Who says you’re ever too old to learn something new? Making the decision to study later in life can not only help reinvigorate your career but often your life too. Here are our top reasons for considering upskilling this year:
1. Study gets you out of your comfort zone
There’s nothing that will hit the refresh button more than being able to push your boundaries and set yourself a new challenge. Whether you want to expand your skills or learn about an entirely new field, studying will allow you to break out of your usual mindset and explore fresh ideas and concepts to broaden your horizons.
At the age of 54, David Pengalese is currently doing a Masters degree and believes age shouldn’t be a factor as far as studying is concerned. “A lot of people say, ‘Why would you go back to university when you’re going to be in your late 50s by the time you’ve finished it?’ My answer is well, I’m still going to be that age anyway – I may as well be that age with a degree.”
2. Study helps you hone your skills at work
Career coach Kate James agrees it’s never too late to study or change your career. James has had a range of clients who have started business in their 60s and even had one client who was approaching 70 and returned to study.
Not only can education be the key to transitioning into a new industry, study can also help hone and improve your skills for your current job.
“Any kind of learning helps open up the more creative part of the brain,” says James. “We become more effective at thinking outside the square in whatever we’re doing. We become better problem solvers, more solution-focussed, more innovative and creative. On all levels, continuing to learn is beneficial both in the workplace and even just at a personal level.”
3. Study improves your mental fitness
Research has found that the brain grows and changes positively until a person’s early 30s, after that it begins to naturally deteriorate. Neuroscientists have discovered that by exercising your mind, you can counteract this effect and improve and even grow your brain at any age. What better way to do this than learning and studying something new? If you want to be mentally fit as you get older, it’s advantageous to start flexing your brain muscles as early as possible.
4. You’ll meet new people
It’s easy to stick with the same circle of people all the time, however meeting new people with challenging thoughts and ideas can often provide you with a fresh outlook on life. This is an advantage Pengalese has found with his current studies.
“I’m doing my degree online and a real benefit is that I’m only in my second year but I’ve got 20 new friends around the world giving me different perspectives from different countries and different businesses. It’s not just the study that’s important, it’s the networks that you build and the friendships that you make.”
As all of his tutorials and lectures are done via Skype, Pengalese has been able to interact and build relationships with his classmates without ever having to set foot in a classroom.
5. You can finally follow your passion
If you’ve always wanted to run your own business or even turn a much-loved hobby into a career, then now is the time to undertake the training. With more and more people extending their working life to a much later age, why not enjoy it and do something that you truly love? There’s nothing more satisfying than being able to follow your passion and call it your career at the same time.
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