Deciding to return to education in later life is a laudable idea. You might have one of any number of reasons for doing so. Some people want to correct the mistakes they made by not trying hard enough while they were in school. Others do it because they’ve become frustrated with their career trajectory, and can’t progress any higher up the ladder without having a qualification to back up the skills they’ve learned through experience. Whatever the reason, deciding to better yourself through learning at any age is always a decision to be proud of.
Because we all have careers and other responsibilities to worry about when we’re adults, the idea of trying to take on the same educational timetable we had when we had at school or college is impossible. We don’t have the time to focus on all of those different subjects at once, and so we should pick the topic that aligns the most closely with whatever our life goals are. Making that decision isn’t easy, though – and so we want to give you a helping hand.
If you want to set yourself the challenge of becoming better qualified but don’t know which direction to jump in, here are a few popular choices you might wish to consider.
Learn A Foreign Language
Most of us have been on vacation to a country where English isn’t the spoken language, and we know the awkwardness of trying to conduct everyday conversations with people who have no idea what we’re saying. If you visit Spain or Mexico regularly, how much easier would you find it if you could speak Spanish? If you do business on the other side of the world, how impressed would your potential business partners or clients be if you could speak fluent or semi-fluent Arabic or Mandarin?
Aside from enhancing your communication skills, learning a new language could open you up to a whole new career as a translator. There’s a shortage of translators in the world right now, and so if you could speak another language fluently, you could find that your new skills are in high demand.
In the 21st century, there’s no worse skill to be lacking than information technology. You might have all the knowledge and experience in the world, but if you don’t know your way around a computer properly, you’ll find that you’re constantly passed over for promotions and other opportunities in favor of people who can. Nobody expects you to become a programmer (unless, of course, that’s your end goal), but being proficient in Microsoft Office programs is considered an essential skill in the modern workplace.
Despite what you might think, this isn’t just a problem that affects older people. A general lack of computer knowledge is one of the biggest barriers to employment in the United States of America regardless of an applicant’s age, and so if you can become more adept than your peers, you’ll stand a better chance of landing the job of your dreams.
The majority of people are very glad when they never have to look at a math puzzle again after they’ve finished education. We have calculators to help us with addition, subtraction, and division, and for anything more complicated than that, there’s usually a Microsoft Excel formula. Why would anyone need math in the workplace, and how could a lack of math skills hold us back?
The answer to that question is that math skill applies to far more jobs than you think it does. Accountants and bookkeepers need math skills. Statisticians and stock takers do, too. The most surprising industry that needs math wizards is new slots UK. Despite the relatively simple appearance of most online slots, the math computations that decide whether players are winners or losers each time they spin are incredibly complex. Why are we telling you this? Because the online slots industry is worth more than fifty billion dollars each year and gets richer all the time. There’s food for thought.
Our entire lives are governed by our ability to communicate and to be understood. The overwhelming majority of people can express themselves perfectly well in a face-to-face conversation, but many struggle when they’re asked to express themselves in writing. As a consequence, when someone reads what they’ve written, they don’t come across as intelligently as they would do in person.
The smallest error with basic English can be the difference between getting a job or not getting it. We’re talking about things like spelling mistakes on resumes, misplaced capital letters, or the wrong use of tense or tone in a passage of text. Learn how to format your written phrasing correctly, and start getting the respect you deserve as a communicator.
Are you someone who constantly gets approached for advice on a specific subject or topic? Do you know more than most of the people around you, or have you amassed a treasure trove of knowledge through all your years working within a specific field?
If so, it might be time to stop giving that knowledge away for free. You could learn how to structure your knowledge into a teachable course, and then teach it.
Learning how to teach doesn’t mean having to go into a classroom and lecture students if you don’t want to. You could put together an online learning course and teach people remotely. Instead of being the person reaching out to the internet to develop new skills, you could be the person that others reach out to – and you could have an excellent living from holding that position. Teaching is really just learning how to coach and learning how to communicate. If you can already do one of those things well, you have a head start.
The best skills to learn in later life are the ones that give is a practical advantage over the people around us in the workplace – but that isn’t the only reason you should want to carry on learning. So long as we’re healthy, we can carry on learning new skills throughout our whole lives, and we can achieve a great sense of personal satisfaction by doing so. Start learning today, and you’ve already taken the first step toward a better tomorrow.