If you are attending university and are aged over 21 – or 24 in the US – then you will be referred to as a mature student.
So, those students who are postgraduate students are mostly also mature students even though postgraduate students range in age from the freshly graduated to the recently retired. There are many great reasons why it’s a great idea to embark on postgraduate studies as a mature student so let’s take a look at some of the main ones.
You know what you want
For those students who are contemplating postgraduate study and who are now mature students, they will have a better idea of what they want to gain during their studies. It's not just the skills that are advertised with the course but the transferable skills as well. You will probably know if your writing ability needs a little polishing or if you want to improve your researching skills.
Financing won’t seem so complicated
Students who are little older will find the financing of studying less confusing as this won't be the first time they have arranged financing. You might have access to more money now than when you were an undergraduate student and you've probably arranged a loan before so the small print, even that of the Government loans, won’t be as intimidating.
Give your career a boost
A research masters or PhD might bring together everything you have learnt over the course of a whole career. Alternatively, if you are a little off retirement, a taught masters program might boost your career along.
Open up to new experiences
University is all about new experiences and learning about yourself. As a mature student, you will have a great opportunity to try new things and meet new people while you study. Most institutions have plenty going on, some associated with the course or department and other activities related to other courses that you can participate in. Some will be paid and others will be voluntary, but both will either add to your CV or be a great experience.
Get back into work
Going back to university will give you the chance to improve those IT skills, especially if you have been out of the workforce for a little while. There will be free courses, often available online, to show you how to use all of the university's IT systems and programs, which is a fantastic opportunity.
Universities welcome you
Most universities welcome mature students as they want a range of people and experiences available to draw on during the course. This means that you will be welcome, no matter what your age or plans after the course, to apply for most postgraduate courses. There will be societies that are aimed at postgraduate students, often for those in different circumstances, for example, those postgraduate students with children, to participate in and meet people who are in a similar situation.