The saying is that people grow wiser as they age, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they have more knowledge. Real life experiences – those which can’t be learned in a classroom setting – are a contributing factor to the wisdom of older adults. This wisdom can play a huge role in the careers of working professionals. However, sometimes more is needed – and that’s where knowledge comes into play, especially at an older age.
It used to be that once people started their careers, they used the knowledge they learned in college or high school to carry them through until retirement. They also often worked at the same place their entire life. And when they needed to learn something, they connected with a coworker or figured it out themselves. Now working adults are discovering the benefits of returning to school for a class or to earn another degree, providing them with the knowledge they need to perform well in their careers. Online degree programs are making this process much easier because they allow students to continue working full-time while also furthering their learning.
Schools like Ashford University, see a lot of working adults enrolling in degree programs. There are various reasons including:
1) Learning side by side with younger students
In an online university program, it’s easy for older adults to blend into a class with younger students. The online discussions offered through Ashford University’s mobile app for smartphones and tablets are a benefit for everyone in the setting because of the various points of view presented. Working adults interested in fresh thoughts from recent high school graduates can get a new perspective on what’s trending for today’s youths. There’s no other place working adults can glean these viewpoints while also gaining new knowledge in the degree path they’ve chosen.
In addition, younger students have an energy that’s contagious. They’re ready to absorb new information and eager to discuss how this information can benefit them in their future careers. Working professionals are able to share stories about experiences they’ve had in their careers. Not only does this help the younger students, but it also allows the older student to be a teacher in a way; the best way to learn something, after all, is to teach it to another person. The excitement and energy younger students bring to a classroom setting is very contagious, and students returning to school at a later point in life love blending that enthusiasm with their wisdom to approach their next chapter in life with ambition.
2) New knowledge
Whether a person has a business degree and is working in a nonprofit setting or works as a special education teacher in an elementary school, there is always a need for new knowledge in any industry. An online degree program gives working adults the flexibility to juggle busy work schedules and family life. Those pursuing a new or advanced degree will be adding knowledgeable resources to their career network in the form of professors and fellow students. They can use this information to better perform in their profession, maybe expand the services your company offers or create a new process to make the company more efficient.
3) Career advancement
When an employee doesn’t have the opportunity to advance in a company or is held back due to a lack of knowledge, returning to school can create opportunities. Some students choose to enroll so they can finally earn the degree they never finished. Since some schools, like Ashford University, accept college credits from other universities, working adults don’t necessarily have to retake courses. In addition, they are able to finish their degree programs, allowing them to pursue the career advancement they hope to achieve in a timely manner. Working adults can also often sign up for an advanced degree program with the intent of applying for a promotion at work or for advanced career jobs with other companies.
4) Career change
For many working adults, the need to return to the college classroom at an older age is caused by an interest in pursuing a new career. For students fresh out of high school, choosing a career path may seem easy. Pick a degree in an area of interest, earn the degree, and then find a job where the degree is put to use. However, after several years of working in the industry, many people have a better knowledge of themselves and their interests, and many discover a different career path they want to take; this new path often requires a new degree. This is very common. Each year, more than 2 million working adults will return to school, and for many, they’re looking for a career change.
When changing careers, the opportunity to blend what a person already knows with a new degree can create many new career opportunities. Not only can one apply for jobs in the first degree field as well as jobs posted for the new degree, but he or she might also be able to find job postings that require knowledge in both degree fields, making you a strong candidate for those openings.
5) Personal achievement
Earning a degree is a huge accomplishment, and students take classes every year to accomplish this feat. They’re doing it for themselves and their families. They’re doing it to show that they achieved something and maybe even show they’ve managed to overcome life’s struggles along the way. For military veterans, grandparents wanting to keep their brains active, and even 40-year-old adults who never earned a degree but want to set an example for their children, online universities have plenty of programs to help them reach their goals.
It’s never too late in life to take a class or earn a degree. For increasing personal knowledge, giving oneself a platform to try and advance a career, or just to keep one’s brain sharp and focused, using an online university to take classes with students of all ages is the way to go.