Increasing Your Skillset As A Mature Student

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Whether you are looking at obtaining your first degree, or you are hoping to return to university to carry out some postgraduate studies, there is no denying that enrolling in an academic course can greatly enhance your career prospects. Whether you are someone that runs their own business or is looking to improve the value that you provide in your current role or are in fact looking at career progression, developing your skills and knowledge can help you.

For the mature student, there are many routes that you could choose to take. For example, Bradley University provides online degrees across a range of professional study areas. Making the studies work around your current life commitments is achievable, and many institutions offer flexibility and means of making studying possible for you.

There are many reasons why people choose to enter higher education at a later stage in life. You may have skipped going to university as you wanted to get out and start earning money. You may have had personal or family commitments that prevented you from going. You may not have known what you wanted to do when you were younger. And ultimately, you may have been put off by the sometimes prohibitive costs associated with studying.

Alternatively, you may be looking for a career change, or taking a step up in your career and see raising your skillset as a way of doing this. Everyone has their own motivations for study, and age and circumstance should never be a boundary for you deciding to go back into education. But starting a course in later life throws up some curveballs. Here are some hurdles you may face and the best way of dealing with them.

Getting Over The Age Gap

Even a few years away from education can seem like a lifetime. Time spent in the working world can make you take things more seriously, and younger students make seem frivolous in nature.

But in actual fact, you will probably find that when it comes to university students, even those who have never left full-time education are happy to knuckle down and try hard. The unfair myth that younger people don’t try or are liable to waste your time is simply not true. Many younger people feel the pressure to succeed more than ever, so really do push themselves within their studies. University is a big financial commitment, especially when you are young and need to take out loans to repay it. When faced with that amount of debt, younger students know that what they do in their student years will directly affect them when they go out and look for work.

Try to engage as best as you can with people of every age on your course. It will surprise you how easily you find common ground. You will also find that your course may have a wider age range than you may think.

Adjusting To The Workload

University study comes with a heavy workload. But, unlike lower levels of education, you won’t have a tutor standing over you and reminding you about what you need to do. Having a pro-active approach to managing your workload and submitting your work within deadlines is vital.

If you are planning on working your study around your current employment, try and work out a schedule that really works well for you. Allow time for you to start working on assignments and dissertations as early as possible, as often you will need to put in considerable research before you even type a word.

Including time to take care of yourself is vital. That means trying to get some exercise each day, plenty of fresh air, maintaining a good diet, and getting plenty of sleep. Stress is a serious factor that affects students who are not working alongside their studies. If you are juggling both, be sure you try and keep a keen eye peeled for the effects that stress will have on you and act on them quickly. Keeping yourself sharp and in check is crucial, as to allow everything to get on top of you may result in a lapse in your focus or sharpness of thought.

Keep time aside to enjoy yourself with your family. If you are constantly busy, then this can be to the detriment of your family or social life. Keeping a day each week to devote to your loved ones and maintaining a routine of spending some of your evenings together will ensure you get their support throughout this stressful period without any problems forming in your relationships.

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