When trying to decide which course to study as a mature student you have to consider why exactly it is you’re returning to education. If you are unemployed or in work but looking to improve your job prospects, you may decide to pursue a vocational course that will give you the skills needed to do the job you want. If you already have a job, but want to move up a level to become a manager, for instance, there are courses where you can build upon your existing skills and come out with a higher level qualification. If you just want an opportunity to learn more about the world you probably won’t need to think about the implications of what you are studying on your career.
Even if you decide to become a mature student primarily for the benefit of your career, it is important to take a course which sounds appealing and which you think you will be able to cope with. Unfortunately, you can find yourself overwhelmed by choice when looking through various college prospectuses and websites. You might have an idea what you would like to study, but then discover that there are so many more interesting-sounding subjects. It is therefore important to do some research before applying to study a course, as you may need to have studied other relevant courses and to possess certain qualifications already.
You should also read about what the course will involve and how the course is assessed. If you’re not very confident about completing examinations you may prefer to take a course that is more coursework-based. If a course sounds as though it could be fascinating, you may put aside any reservations you have, but quickly learn that the course isn’t for you. Thus, you should investigate thoroughly what will be expected of you and what the course involves and whether it will help you achieve your aims in the long run.
There are many rather obscure courses with complicated sounding titles that make you sound rather intelligent when you decide to study one of them, but you have to consider whether such a course will really help you in the future. Not all courses will automatically lead you to the career you want, particularly if you have to take further courses to get ahead. If you don’t have the time, money or patience to extend your education for a number of additional years, you may have to reassess your initial plan and think about whether you should go forward with it or not.
When deciding which course to study as a mature student you have to think about what interests you and where you strengths lie. You are bound to have greater educational success if you study a subject that interests you, which is why you shouldn’t focus too much on how hard a course sounds or is supposed to be. Whatever course you study, you will have to work hard to succeed and so you may as well spend your years of studying learning about things that interest you, since it will be much easier to motivate yourself.
Your financial situation may also have to play a part in your decision. If you are unable to afford to study without working, you may have to take a part-time course so that you can hold down a job at the same time. Even if you have enough savings or have taken out a loan to pay for your studies, some courses are more expensive than others and not all colleges and educational institutions charge the same fees. If you are worried about your finances, it is worth bearing mind that if you go back to school and obtain a higher level qualification, it should for itself in the end.
It isn’t easy to come to a decision about what to study when you are a student – however old you happen to be. As an adult you tend to be more aware of your strengths and weaknesses and what you hope to get out of your studies, which should help, although you also have to think about other responsibilities that teenagers generally do not have. At the end of the day, whether you are studying to enhance your career prospects or for the love of learning, you may as well do something which gets you to think about issues which actually matter to you.