Lifelong learning – the act of voluntarily learning new skills and knowledge throughout your life – can have boundless benefits, both personally and professionally.
Here’s the main ways you could benefit from taking an adult learning course:
Lifelong learning can put you in an excellent position to fill skills gap in the marketplace. A 2013 study indicated that 85% of hiring managers said applicants don’t have the skills they’re looking for, so adding to your qualifications can put you at an immediate advantage. What’s more, you don’t have to go back to full-time education to do it. Take a look at our part-time courses here.
Taking supplementary courses can also keep you up-to-date with advances in your industry and ensure you can outrun competition from recent graduates, as well as motivate you to take a renewed interest in your work.
Trying something new can also expand your horizons in other ways – you could be inspired to change your career altogether. Read our article on why changing your career is easier than you might think.
Health and mental wellbeing
A report by the Mental Health Foundation for the European Association for the Education of Adults says that “almost a quarter of British adults will experience a diagnosable mental health problem in any one year, of which anxiety and depression are the most common.” These conditions in turn can cause physical health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.
Both the Mental Health Foundation report and the NHS recommend lifelong learning to improve mental wellbeing, life satisfaction and ability to cope with stress.
Lifelong learning can also have a prolonged positive effect on your cognitive ability as you age.
“Studies show that adults who stay active through dancing or learning a foreign language are less likely to develop symptoms of dementia such as memory loss and difficulty thinking,” report the British Council.
Social and networking
Taking a course is a great way to expand your social circle. Adults find it more difficult to make friends, and as we age, our number of friendships often decrease. Learning a new skill in a fun, engaging environment is the perfect opportunity to make new connections.
A more active social life can positively affect our health, too.
“Studies have shown that those with more active social lives are twice as likely to outlive those who lead solitary lives,” say the British Council. “Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that our social lives can more accurately predict life expectancy than our dietary and exercise habits.”
And finally, taking a course takes the pressure away from business networking.
“If you’re someone who isn’t inclined to attend forced “networking” events, a class is often an informal way to meet other professionals at similar stages in their careers,” recommend Mashable.com.
So there you have it. Lifelong learning can reduce stress, increase life satisfaction, prolong your life expectancy, transform your career prospects, boost your social life and can also be a lot of fun. What are you waiting for?