It may be that you dropped out of school at age 16 or 17, or maybe, you took the A-level exams but your grades weren’t brilliant enough to get you into uni. In a hindsight, you may now feel disappointed, but the facts are, you are not alone! The statistics concerning drop-out rates among pupils studying for their A-levels and other 16 to 19 qualifications are on the rise. Students leave school without obtaining these qualifications for several reasons: not being able to keep up with the schoolwork, poor grades, not being able to get along with teachers and peers, not seeing value in education, going into employment early, missing too many days of school, being suspended, expelled, or becoming pregnant. It is possible that you find yourself in one of these categories, or that your reasons for leaving school early were entirely different.
However, now, as a mature working adult, you realise that the demands asked of job applicants are increasing, and it is becoming harder to be successful in the market without relevant qualifications. You could get better job opportunities and progress in your career by having a degree.
If going ‘back to school’ is something that you consider, you are not alone! According to the Education Advisory Board (EAB), there is a projected 21% increase in the number of students aged 25-34 by 2022. Adult students (25 and older) are becoming increasingly present in colleges and universities with over 25% of them simultaneously raising children, and almost 60% of them working while studying. They want to change their careers, or become more competitive in their existing careers with better hiring and earning potential.
The decision to go back to school is certainly thrilling but can also be scary. Depending on your prior schooling circumstances, you may experience self-doubt that you won’t be able to complete your diploma or that it's been too long since you have last been in education and be conscious about feeling out of place. Furthermore, having to follow a traditional academic calendar may prove difficult for many working adults or those with family commitments.
All of these concerns are valid and relatable, and this is why it is so important that you find a course and an education provider that understands and responds to the concerns and unique needs of adult learners. For example, if scheduling is your main concern, then you want to find a course provider that is flexible enough to help you arrange your study around your family and work commitments, but also, a provider that is firm enough to keep you on track so that you achieve your desired qualification. If you feel uncertain about going back to school because of your previous experiences with school and studying, look for academic providers who offer readily available support networks and tutors that you can be in direct communication with so you can reach out to them whenever you need assistance.
Ultimately, it is never too late, and going back to school as an adult is a good idea. However, it is important to find a course provider that has the resources in place to help you overcome your personal challenges, and is devoted to your success.
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