The Wall Street Journal cites the recession and ‘long-term structural changes in the economy’ as reasons prompting adults to go back to school. Governments the world over may be cutting back on education funding, but individuals are investing in adult education, in the hopes of capitalising on the next economic upswing by re-inventing and re-positioning themselves in their career.

What is Education Trending?

Since the official start of the worldwide recession in December 2007, says CNN Money, jobless Americans are returning to college to retrain, in order to find a new career path or increase their chances of finding another job. Then, there’s the shift from a manufacturing to a services-related economy in the developed world. This is forcing blue-collar workers to upgrade their skills and qualifications through adult education programmes. Added to the mix are the vast numbers of qualified university graduates accepting lower-grade jobs once reserved for those without a college education; a phenomena creating barriers to entry for those without a tertiary education.

What Sorts of Education is Popular?

University is the most popular education choice for adults looking to retrain. And indications are that investing in a bachelor’s degree is a smart career move – a survey conducted by Kaplan University points out that the most-sought after qualities in employees, as rated by employers, are skills learned at university, including:

  • Critical thinking
  • Ability to think globally
  • Flexibility and dynamism
  • Solid writing skills.

Adult college students are opting for the following types of adult education programmes:

  • Certificate or degree in a specialised skill.
  • Online courses or distance-learning programmes
  • Evening classes or weekend classes.