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It is said that in recent years, the number of students aged 40 to 64 has been significantly growing. Specialists estimate that in the past decade, the number of older students has increased by 20 per cent. They are also of the opinion that lifelong studying will become more and more popular as many people in their fifties and beyond are increasingly interested in continuing education. But the questions that come to mind are: why do mature adults decide to enrol in online courses and what exactly are the merits of online education?
Why do people continue their education after 50?
People in their 50’s often decide to enrol in online courses for professional and personal reasons. Firstly, with increased financial pressures, many don’t have enough savings for retirement, and need to continue earning. Retired people also often want to boost their skillset, gain qualifications for a new job or use the skills and experience that they already have to start their own business. What is often interesting is that due to their knowledge and vast experience, they are often even more successful in running their own business than their younger counterparts! Many retirees also become freelancers or work for non-profit organisations.
Secondly, some over 50’s want to follow a dream concerning their professional career that they used to have when they were younger. Lastly, after retirement, many people don’t want to sit idly at home, instead seeking out new activities in order to spend their free time in a more productive way. Some enrol in online courses to keep their minds active and others may feel isolated, deciding to continue their education to stay socially engaged. Like anyone, many older people find pleasure in learning or mastering new things. Remaining engaged in lifelong education keeps the mind alert and healthy, and has even been said to prolong life.
The advantages of online courses
Middle-aged adults appreciate online courses because the schedules are usually very flexible, with each person able to complete the course at their own pace. This, in turn, doesn’t interfere with other activities or a part-time job. Thanks to the internet, you can now attend a reputable college on the other side of the world! Moreover, on many online education platforms, courses are taught by well-known industry figures and professors, and students gain a certificate of completion or nationally recognized qualification after completing the course. All that’s needed is a computer with access to the internet. Thanks to the internet everyone – young and old – can find something for them.
Nicole Davies works at ShortCourseFinder, a website providing a simple way to find and sign up for online short courses from Australia’s top providers. Main areas of her interest are the social media and the use of new technologies in everyday life.