Reasons To Study As An Adult

Photo: Dmitry Ratushny

When you’re in high school or university, you probably can’t wait to graduate so that you never have to pick up another textbook or sit another exam again. 

Yet many people do end up taking more formal or professional qualifications throughout their lifetime. There are so many advantages to making learning a part of your life. 

Technology has a huge difference in the opportunities we have to learn. You may not even have to step foot in a classroom. Courses can be taken online and material delivered to you electronically or via video and podcast. It also means that the cost of learning has reduced too and in many cases is even free. 

Here are just a few reasons you might want to study as an adult. 

You didn’t do very well in school

Not everyone gets the grades they want the first time around. There can be many reasons for this and in some circumstances, poor grades can affect the further study and job prospects. Or, you just might want to prove to yourself that you can do it. Whatever the reason, you can throw your books in your school bag and get back to it. 

You want to get a promotion

Most career paths these days require you to constantly learn new skills. A lot you can learn on the job but others require more formal learning, either through online courses or class-based learning. Sometimes in order to get that promotion or a new job, you need to add some skills to your CV. In some cases, these qualifications might be a prerequisite of the job or can be something that will make you stand out as a candidate. A mix of skills and more formal learning can be an excellent combination for hiring managers. Self-guided professional development will also mark you as someone who is committed to their career and takes the necessary steps to improve themselves in order to do the best job possible. 

You want to change your career

It’s not uncommon for people to change careers entirely throughout their working life. It’s very rare that a person stays in the same company anymore, never mind the same sector. You might have your heart set on something else completely or to work for yourself, and that means acquiring new skills. In some cases, you need particular types of qualifications to work in a certain role, so will need to pursue formal qualifications. 

You want to learn something different

So far, we’ve talked about how you can learn new skills to further your career but this doesn’t have to be the driving force behind your decision to take a course or get a new diploma. Many people study as a hobby. It may never have crossed your mind before but a lot of people study things that they are interested in but don’t get to learn about in their everyday lives. For example, someone could be an accountant but have a huge interest in history or psychology so study this in their free time. 

Learning for the sheer fun of it is a very different experience from other types of learning that you feel you have to do. For a start, you can study pretty much anything you want, from fashion to nuclear physics. 

To support your children through school

When you become a parent, it’s your job to teach your child many things about life. When they first start going to school it’s pretty easy to help them with their schoolwork. As they get older though, it may not be a walk in the park. It’s very common for parents to want to brush up on maths, English and science skills in order to help their children. 

Learning is good for your health

When you’re stressing about passing an exam, it might not feel like it, but learning is good for your health. It keeps your mind active and your brain sharp. Add to this a feeling of confidence and self-respect that you are making a conscious effort to improve yourself, on your own terms and there’s really no reason not to. 

Having an active mind can be beneficial as you get older as it may reduce the risk of some cognitive disorders in later life. 


As humans, we’re constantly learning throughout our lives. Choosing to study as an adult can open a lot of doors for you in terms of your career, but the benefits go way beyond that and can have huge social, psychological and mental benefits too.