There are many ways to continue your education
The Best Adult Education Resouces
by Alex J. Coyne
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According to Guinness World Records, the current oldest graduate is Shigemi Hirata, who received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Kyoto University of Art and Design at the age of 96 years (and 200 days). It's never too late to consider a further education even in a completely different field and even if you're doing it for your own personal enrichment. We took a look at some of the best resources available and why you should consider them.
"The times we live in make academic qualifications (not necessarily degrees, but any proof of what you're trained in) vital," says Coleen Cronje, head of Brainonline, a leading distance education provider for both younger learners and adults. "This makes you sellable in the labor market and often gives you the knowledge to start your own business from the ground up."
This is essential in times where a secure job for the rest of your life no longer exists. According to Coleen, "Many people also approach Brainonline to complete their schooling when they need it for further study or a promotion at work."
Studying comes in many forms and for many reasons. You don't have to shoot straight for a four-year degree. There are available seminars, short courses, and part-time courses, and you might be doing it to enrich your current career or learn something entirely new.
Completing your schooling
If you never got a chance to wrap up high-school, choosing to go back is one reason Coleen notes for adult education. Home-based education providers often make it easier for people to return to school on their own terms and their own time. For some degrees, it could be a prerequisite.
Learning on the job
Some jobs offer in-house training for employees; when you are able to take advantage of this, sign yourself up. It's something you can add to your resume, and it can only do you good even if it's something that's not in your current field. Other times, learning on the job will come with a promotion and be sponsored by the employer.
Many can benefit from refresher courses in their field, including doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, teachers, and mechanics. Many careers are in ever-changing fields, and even if you think you are updated, there is always something left to learn.
Accreditation - or not
Some online courses are considered for personal enrichment, and the course information is available to you at no charge to go through; these usually do not offer a certificate of completion or diploma. Even if a certificate or diploma is not given, complete these courses anyway, as you are still adding to your knowledge base.
Other courses might offer a certificate of completion (and some may or may not be accredited). This can't be considered the same as a diploma, though employers still consider these courses worth noting on a resume.
Diploma and degree courses (online or offline) have to be accredited to count. If it's not, you run the risk of ruining your reputation and your career. For example, would you be comfortable if your doctor completed his or her degree through a non-accredited, online medical school? You can generally check accreditation with a higher regulatory body first.
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Considering free education
Free education has experienced a major rise in recent years, and there are increasing options, even for those chasing a degree. One such option is the University of the People, which calls itself the "world's first tuition-free accredited online university." Established in 2009, they aim to make education more accessible the world over.
It has even been covered by the New York Times in 2013. The article discussed the follow-up results of free online degrees in the workplace at length. Overall, the response was praised by employers. However, one employer was quoted as saying that they only officially accept degrees that are accredited with the state's education program, of which University of the People was not one at the time of writing.
Would you consider adding one of these courses to your resume?
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