In fact, research indicates that making the decision to study later in life can not only help reinvigorate your career, but often your life too.
- Boosts your career
Education is the key to making a career transition and if you want to remain in your current field, further learning will help hone your skills, making you more of an asset to your employer. Researchers have found that the learning process stimulates the creative side of the brain, improving problem-solving abilities and encouraging innovative thinking.
- Increases confidence
While many argue that learning is a lifelong process, formally applying your mind to new concepts and ideas will help you break out of your comfort zone. Rediscovering skills and qualities that you had all along, or achieving lifelong personal goals, is an enormous confidence-booster and will do wonders for your self-esteem.
- Improves mental aptitude
Research has found that the brain grows and changes positively until a person’s early 30s, after which it begins to naturally deteriorate. Neuroscientists have discovered that by exercising your mind, you can counteract this effect and improve (even grow) your brain. If you want to be mentally fit as you get older, it’s advantageous to start flexing your brain muscles as early as possible.
- You change direction
Further study can also help you change track completely, and perhaps follow a long-held passion to do something more meaningful with your life. With more and more people extending their working lives to a much later age, it is now possible to change direction and do something you truly love. In the longer term, this translates into a boost for society as a whole. Communities can only benefit from an increasingly active, engaged older population that is encouraged and equipped to use its vast fund of experience.
- Improves your social life
It’s easy to stick with the same circle of people all the time. However, meeting new people with challenging thoughts and ideas can provide you with a fresh outlook on life. Online and distance learning means that these new friends can be based anywhere in the world, providing you with different perspectives from different countries and different businesses. It’s not just the study that’s important, it’s the networks that you build and the friendships that you make in the process.
Mature students tend to be highly motivated, have the advantage of a greater success rate over their younger peers, generally tend to be more focused, have better problem-solving skills, are more independent and better able to articulate original ideas.
They start with a fire in their bellies, knowing what they want out of a course, and are better able to deal with the ups and downs that are inevitably part of studying.
If you’d like to enter the helping professions and are considering studying as a mature student take a look at the wide range of psychology, counselling and coaching courses on offer at the SACAP (South African College of Applied Psychology).-Women24