When it comes to education, there are no time limits or age restrictions. You may have toyed with the prospect of gaining a new skill, furthering your career or returning back to long-term employment through adult education, but have not known where to start – the return to education is understandably a daunting prospect and there is lots on offer.
Our top tips:
- Find out what is available
Research, research, research – look at opportunities available in your area and don’t be afraid to call up colleges, universities and training providers to ask questions. Explain what you are interested in doing and ask what you can expect from the course. It is also important to ask what financial and student support is available to you.
Before enquiring, write out a list of what you believe may hold you back from success on a course. Explain your concerns to the college and whether they offer any support in relation to your issues – you may be surprised at the extent to which they offer provisions to help adult learners thrive.
- Explore your options
It is important to find a subject that is of interest to you and it is also wise to explore what opportunities can arise from you studying or working towards a particular qualification. Can your new qualification allow you access to a new career path, or allow you access to a university?
- Dip your toe in the water
Some colleges and training providers offer short courses which can give you a taste of life when studying as a mature learner. For those who have been out of education for a prolonged period, or those not feeling overly confident, this is a good option to help familiarise yourself with an educational environment, before taking the plunge.
- Be brave
The biggest hurdle many adults face when returning back to education is the fear of the unknown. Picking up the phone, sending an email and submitting an application may seem like huge hurdles, but it is natural to be anxious. Be brave – you will thank yourself for the experience.