The end goal for most adult learners is employment. Successfully completing continuing education programs is important to achieving this goal. Through education, adults may obtain the skills necessary to get a job quickly, advance their careers, or stay relevant in their field. There are four key themes for adult learners to keep in mind in order to have a successful learning experience.
4 Keys to Success in Adult Education
1. Don’t be afraid of technology.
Not only is some form of technology now integrated into almost every occupation, but also, the majority of adult education courses will have a technological component, with most courses provided in an online format. There is no need for adult learners to be intimidated, as the technology is usually very user-friendly. Becoming comfortable with common technology programs, such as Microsoft Office or Google Apps, will only serve to bolster adult learners’ résumés.
2. Take advantage of the online format.
Many adult learners are balancing family or other job responsibilities and choose online courses because they allow for flexible learning. Because of the online format, adult education is often self-paced, available to learners year-round, and provides additional applicable online resources.
3. Be your own advocate when it comes to selecting a course or program.
Prior to enrollment, courses or programs must be evaluated in depth to ensure the content is applicable to the learner’s end goal. It is recommended to take courses from a reputable provider. While an online course is relatively simple to design, a quality online course requires extensive research on workforce industry requirements and effective course design.
4. Be proactive and effectively manage your time.
This is essential in order to successfully complete the self-paced courses and programs.
Career Paths for Adult Learners
According to a recent study produced by Georgetown University, by 2018, the United States will need at least 4.7 million new workers with postsecondary certificates, with an estimation of 101 million jobs requiring some form of postsecondary education. Industries in need of employees who have continued education credentials include administration, sales, health care, education, food and personal services, science and technology, and managerial occupations.
Adult learners who continue their education are not only seeing results in landing jobs, but often, they see an increase in pay. According to the US Census Bureau, the median monthly earnings for someone with a professional certification or license amounts to $4,167, compared with $3,433 for someone with an educational certificate only. Median monthly earnings for workers without any alternative credentials are a reported $3,100.
We wish you the best success in your adult education program and career aspirations.
Mr. Tom Darling serves as the National Director of Workforce Education for Pearson Education, the world’s largest learning company. In this role, Tom develops the strategic direction, new products, and marketing strategy in this newly created business unit with Pearson Higher Education. Prior to joining Pearson Education, Tom served as the Executive Director of Workforce, Economic, and Community Development for Ivy Tech Community College—Central Indiana. Mr. Darling believes that true workforce development occurs when an individual’s skills are increased to such a point that they are able to move forward in their career or to start a new career.
Ms. Spinner, CEO and Founding Team Member of Community College Preparatory Academy, brings over 30 years of experience in the fields of Adult Education and Workforce Development. She was also a key member of the Founding team of the District’s Community College and the Community College Preparatory Academy. Ms. Spinner has also done extensive work in the area of non- profit board development.