- Quality of Life & Wellness
Why Get a Degree After Age 50
Life after 50 can be a time for experimentation and learning, exploring new career directions and rediscovering past interests. For many it is not a time to sit back, slow down and wait for retirement. It is a time for rejuvenation, exploration, discovering the real you. They say that 50 is the new 30. Wow!
With that in mind, 50 plus employees have come to realize that learning is a lifelong process and there are many ways to pursue it. Some examples are attending a workshop, joining a discussion group or just plain going back to school to get a degree.
In today's job market, many employers are actively recruiting senior workers. Why? They are dependable, which means they will pretty much come to work everyday. Many of them are about to become empty nesters. This means there won't be a lot of time off needed for sick kids, field trips, FMLA (maternity leaves), etc. They are mature from their life experiences which can be a big asset in the workforce. They will help balance out the Gen X & Ys.
There are also medical reasons to keep learning. Brain research shows that we continue to grow new brain cells well into old age. Learning new things keeps your mind sharp. Studies have shown that people who stay mentally active by reading, taking courses and learning new skills at work, have better memories well into their senior years .
What are some education and continued learning options?
- The local Y. Many offer instruction in computers, art and sign language
- Hospitals. Hospitals offer health-related classes to the community.
- SeniorNet. Supports 200 programs around the country that help seniors over age 50 learn computers and the Internet.
What about certification and degrees?
- Certification. Some skilled professions, such as hairdressing and auto mechanics, are taught at community colleges or technical schools. Make sure the school is accredited and licensed.
- Associate's degree. For some positions, you will need an associate's degree, which, in most cases, you will earn after completing about 20 classes. Typically, students will earn an associate's degree from a two-year community college.
- Bachelor's degree. Four-year colleges or universities award a bachelor of arts or science degree to students who complete about 40 classes. Many employers require their employees to hold a bachelor's degree.
- Advanced degree. Advanced degrees, including master's degrees, are awarded for completing a program of study beyond the requirements of a bachelor's degree.
- Don't forget about Distance Learning. Distance learning programs are another way to learn. It can take place on the Internet with students and instructors exchanging assignments through email and online forums. This is a great alternative if you have a busy schedule
If you are over 50, have a desire to continue your education, but not sure which direction to go, start looking for opportunities at your local community college or university. You may find information on continuing education courses offered.
The over 50 learner is a great role model for children and grandchildren . Getting a degree after age 50 shows that you value education and that is an important lesson to pass on to later generations.
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