“Retire from your job, but never retire your mind.”
Have you retired but still want to learn?
With all the free time this entails, you can follow your dreams and start learning everything you couldn’t while your career got in the way.
Here’s our guide to getting back into education after retirement.
Why Should You Retrain or Study during Retirement
After a long and fulfilling career, a lot of retirees decide to train or go back to school.
Why wait until retirement to do this?
The first reason is to use their newly found free time as for many; the shift to retirement can be a lonely one and going back to school is a way to learn but also to interact with others.
Retirees often enjoy the socialising that schooling, training, or education can offer.
It’s also an opportunity to meet groups of younger friends as the two different generations can learn quite a lot from one another. The older generation can share their knowledge and experience in the world of work and the younger generation is often up-to-date with the latest technology, trends, etc.
In addition to maintaining a regular schedule, it’s also a chance to stimulate your intellect. There’s a good reason there are a lot of mature students and retirees in education.
- A thirst for knowledge and new skills can make studying effective, especially at university.
- At university, there’s an opportunity to share a passion for a given field with experts.
- Students often get the chance to discuss topics with professors, researchers, and specialists.
- Retraining or going back to school are also great ways to use your time intelligently. It’s never too late to earn your degree or change careers.
- A lot of retirees go back to school to go back to work part-time alongside their retirement.
Whether it’s for financial reasons, to remain active in their everyday life, or simply to learn new skills, going back to school can also mean going back to work. Whether they want a qualification or not, here are some of the qualifications they could study a:
- A Level
- Bachelor’s Degree
- Master’s Degree
- Higher National Diploma
- And many others!
Whether it’s to learn new skills or just for fun, retirees can get a lot out of studying.
How Can You Study After 60?
Seniors have a lot of possibilities. Whether it’s something to pass the time, to retrain, or because they’re passionate about learning, here’s how you can get back into education.
Firstly, for those wanting to retrain and work during their retirement, they must look at how much it’s going to cost.
There are grants and loans available for the over-sixties so have a look around. For those retiring, there may be an option to phase into retirement while studying.
Once you’ve worked out how you’re going to pay for it, you can start looking for courses. View the course calendars at universities and colleges all over the country.
Some websites include all the courses across universities as well as services to help you choose courses so you can find the course that’s right for you as there are plenty of different ways to study.
- University courses
- Distance learning
- Evening classes
- Distance Learning
Once you’ve found the course you want to study, next will be applying to it.
Some require you just to sign up and others will require you to apply for a place and depending on how many places are available, you might need to include copies of your qualifications in the application.
For those who don’t have the required level, there are often access courses that you can take to get onto the course.
These are also useful if it’s been a while since you’ve been in education and want to get back into the swing of things.
There are also conversion courses that mean you don’t necessarily have to start from square one.
How to Get Back into Learning
Are you ready for student life? Are you hesitant?
There are a few ways to get ready to learn again.
Classic university courses tend to require A Levels or equivalent. At the end of the course, you can get a bachelor’s degree.
For those who don’t want to sit exams, there are other courses. Of course, you can attend your classes without sitting the exams, but this would certainly seem like a waste of time and money.
You might also want to look at the University of The Third Age (U3A), a nationwide network of learning groups for older students wanting to learn for fun rather than qualifications. There are no age limits, but they’re generally for those over 50 in retirement or semi-retirement.
Groups can meet in members’ homes, a room in a local library, or a community centre.
You can learn about everything including arts, history, crafts, gardening, and computer and digital technology skills. The cost is dependent on where you want to join, but it’s not very expensive. This is a rewarding and relaxing way to learn.
For those with limited mobility or those who can’t easily get to certain places, there’s always remote learning. The Open University, for examples, offers remote learning courses.
There are also internet courses for those wanting to learn from their computers.
What to Study as a Retiree
Retirement is an excellent opportunity to study a subject that you’re passionate about. There are plenty of courses and subjects to study.
Many retirees take this time to learn a foreign language.
Did you know that foreign languages are great for your brain?
Learning vocabulary, grammar rules, and conjugations are a great mental workout so whether you like travelling or would like to learn more about a foreign culture, it's never too late to learn a foreign language.
Studying the humanities at a university can also be rewarding. Art history, philosophy, history, anthropology, etc., are all subjects that get overlooked because they don’t offer as much employability as others. As a retiree, you don’t need to worry about that.
The arts and humanities might be something you’ve always been interested in but didn’t want to study because there weren’t many jobs in them when you were younger.
A lot of retirees also consider enriching studies like health, wellness, and well-being.
To stay in the loop, you can also study IT, computing, or something related to digital technologies.
Sport isn't out of the question, either. Whether you want to learn a new sport or look into health and fitness, you still can as a retiree.
No matter what subject you pick, you’ll have the opportunity to:
- Learn new skills
- Have fun while you learn
- Meet new people with similar interests
- Lead an active life
- Have new experiences
There are plenty of exercise classes for senior citizens like pilates, yoga, or just general health and fitness classes.
Ready to flex your grey matter?
If you're looking to learn a new skill, brush up on old ones, or just try something different, consider getting help from a private tutor on Superprof. There are tutors offering lessons in academic subjects, arts and crafts, foreign languages, sports and coaching, and even guidance and life coaching.
There are three main ways that private tutorials are usually taught: face-to-face, online, or in groups. Each type of tutoring comes with its pros and cons so think carefully about what you want from the tutoring before you decide on the type of tuition to get.
Before you start contacting private tutors, we recommend making a list of requirements so that you know what you're looking for in a tutor. After all, there are thousands of tutors on the Superprof website and you won't want to waste your time contacting tutors who aren't what you're looking for.
Once you've got a better idea of what you're looking for, start getting in touch with tutors and remember that many of them offer the first lesson for free. You can use these free sessions to try out several different private tutors before deciding upon the one that's right for you, your budget, and what and how you'd like to learn.