Do have a love of learning? Will you read anything you can get your hands on, begin a new hobby every week or devour TED Talk videos and podcasts like they’re going out of style? Perhaps you should consider adult education.
Adult education isn’t just about professional development – it’s a chance to develop your personal interests and expand your knowledge. And for people who are approaching or already in retirement, adult education is a wonderful way to spend time on something meaningful and engage your passions, both long-held and newly acquired.
Whether you’re interested in taking on a full-length or short course, here are four reasons why studying as an adult is a great thing:
Education allows you to pursue new dreams
Children are known to have vivid imaginations because they’re always absorbing new and interesting information about the world. When we become adults, society directs us to focus our attention on subjects that lead to careers, so our creative pursuits often take a backseat. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed a long career as an accountant or a teacher, but have always loved the idea of being a jeweller or opening your own café. Returning to education encourages us to explore new concepts and create our own ideas around them.
Education keeps you engaged and happy
We’re not meant to live out our lives trapped in one place, doing the same thing each day. People who broaden their understanding about the world, learn new skills and engage in new activities are often happier and feel more satisfied with their lives than those who’ve spent decades doing the same kinds of work.
Education helps you meet new people
One key benefit of returning to study is the opportunity to meet new people. You never know with whom you might connect – chances are you’ll run into like-minded people who share your passions. You might find your professional network expands or you just get to make some new friends.
Education allows you to become involved
Perhaps you’re taking a course on how to run your own small business or learning the basics of pottery throwing. Either way, armed with your new knowledge and skills, you’ll have a renewed capacity to become more active in your local community. You might volunteer your administrative skills at your local library or book a stall at the weekend market to sell your handicrafts.
So, what’s next?
If you’re interested pursuing adult education in creative arts, languages, business, computer skills or anything else under the sun, here are some resources to help you get started:
Centre for Adult Education – offers hundreds of skill-based short courses over a range of disciplines, including hospitality, fine arts, journalism, wellbeing, computing, trade skills and digital design. It is known for having accredited and nationally recognised training, and has established government and industry partnerships.
University of the Third Age (U3A) – with a particular focus on people over 50, U3A is an international organisation emphasising education as a life-long pursuit. It offers online short courses across Australia, operating through a number of educational intuitions. You can choose to study a range of humanities and science-based subjects, from history and world affairs to creative writing and human biology.