Taking up a course in your later 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s means you will be returning to study as a mature age student. If it’s been a while since you last studied perhaps since high school, you might feel a little nervous.
But there’s no need to worry – it’s not as daunting as it sounds. Studying as a mature age student doesn’t have to be difficult, especially if you choose a course that is best suited to your goals and circumstances.
There are many reasons to return to study, and gaining a new qualification might enable you to take the next step in your career. Alternatively, you might be training for a career change to a whole new sector, which can be exciting.
When deciding on an appropriate course you might ask yourself a few questions, like:
- Does this course offer flexible learning?
- Does this course suit my needs and aspirations?
- Will this course lead to rewarding career progression?
Once you’ve answered these questions you might consider some strategies which will help you ease back into learning. It’s never too late to return to study, and there are plenty of simple and effective ways to make the process easier for a mature age student.
Find learning options to suit you
A good way to achieve a healthy balance between life and study is to choose a course with options for flexible learning. The transition to learning online was fast-tracked by the pandemic and has made accessing education a lot easier for many people. Plus, there are a wide range of benefits to studsying via distance learning. For one thing, your schedule is up to you which makes it far easier to manage study with work or family commitments.
Flexible learning doesn’t mean you’ll miss out on practical training or support either. Practical placement is incorporated as a component of your early childhood education course with Practical Outcomes. We also have a dedicated team of trainers and professionals who are on hand to support your early childhood education training journey and can connect you to all the resources you need.
Organisation and planning are the keys to managing a busy schedule, and if you have a lot on your plate it might be a good idea to get everything ready before your course commences. This might look like:
- Preparing for study by purchasing materials like books and stationery
- Understanding what is expected of you in terms of assessment
- Taking note of key dates
- Adding study time into your weekly routine
- Planning your work roster around study dates
- Familiarising yourself with the online learning portal and any computer programs or technology that will help you to learn
With a little planning, you can ensure your transition to studying will be as smooth as possible.
Reach out for support
Remember that if you’re feeling overwhelmed, support is never far away. Your learning and wellbeing are our main priority, and we encourage you to take advantage of services designed to ensure you feel capable and supported. Talking to a member of our Learner Success Team is an opportunity to ask questions, discuss challenges, and identify solutions to any issues you might be having. The types of things we can help with are:
- Language support, including for those who may not have English as their first language
- Study tips for success
- Advice on how to maximise your learning potential
- Literacy and numeracy support
- Assistance with securing placement and preparing your resume
Taking advantage of support services means working together to maximise your learning experience.
Technology is something we cannot live without, but for some of us learning how to use it feels like a difficult, daunting or downright terrifying task. Whether you’re tech-savvy or have trouble turning your phone on, embracing technology can be really helpful in terms of study. If you’re unsure how to use a program or device, don’t despair. We are here to help!
Now that you’re equipped with some handy information, it’s time to decide whether a course in early childhood education is right for you.
Considering a course in early childhood education
Working with children is a rewarding career path and a lot of fun. If you’re upskilling or considering a career switch to early childhood education it’s important to know what returning to study as a mature age student involves.
What course you choose will depend on where you’re at in your career, but our early childhood education training journey provides your starting point with the CHC30121 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care, the option to progress with a CHC50121 Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care, and a potential pathway to further education for graduates seeking to study a Bachelor degree at Swinburne University.
Flexibility to achieve a healthy balance
Getting qualified or enhancing your skills in early childhood education opens up an array of possible paths to fulfilling work. Studying with Practical Outcomes affords you flexibility to achieve your goals.
We recognise that you might be studying a course alongside other life commitments, so we make it achievable to get qualified, no matter how busy you are. We provide flexible online study options and support throughout the course to ensure you’re able to complete tasks, set goals and stay motivated.
A dynamic and evolving sector
Early childhood educators provide children with the learning they need to get a great start in life. How we think about education and development is always changing, and at Practical Outcomes we update our early childhood education courses to ensure our graduates can contribute meaningfully to this dynamic sector, enriching the lives of children in turn.