Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Great degrees for adult students

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It's never too late to learn something new. And for older adults looking for a change, going back to school may be a smart decision.

Why? Because "a return to school keeps older workers up-to-date and relevant," says Debra Davenport, founder and executive director of The Davenport Institute, a certified firm that advises on career and lifestyle changes.

In fact, community colleges are now creating or expanding campus programs to engage the 50 plus population in learning, training, or re-training. This is in large part thanks to the Plus 50 Initiative, a program created in 2008 by the American Association of Community Colleges.

And it makes sense that community colleges are targeting older students, with the number of students age 35 or older projected to grow 22 percent between 2008 and 2019, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

What's driving older students back to school? "Many of the [older] students returning to community colleges are seeking skill updating," says Mary Sue Vickers, director of the Plus 50 Initiative.

Click to Find the Right Degree Program.

Vickers adds that older students may return because they've discovered they need to work longer given the recent recession, they lost a job, or they want to finish a degree program to remain competitive in the workplace.

But for older students, the hardest part about going back to school may be deciding what degree to pursue. However, Davenport says that popular career choices among her older clients include psychology, counseling, social work, nursing, consulting, coaching, and teaching, among many others.
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