In today’s economy, unemployment rates have reached all time highs. As many people continue to unsuccessfully find employment, others have begun to turn towards continuing education as an alternative for work.
Continuing education refers to additional courses or programs taken to enhance personal or professional goals. Unable to obtain work, the jobless figure that additional education can only help their cause. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, in 2009 13 percent of production/blue-collar workers were unemployed. As a long term investment, they hope to gain skills or degrees that will help them become better candidates for employment in the future. Assuming that the economy turns around during those couple of years that they study, they will, by that time, have no trouble finding jobs.
The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics projects that total enrollment in continuing education will rise by 17 percent to 20.4 million students.
Continuing one’s education ultimately seems to benefit society in a whole. The individuals become for skilled for their profession, and once they do acquire jobs, they will be able to more effectively carry out their line of work.
Going back to school as an adult can be tough mentally and emotionally, though. However, some just realize a need for a higher or advanced degree, while others just want a challenge. The University of Continuing Education Association predicts that enrollment of full-time students will rise 23 percent from 2005 to 2016, and the number of part-timers will increase by 6 percent
More and more of these distance education institutions have developed recently for people who prefer not to be in the classroom. Online courses are cheaper, faster and more convenient. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, total enrollment in online education classes has increased by an annual average of 21.5 percent over the past five years. American Continuing Education offers a wide range of affordable quality education targeted specifically toward adults looking for continuing education.
Some still enroll in the traditional classroom, but in the end, they decide with friends, family and counselors after determining the best option.
Applying for financial aid is a large part of the process of enrolling, especially for adults returning to school. Programs such as the Student Loan Network and the Act Continuing Education Loan program offer financial aid targeted specifically toward continuing education students.
After becoming familiar with the new student environment, students returning to school mostly enjoy learning again and benefit from the experience. According to Continuing Education Inc., continuing education provides students “an opportunity to relax, renew and reconnect” with the real world. And with a steady work, continuing education students generally end up with a more positive career.