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Using Education To Start The Life You Always Wanted

11th March 24

Would you describe yourself as someone who had a plan for their future but had to put things on hold because life simply got in the way? There are so many reasons why people find themselves in this position, often having to leave education while they juggle other aspects of their lives.

As time goes on, there’s a point where things settle, and you finally have some breathing space to pursue your passions or upskill for a fulfilling career. The good news? It's never too late to rewrite your story, and education – in all its forms – is the pen in your hand.

Dropped Out Of Education? You’re Not The Only One

When we hear the term ‘drop-out’ it brings with it such negative connotations. When you think about how rigid and time-consuming traditional education methods are, is it really that surprising that people find themselves unable to commit to their studies?

A 2021 study by Lancaster University found that around 12% of males and 13% of females drop out of their post-compulsory education courses in the UK. This figure has been declining over time, which is excellent news, but historically there have been a few staple reasons why people have chosen to pause or stop their education journey entirely.

Reasons People Drop Out Of Education

According to a 2019 report by the Department for Education, the most common reasons for dropping out of education are:

  • Personal reasons: This included things like family commitments, health problems, and financial difficulties
  • Academic reasons: This included things like struggling with the coursework, feeling like they were not learning anything, or not being motivated
  • School-related reasons: This included things like feeling like they were not being supported by their school, not getting on with their teachers, or being bullied – Paul’s story is a prime example of how he proved his teachers wrong

Time can also be a huge factor, as many people find themselves needing to earn a living to support their families and therefore being unable to commit to full or even part-time study.

It’s Never Too Late To Go Back

If you’re finding yourself stuck in a career rut, yearning for a fresh start but the thought of returning to education is preventing you from pursuing your goals, don’t worry! So many people are in the exact same boat. Gemma is an excellent example of someone who retrained for a new fulfilling career while juggling work and being a mum-of-two!

The Department for Education found that around 1 in 10 people in the UK who have dropped out of education later re-enter it. This means that there are around 3.5 million people in the UK who have dropped out of education and then gone on to complete further education or training – that’s no small number!

In fact, over 400,000 adults aged 25-64 re-enter education each year, seeking a second chance or a complete career pivot. So, it’s safe to say you’ll be in good company whether you train for a new career at 40, are starting a new career at 50, or much later!

Go back to education at any age

Why People Choose To Go Back Into Education

We know every journey is different, and this surge in adult learners is for a host of diverse reasons. The same Department for Education report also found that the most common reasons for re-entering education were:

  • To improve job prospects: This was the most common reason, with 40% of people saying that they re-entered education to improve their job prospects
  • To gain new skills or knowledge: This was the reason for 30% of people who re-entered education
  • To change career: This was the reason for 20% of people who re-entered education – Just like Mindy, who decided to retrain as a Maths Teacher later in life

So, whether you desire a career switch, are fuelled by advancements in technology or simply have a burning desire to work in a field you truly love, you won’t be alone. Many others also return to education to climb the ladder within their current industry by acquiring new skills or qualifications. Not to mention those who continue studying for personal growth and fulfilment – the joy of expanding their knowledge and reigniting their intellectual curiosity is their driving force.

Benefits Of Studying Later In Life

Whatever the motivation, the benefits of returning to education are undeniable. Research has shown that individuals who upskill experience increased job satisfaction, higher salaries, and greater career mobility.

Learning also boosts cognitive function, self-confidence, and overall wellbeing. With all these positives, it really is a win-win situation, and that’s not just for individuals, but for society as a whole. The rise in adult learners leads directly to a more agile and diversely talented workforce.

Things That Can Help The Transition Back Into Learning          

If you are preparing yourself for a return to education, there are a number of factors that can help you re-enter it.

These include:

  • Support from family and friends: Having the support of family and friends can be a great help when you’re considering re-entering education, their moral support can go a long way in helping you get back in the saddle
  • Access to flexible learning options: There are a number of flexible learning options available these days. Online courses that don’t have set classes or timetables are becoming the go-to choice for busy learners
  • Career guidance: Career guidance can help you identify the right course that will help you achieve your goal, and develop a plan for your future
  • Affordable courses: Study programmes that offer payment plans to suit your budget can be a key factor in your ability to juggle your studies with life’s everyday expenses
  • Community support: Choose a provider that offers more than the coursework. At learndirect, we have the learndirect: Community Hub, an online community accessible within our own app that provides you with a network of support from likeminded learners

Change your life through education

Unlock The Future You Were Meant To Have

The beauty of today's educational landscape is its flexibility and accessibility. Gone are the days of rigid classrooms and one-size-fits-all curriculums. Online courses and other modern educational programmes offer tailored learning options for busy schedules and diverse needs. Whether you're a working parent, a seasoned professional, or a recent school leaver, there's a path for you.

So, if you're harbouring a lifelong dream, a career you left behind, or a skill you always wanted to learn, embrace the power of education and rewrite your narrative. Remember, every journey begins with a single step, and every chapter deserves a chance to be rewritten.

Don't let age, career history, or any other perceived barrier hold you back. Education is a gift you can give yourself at any stage in life. Become one of the many career changers flocking to learndirect and take the first step towards your next chapter with us today, you've got this!

Study now to start the life you really want!

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