Adult Education roles refer to the teaching of new skills to adults and mature students. In recent years, the adult learning industry has expanded significantly due to the state’s desire to increase literacy and numeracy levels within the UK. However, Adult Education courses are not only available in academic disciplines such as maths, English and science, but also in more creative subjects such as art, textiles and catering.
Are you interested in teaching? Do you wish to pursue a career working with adults? Is education a field of interest to you? If this is the case, then perhaps you should consider studying an Adult Education course.
However, before you decide whether or not this is the right field of study for you, it is important that you consider your personal strengths and whether these match the key skills required to be successful on the course. Those dealing with adult learners should have strong people skills, as well as the ability to cope in a classroom environment.
Similarly, any teaching course will require students to gain some hands-on experience teaching within such an environment. As such, the most successful candidates tend to be those who are not only hard working and enthusiastic, but are also capable of dealing with the more vocational aspects of the course content.
There are a number of careers available in the Adult Education industry. Many students who graduate with such qualifications do so with the intention of working in government-funded learning programmes, or in adult learning colleges teaching a wide range of subjects.
Those who have specialised in literacy and numeracy teaching can also be hired in a secondary school environment, looking after older students (post 16 years old) who have struggled throughout their education to learn key skills required to function in the everyday world.
Similarly, care work is also an option frequently taken up by those with experience in Adult Education, as the communication skills learned in this particular programme play a key role in this vocational field where patience is a key quality. Some graduates also enter fields of educational psychology and/or educational work for arts and culture organisations, in roles like administrators or curators.
There are many different courses available to those wishing to pursue an interest in this particular topic. Many courses may expect their candidates to have already gained specific qualifications in the field prior to the start of the course.
If you're a foreign student, you may also be required to pass an IELTS test before the course commences, in order to demonstrate that there are no language barriers prohibiting you from understanding the course content.
The duration of your course will depend upon the type of course you study, and whether you study on a full-time or part-time basis. The course itself will consist of theoretical work as well as hands on teaching experience.
The impact your location of study will have upon your experience will be two-fold. Primarily it will affect your study experience; so ensure you attend university open days and research the local area. Will you be able to live there and enjoy your time? After all while the academic aspects of your study are important, it is also essential that you enjoy your time as a student on an emotional and practical level.
However, for a vocational course such as adult learning, location can also have an impact on your future prospects within the graduate job market. You'll benefit from part-time employment or work experience which is related to education in some way (preferably with adults). If you are looking to stay in the UK, you should also see if there are many job opportunities available within the area for graduates. The university should have their alumni statistics available on their websites, or on request.
Do you have the required grades to sit your particular course of choice? Do you have the right level of experience, or can you demonstrate a vested interest in the field? Can you afford the fees and the living costs of your particular course? Of course, there's always part-time work available, but it is important that this doesn't interfere with your studies. If you find that you are struggling financially, then there are a wide range of bursaries and scholarships available.