The stereotypical representation of a college student is often a young adult at the ripe age of 18 or 19 who has just graduated from high school and is ready to work toward their degree. While a large number of high school graduates head off to college after receiving their diplomas, there are also many older adults who are working on earning an associate's degree.
These students have different needs within the classroom, and they often have a diverse range of reasons for pursuing a degree later in life.
Here are a few reasons to consider earning one of the associates degrees for adults:
Online Programs Fit Easily Into an Individual's Existing Lifestyle
In decades past, older adults likely felt that education was out of their reach once they arrived at a certain stage of life. When higher education required students to attend class in traditional classrooms and listen to lectures that often were scheduled during business hours, it was not easy for working adults to go back to school to change their career path or better themselves.
Today, however, there are more older adults enrolled in higher education programs than ever before as a result of online degree programs. According to an article published by NBC News, about 19 percent of all college students in the year 2020 will be over the age of 35. Online learning allows older students to balance their coursework with other obligations, such as personal responsibilities or professional roles.
Earning a Degree Can Help Increase an Individual's Salary and Overall Lifetime Wealth
For older adults who feel like their earning potential has hit a wall in their current career path, an online associate's degree can help them get on track to boost their overall wealth. According to a report published in Inside Higher Ed, women who earn an associate's degree are likely to earn 26 percent more in wages each year than women without a degree.
Men with an associate's degree are likely to earn about 18 percent more than men who have completed some college coursework or who have a high school diploma. The study determined that it was more beneficial for an individual to pursue one of the associates degrees for adults rather than simply focus on a certificate program that may be available.
Pursuing a New Career Can Provide an Individual With New Opportunities After Retirement
More individuals are finding themselves in retirement sooner than they expected, and many aren't sure of what they are going to do with the ample free time that they now have. In fact, according to NBC News, 58 percent of retirees over the age of 70 retired earlier than they expected or intended.
Associates degrees for adults can provide those who are retired with an opportunity to focus on gaining new knowledge through an affordable and flexible degree program. They also can allow retirees to explore new career opportunities and begin a second career that focuses more on their passions and less on the need for providing for a family or accruing lifetime wealth.
It Allows Older Adults to Set an Example for Their Children or Grandchildren
When older adults head back to school, they might feel intimidated or overwhelmed. But many take pride in the fact that they are pursuing a new opportunity and opening new doors at a pivotal point in their life.
At the same time, they can set an example for their own children and grandchildren. Their commitment to education can show their younger family members or dependents that learning is a process that never ends and that it can continually lead to exciting opportunities. In addition, it can help them teach the importance of self-motivation and accountability.
According to U.S. News and World Report, older adults need to be open to the idea of online learning and also need to remain accountable to themselves in order to succeed in the program. By doing this, adult learners will showcase their skills to the younger generation, who will follow their lead.
The associate of arts online degree at Central Christian College of Kansas Online is the ideal program for older adults who want to continue their learning and open the doors to new experiences. This affordable online program consists of 60 credit hours, and the curriculum includes a wide variety of course topics such as communications, contemporary cultures, professionalism, wellness, ethics, math, science and composition, to name a few.
Through this innovative program, students are able to select an elective track that allows them to personalize their degree and steer their education in a direction that will help them accomplish their goals. The elective tracks include psychology, business management, leadership, accounting, business and healthcare management.
To find out more information about the associate of arts degree and how it may be the ideal educational opportunity for you as an older adult, contact the Central Christian College of Kansas Online advisors today.