3 min read

The benefits of going back to school in later life

As children and teenagers, we’re constantly surrounded by opportunities to develop, train and further our education. We’d typically expect that these opportunities would die down as we get older. But we’re now living in a  world where education has taken a full U-turn.

A bearded man with glasses sitting in a library, flicking through a book and looking at his laptop.

Thanks to an ocean of online training platforms, university courses for mature students and adult education centres, there are so many different ways we can now go back to school in later life. Is taking up education as an adult worth all of the effort? We’ve explored the myths and benefits.

Adult education myths

‘Continuing education is only for really brainy people’ 

False. As adults we don’t have to rely on how intelligent we are to be good academically. We can draw upon our foundation of knowledge and life experiences instead. And these can be positive attributes when going back to school in later life.

‘I’m too old to go back to education’

False. We are continuously learning, even years after leaving the classroom behind. So what’s to stop us from advancing our abilities in adulthood? We’re perhaps in an even better position to learn when we are older because we’re mature enough to recognise the underlying benefits of going down the academic route.

‘It’s too time consuming’

It’s true that some courses are very time dependent, but you’ll find that most have room for flexibility. Explore all of the options when going back to school in later life. There are plenty of night classes and online courses which make it easy to fit learning around other commitments without having to sacrifice your job.

Benefits of going back to school in later life

Personal learning 

Want to fulfil a personal goal? Many people participate in adult learning for enjoyment and are driven by the desire for personal fulfilment. It can also boost confidence and aid better development in a career field. You can research all sorts of courses by using the National Career Service search service.

Increase earning potential

It’s an obvious one but we thought it was worth mentioning anyway. Holding qualifications in a specific area can make you more marketable to employers, ultimately pushing you into a higher salary bracket. A big draw to going back to school in later life.

Making the most out of unemployment

Making the most out of unemployment

Unemployment can be painful but it might open up doors to the career change you’ve always wanted. Taking a course in an area of interest may be the kick start you need to getting your foot on the ladder again. Research undertaken by the careers advice service shows that 46% of 50-plus adults in the UK say they are not too old to find their dream job and start a new career [1].


1. Prime 50 plus Career & Learning [online]. Available from www.prime50plus.com

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Talking Finance content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions. OneFamily do not provide advice so it may be worth speaking to an independent financial advisor about your own circumstances.