This chapter of our guide will provide you with statistical insights and facts about the adult student population in the United States and around the world. It will help you to gain a sense of the strength of the adult student body and give you the necessary encouragement to make the decision to enroll in an academic program.
The Rise of Adult Students
There has been a marked increase in the number of adult students enrolling in college programs across the country in the last 10 years. It all started with the major economic downturn in 2008, which was accompanied by widespread job losses. At that time, many people realized that they needed further education to improve their chances of landing employment. Even though the economy has picked up since then, adult enrollment has continued to grow year over year since 2014.
Visualized below are the numbers behind adult college enrollments.
Adult Career Changes: BLS’s Fastest Growing U.S. Occupations
Reasons for the Increase in Adult Student Enrollment
There are a number of reasons for the tremendous growth in the number of adults enrolling in higher education, certificate, and degree programs:
- Increasing competition. Older workers are faced with increasing competition from younger employees who are more educated in the latest technology. They feel the need to improve or update their education, especially in digital technology, to keep up with the latest trends and developments in their fields. Otherwise, they face the risk of career stagnation or being overlooked for promotion in favor of younger workers.
- Ease of access to education. The growth of online education has made it easier for people of all ages to enroll in degree or certificate programs. In addition, more of these programs have gained accreditation, making these qualifications readily accepted in the workplace.
- Job dissatisfaction. Many workers who are unhappy in their jobs are realizing that further education could be the key to enabling them to make a career change and improve their employment situation.
Have you been thinking about making the switch to a job that’s more fulfilling? Check out the programs available to you, and see how they can help you discover your new career path.