Many people hold the misconception that learning is for the young. Some people think the idea of ‘adult education’ only applies to people who didn’t get their qualifications the first time around. This is a load of rubbish.
Adults engage in learning all the time and for a range of reasons. Some adults educate themselves in new areas for better job opportunities or a new career path. Some want to build new social circles. And some learn simply because they’re not over the hill yet. Why should anyone ever stop learning?
In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons adults should continue to learn new skills, and the benefits and outcomes of learning in adulthood.
1. Greater career opportunities
One of the most common reasons for adults to learn new skills is to rise up in their current career or to qualify themselves to do something new. After all, it’s optimistic to think the first job someone takes at eighteen is still going to be right for them at fifty-two. As time goes by, our personalities change, as do our desires, our habits, and our lifestyles. Retraining as an adult is a chance for a second lease of enthusiasm and another shot at a fulfilling career – because it’s never too late to chase that dream job.
2. A better income
On the other hand, some people land on their feet and are happy in their jobs in the long-term. However, once you’ve been in one place a while, you might start to feel your salary doesn’t reflect your years of experience and dedication. Adding another qualification or a few new skills to your credentials can help you negotiate a raise with the higher-ups.
3. Better mental wellbeing
Numerous studies show that adult learning benefits us mentally – both in emotional and physical terms. For example, a 2011 report from the Mental Health Foundation found that adult learners are more likely to ward off loneliness, anxiety, depression, and later in life, even dementia. In addition, those who learn as adults are more sociable and employable. In short, learning in adulthood is good for you.
4. New social circles
Taking a class or course – either formally or informally – brings you in touch with new people who share a common interest. Self-guided learning (i.e. learning nobody says you have to do) is a great opportunity for adults to build relationships and keep their social life buzzing. Even highly professional groups tend to enjoy the social side of learning. Pub, anyone?
5. Improved self-esteem
Even after just a few years out of school or university, we can quickly find ourselves losing that feeling of accomplishment. Exam success can seem like a lifetime ago and that sense of pride dulls. Adult learning gives us the chance to prove ourselves once again. Not just to others, but to ourselves. Knowing we’ve got the ability to learn, and getting some new tricks up our sleeves, helps us stay confident in the workplace and in our personal lives.
6. Experience the changes in education
Finally, education changes all the time. Back when I was studying, learning meant taking a book out the library or sitting in front of that one smart whiteboard in the science classroom. Nowadays, there are online multiple questions, role-play, simulations, and even VR. It’s an entirely new experience. And for some of us, the idea of learning becomes more inspiring when we consider the new technologies and techniques that are now in the classroom. It might even be (dare we say it?)…fun.
Become an adult learner
At Brooks and Kirk, we’re all about further education. We help those working in vocational fields to keep their skills sharp and stay ahead of the game. Whether this is complete retraining as an Assessor through our CAVA course, or simply keeping your knowledge fresh through a top-up qualification such as UPPA, we’re here to give adults options.
Get in touch with Brooks and Kirk today to find out more.