Courses for Adults: How to Choose the Right Course for Your Career Progression

Adult learners studying business at UCEN Manchester

We all know that no matter our age, we never stop learning. For some, this might take the form of a new hobby or interest. For others, it could be as simple as picking up a new piece of information or developing a skill that we didn’t have the day before. 

Regardless of what it is or where we do it, lifelong learning is something most of us practise at every stage of life - whether we realise it or not. 

However, if you aspire to pursue lifelong learning in a more formal academic setting, UCEN Manchester has a comprehensive selection of courses for adult learners. So, whether you seek a new career path, progression in your current profession, or simply want to learn something new – higher education for adult students is more accessible than ever. 

Here, we’ll explore the significance of lifelong learning, help you assess your skills and aspirations, choose the right course, navigate the job market, and master the balance between work, life and learning. 

Defining your uni learning goals

Degree level courses for adult learners offer flexible learning patterns and a comprehensive selection of subject areas - designed with lifelong learners in mind. 

Before embarking on your uni learning journey, however, it is vitally important to understand what you hope to achieve in undertaking a higher level course. 

Are there specific roles or career progression routes you aspire to? Do you recognise any areas for improvement or skill gaps you want to fill? Does your ideal career require certain skills, strengths, or hands-on experience?

Taking the time to reflect on your career aspirations, personal goals, and skill development objectives will provide some clarity when it comes time to select your course. 

Choosing the right course as an adult learner

Lifelong learning is one of the most rewarding practices we can adopt as adults; it not only empowers us to adapt and thrive within a rapidly evolving world but enhances our personal development and strengthens skills like problem solving, critical thinking and communication - all of which can enrich our understanding of the world around us. 

When you make the decision to go to uni as an adult, it’s important to weigh up the options, assess your priorities, and choose a course which will advance you towards your aspirations. 

Choosing a high-quality course from a reputable academic provider is one of the most important parts of the application process. At UCEN Manchester, we take pride in offering accredited courses, ensuring that you are awarded a recognised qualification as well as a comprehensive learning experience. 

Post-adult course: what comes next?

Completing a higher level course as a mature learner is a significant milestone worth celebrating. However, planning your next steps can help make the transition into a new career or role much smoother. 

Here’s what we recommend:

Stay current

In the current job market, staying up to date isn’t just beneficial; it can be crucial. As industries evolve and new technologies emerge, new skills and proficiencies become in-demand. Staying on top of industry trends will give you an edge when it comes to career progression and new roles. 

Explore the job market

Before you embark on your learning journey, it’s important to understand the job market for your chosen field. Research potential positions, qualifications, and the expertise employers are actively seeking. This will give you a strong grasp on which skills and insights to prioritise as you move into the next chapter of your professional life. 

Align your degree course with your goals

The best way to maximise your career prospects is to find a course which aligns with your goals and delivers skills which are in-demand within your target job market. UCEN Manchester’s courses are designed to equip you with the practical skills and expertise you need to excel in your chosen field – they’re also accredited, meaning that your qualifications will be recognised by employers. 

Balancing work, life, and adult learning

Finding a manageable balance between work, personal commitments, and education can be a challenge to overcome when you return to learning. It’s one of the most important skills to hone when embarking on your degree-level journey. 

There are several key strategies which can help you to master your time management and balancing skills. Concepts such as time blocking can help you to prioritise commitments and schedule your time accordingly. Eliminating distractions and creating a peaceful study environment will also help improve your focus to complete your work in less time. 

As important as deadlines and course requirements can be, it’s also important not to overlook self-care when cultivating your work/life balance. 

Getting adequate sleep, exercise, and a balanced diet are paramount for both our general health and mental wellbeing - it can also help boost mental clarity, energy, and focus! 

Taking care of your mind and body will allow you to thrive and reap the full benefits of your adult learning experience. 

UCEN Manchester’s courses are designed with this balance in mind, empowering you to learn with flexible course and delivery options, as well as minimal travel to and from campus for classes. 

UCEN Manchester welcomes learners of all ages. Read our adult learner checklist for more top tips on preparing to enter uni as a mature learner and view our available courses for adults to embark on your next chapter today.