Thinking about heading back to study in your later 20s, 30s, 40s or 50s? This means you will be returning as a mature age student. If it’s been a while since you last studied, whether it was in high school or undertaking a course, 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. 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.
Choose flexible learning
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 online learning fast-tracked by the pandemic has made accessing education a lot easier for many people, and there are a wide range of benefits to studying online. 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. Catalyst’s registered training organisations have a dedicated team of trainers and professionals who support you every step of the way, and 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
- Arranging child care
- 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, with the right trainer support is never far away. Your learning and wellbeing are the number one priority at Catalyst RTOs, and we encourage learners to take advantage of services designed to ensure you feel capable and supported. We have Learner Success Teams so learners have the opportunity to ask questions, discuss challenges to help identify solutions to any issues you might face. The types of things the Learner Success Teams 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 RTOs working together with learners to maximise the learning experience.
Embrace technology as a mature age student
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 worried, just remember that most of the technology used at quality RTOs is designed to be user-friendly. If you’re unsure how to use a program or device, don’t despair. Just ask for some help!
Returning to study could be the most rewarding thing you do and can change your life for the better. Catalyst’s RTOs specialise in aged care and early childhood education courses for those starting out right through to experienced individuals wanting to upskill. They also have a range of short courses that can level up your knowledge and skillset.