4 Benefits to Being an Adult Learner

As an adult learner, going back to school or beginning school for the first time can be intimidating. It has been years since you took a course and you may be worried about what to expect.

You have probably changed—and school has definitely changed—but we have good news for you: adult learners are going back to school in incredibly high numbers. An estimated 47 percent of students in American colleges are over 25 years old. What’s more, adult learners may have certain skills that their younger counterparts have never tapped into. Here are four reasons why adult learners succeed when going back to school.

1. Defined Goals: Adult learners go back to schools for specific reasons. Usually, they’re returning to get a promotion by earning an advanced degree, changing industries or making themselves more hirable. Because of these clear-cut reasons, adult learners are less likely to change their majors or concentrations than their younger classmates.

2. Juggling Commitments: Chances are, you’ve gained some new priorities in life since you last attended school. In fact, many of our students have full-time jobs, kids, a spouse and various other commitments. Along the way, you learned how to multi-task your responsibilities. Being able to juggle life’s commitments will allow you to manage your time with ease once you start school.

3. Field Experience: If you are earning a degree in a career field you are already in, you have a leg up on many of your less experienced classmates. You will be able to apply your coursework lessons to your day-to-day work and vice versa. Plus, you’ll be able to use past experience for discussion posts and papers.

4. Focus and Drive: If you decide to enroll in classes, you know the type of commitment required. You have thought a lot about your decision and you are determined to achieve your goals. This frame of reference will allow you to focus on your studies and will drive you to finish your degree. You know why you need this degree and what it will mean to your life. You are able to see the big picture.

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