8. Great advice! I love to learn. I just recently trained to be a Life and Executive Coach and teach the psychological and spiritual Enneagram tool. I have changed the focus of my career in my mid 50’s.

  9. Thank you for this post! I enjoy working with students who are returning to finish their degree or start another, and I know that the thoughts you listed are always on their minds. Adult learners tend to be the most successful students as they have experience in the workforce that complements their studies. Great work.

  10. One of the best things about the internet is knowledge is available to everyone pretty much for free. People just have to do a little research to find what they want to learn.

  11. Fantastic ideas. I myself went to college, dropped out, then returned to complete. As many adults, I also take the time to read and brush up on past learnings, also finding something new here and there. I would like to add that everything we do in life is a learning experience. As a kid, watching catepillars making cocoons, digging under rocks and taking some creatures home while avoiding my mother’s awareness (hah…), and digging through dumpsters with my friends to make bikes out of parts we found…. My sister cooking with my mother, which I wanted to be a part of, but I was too messy, so I ventured outside. Everything in the home is an opportunity. Certainly, we don’t want to intellectualize everything, but kids starting lemonade stands or buying and selling stuff they find at garage sales, learning about the marketplace. Talks. It’s in everything. I mention all of this because if you don’t have the time or resources to enter universities, or you have other ideas, explore and wonder. When you wonder, it begs answers. Then the search is on, and understanding grows. I love that people are encouraging others in these ways.

  12. It’s extremely important that people understand age is not a deterrent to growth! I wasted time thinking, feeling, speaking as if I was too old to accomplish certain things. Then one day I woke up and came to the laughable realization that I am not even close to the definition of old, in my mind or anyone else’s!
    Motivation and determination comes from all places. Some people may grow up with education as a precursor to rest of their life because higher education is available to them and its woven within there families thread. While other come from families with no access to education (I say this lightly because I now believe that the access is there for all) like myself and therefore believe that it is not acheiveable. My motivation came when my goal changed; become the first Master’s educated male in my family, regardless of age.
    For some education may not seem as important if they know their career path. But for me it is a self-discovery journey more than a financial mission.
    I wish you all happy hunting in life and in education.

  13. Education is happening all around us, whether we take a good look, wonder, and make use of opportunities. I can’t say enough about what you wrote as well as the topic. Life often bogs us down in learning, responsibilities (some necessary, some outwardly created), and worries, bringing people to walk with their heads down or wrapped up with their iphones. I encourage people to walk with their heads up, viewing the world around them, and you might be surprised what you learn when not lost in thoughts: a whole world of learning. By the way, being aware and looking around has saved my skin a couple of times when I discovered someone tracking me (Mugging potential?). Another advantage. But you also learn about human behavior not to mention any wildlife you happen by.

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