Second Chances Through Lifelong Learning 

The world has changed. In the past, people finished formal education, whether than was school, college or university, then headed out into the world of work.  They might get a job, get promoted or start their own business.  People might stay in the same job until they retired, but things have changed.

Today, people are likely to change jobs more frequently. On average every two to five years. There are many figures out there, but some examples.  It is estimated that  -

  • 10% of workers will change their job each year.
  • Other research suggests people will change their jobs every three to five years, with the average person staying in their jobs for 4.1 years.
  • However, different age groups will change their jobs at varying rates. For example, 25 – 34 year olds are seen to change their jobs every 2.8 years, whereas 55 – 64 year olds, every 9.9 years.
  • It is estimated that people today will have an average of 12 jobs during their lifetimes.

Also, people are

  • Likely to have more than one career.
  • More likely to seek promotions. Career experts suggest that a worker should be promoted every 3 years on average. This is an average figure, of course. Some people will be promoted quicker, some will take substantially longer. It also depends on the size of the company and the promotional opportunities available.   Research also suggests that, on average, businesses will promote 8.9% of the time from within their own business, but will hire staff from outside the business 30.2% of the time.
  • More likely to set up their own businesses.
  • Tend to be working longer generally. In many countries the age of retirement has increased. A current Greens proposal suggests that the age of retirement be put up to 67 in Australia, and in the UK, the state retirement age will be changed to 67 in 2028.   People are also working for longer periods of time and when they do stop working, many people do carry on studying for interest, to start their own business in retirement or to update their knowledge. This means that lifelong learning literally is life long learning. The number of people over 50, for example, now studying has increased in recent years and more colleges and universities are offering programmes of learning for adults over 50 to retrain and update their knowledge.

There are other concerns to take into account.

In Australia, for example, there are huge concerns with superannuation and shares being volatile, meaning that people cannot retire when they had planned.  This means that they may continue to work beyond the state retirement age.

 

Lifelong Learning

This means that people are likely to have more jobs and perhaps more than one career. They may want to start their own business or get a promotion. This means that people are more likely to require training throughout their working life and beyond. Learning literally becomes life long learning.

From an education and training point of view, this means that people may need to –

  • Update and improve their knowledge throughout their working lives. As the world is changing so frequently, people need to update their knowledge frequently. A cliched example is a phone salesperson. If you were selling phones 50 years ago, you would be selling very different products to a person selling phones today. Think of all the professions that did not even exist 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. Or all of the updates in theory, technology, products and services that have occurred in the last few years. To get jobs, maintain jobs and get promoted, people need to update their knowledge.
  • Retrain for new jobs and positions
  • Update their knowledge to get promotions
  • Update their knowledge to get a new job or career
  • Train to set up their own business

The Benefits of Lifelong Learning

Lifelong learning is beneficial in many different ways.

Career

What we mean by career has changed.  The idea of a career or job that lasts a lifetime no longer exists.  People move around from job to job more often than they did in the past. They may also have more than one career in their lifetime. A “career” can actually be more complex and unpredictable previously. 

Lifelong learning therefore offers people the opportunity to train for new jobs and careers.

Wellbeing

As well as being good for our career, studying can be good for our health and wellbeing.  Research shows that studying can actually lead to –

  • Healthier individuals
  • A longer life span – research has found that adults with a higher educational level tend to live longer than their peers who are less educated
  • Reduced stress
  • Increased employment opportunities
  • Reduced boredom and increased engagement in the world around them

Some courses also have specific benefits –

  • Learning a language has been found to reduce the onset of dementia and can actually protect against Alzheimer’s Disease. It can also help to reduce the aging of the brain.
  • Study the arts can actually benefit our physical and mental health and reduce stress. Creative activities have also been found to benefit our mental and physical health.

Flexibility

Lifelong learning has the advantage of being more flexible than traditional face to face learning. Not everyone is able to, or wants to, attend a physical establishment to study. There can be many reasons for this, such as –

  • Mobility issues
  • Working shifts
  • Childcare
  • Travel difficulties or too much travel time required
  • Time commitments
  • Lack of flexibility

This is where online education has its advantages. 

Online and distance education enables people to train in a place that suits them and when suits them. This can be a more effective and efficient way of studying for many adults.

 

Funding Cuts

Whilst we can see all the potential benefits to the individual and organisations of lifelong learning, this comes at a time when many governments and traditional educational establishments are cutting funding for education generally, and in particular, adult education. 

At a time when more training is needed, they are choosing to offer less.

This, of course, represents massive opportunities in the education industry for innovative, forward thinking, flexible and hardworking people.

 

If you would like to start your own online education business

  • Helping people to get their second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, twelfth change to retrain and start new and exciting careers.
  • Selling high quality educational courses.
  • Working alongside an education-leader.

Then learn from the experts. Get in touch today!



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We've been working with ACS over the course of the last three years. Being able to mix and match content to suit our students' needs has been extremely useful. With their material in combination with our own in house tutor service we have been able to provide a complete online learning service which has helped us expand our student cohort and advance our teaching techniques! We are thankful that we have had them as a partner throughout our time in the industry and look forward to many more years of growth together.

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