Going Back To School: A Guide For Mature Age Students (2024)

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Going back to school as a mature age student is, for some, a daunting thought! Not only do you now have other professional and personal commitments to juggle, but you are likely considerably more time-poor than when you completed your undergraduate studies.

Despite this, returning to study later in life has a multitude of benefits – both in terms of advancing your career and also, for your personal growth.

So, for our comprehensive guide to going back to school as a mature age student, just keep reading!

Which Degree is for Me: The Best and Most Popular Courses for Mature Age Students

Mature Age Students
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If you’re considering going back to school as a mature-age student, you may well be asking yourself which degree you should enroll in!

Of course, the degree you choose to enroll yourself in is completely dependent on your career goals, as well as your interests, and personal objectives.

Irrespective of which degree or qualification you choose to complete, however, pursuing a higher education is always a good idea, as it can help you further propel your career, attain that coveted promotion, or even, change industries completely.

If you’re looking to change to a new and emerging industry that is rapidly flourishing today, you may like to consider completing an online master’s in cyber security.

Alternatively, other areas that are growing exponentially lie in the industries of digital marketing and search engine optimization, as well as the fields of data science and business analytics.

Needless to say, with so many courses and degrees out there, the choice is quite literally yours to make! It certainly pays to research the courses available for you to complete, as well as the top universities to enroll at.

Importantly, the quality of your education can vary depending on the academic institution you select. Our tip? Take a look at some independent reviews of the best universities. You can also find forums online dedicated to discussing firsthand which universities offer the best study experience,

Speaking of the online space, as a mature-age student, you also have the choice of completing your qualification either on-campus or remotely. Of course, to be able to study remotely, you need to have digital access to the course materials and resources.

These will usually be located within an online portal – often referred to as the university intranet. You will also need access to video conferencing software to attend online classes.

Why Should I Go Back To School: The Benefits of Higher Education for Mature Age Students

So, why should you go back to school as a mature-age student?

As discussed earlier, completing a higher qualification can help you change industries, or even, level up your existing career. You might even finally get that promotion you’ve had your eye on!

Indeed, going back to school later in life brings with it a multitude of benefits.

These include:

Upskilling, Refreshing, and Building on Your Existing Experience

Team of young happy freelances brainstorming during business meeting in the office.
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Let’s be honest, if you got your degree in the 1990s or even early 2000s, your qualifications could be out of date!

This is especially true given today’s continual advancements in the areas of digital technology and communication. Sadly, with the rapid improvement of these technologies, your own learnings could soon be obsolete!

Fortunately, by completing further studies, you have the opportunity to refresh your skillset and build on your existing knowledge and experience.

Becoming a More Competitive Job Candidate

Getting a job is becoming more and more competitive today! With an increasing number of qualified candidates looking for work, the job marketplace is flooded with an abundance of deserving job seekers.

Further, many of these candidates already possess an undergraduate degree. Completing a higher qualification will give you a competitive edge, and help you stand out from the competition!

Making the Move to a New Career Pathway or Industry

When you’re looking to change careers, often, you’ll need to complete further studies. This is especially true if your new profession requires you to possess a specific qualification.

Even if it doesn’t, becoming qualified in the area or industry you seek to move to can help you change careers. If nothing else, you will also gain new skills and knowledge by completing a further qualification.

Financial Considerations

Returning to school as a mature-age student requires thoughtful financial planning. Tuition fees, textbooks, and living expenses can add up.

Investigate scholarships, grants, or financial aid opportunities specifically designed for mature students. Part-time work while studying is another option to supplement income.

Be sure to create a budget, explore affordable textbook alternatives, and consider the long-term return on investment in terms of future career prospects.

Time Management Strategies

Time Management Strategies Mature Students
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Effective time management is essential when juggling studies, work, and personal life. Create a detailed schedule that allocates dedicated time for each responsibility.

Prioritize tasks based on deadlines and importance. Utilize tools like calendars and productivity apps to stay organized. Set realistic goals and avoid procrastination. Regularly review and adjust your schedule to maintain a healthy work-study-life balance.

Building a Support System

Building a support system is vital for success as a mature-age student. Share your educational journey with friends and family, seeking their understanding and support. Connect with academic advisors and professors for guidance and assistance when needed.

Consider joining study groups or online forums to connect with peers who can offer valuable insights and motivation. Having a strong support system can help you navigate challenges and stay motivated.

Utilizing Online Resources

Online resources can greatly enhance your educational experience. Access tutorials, study guides, and academic support services provided by your institution. Explore online libraries and databases for research materials.

Utilize educational websites and forums for additional learning and clarification of complex topics.

Leverage digital tools for note-taking, time management, and collaboration with fellow students. The internet offers a wealth of resources to aid in your studies.

Conclusion

Mature Student Learning
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Returning to school as a mature-age student may be intimidating, but the benefits are substantial.

Careful consideration of financial aspects, effective time management, and building a support network are essential steps. Embracing online resources and maintaining a work-study-life balance are keys to success.

Remember that your pursuit of higher education is an investment in your future, offering opportunities for personal growth and career advancement.