New study finds over 60% of adult learners planning a career change

More and more adults in the 30 - 55 year age group are deciding to change careers.A new study has found that 60% of adult students are planning to make a career change within. It also found that this dramatic increase in career changes has been triggered by recent cutbacks in the public sector as well as the lasting impact on jobs as business recovers from the recession.

The Borders UK study found that over 190 of 300 students questioned were planning a major career change within the next two years. The most common reasons given for change of career were lack of employment opportunities in their current job, redundancy, or a desire for a complete change of lifestyle.

Director of Studies, Linda Pollitt, notes “Many of our current students work in industries or professions that have been badly hit over the last few years – some are telling us that jobs are much harder to find, while others are no longer enjoying their jobs because cutbacks have created a lot of extra pressure in their workplace. They’re taking positive action by retraining and planning for a new career. Often it’s about rediscovering their enthusiasm and changing their whole lifestyle – retraining for a career doing something the love! Home study is an ideal option because it allows students to retrain whilst juggling work and family commitments too.”

Student Clare Spencer’s experience is typical, she notes “I’ve worked as a nurse for over 15 years and for most of that time I’ve love my job, but recently the shifts and cutbacks have really been getting me down. I decided it was time to do something about it. I can’t afford to go back to college full-time, so home study was a good compromise.” Clare is retraining as a Life Coach with Borders UK.

Alan Riley, a student in our Horticulture department, has different reasons for retraining. “I was made redundant from my last job, in the building trade, and I knew that finding a new job in this climate would be difficult for someone in his late forties, even though I’ve got thirty years experience under my belt. I’ve always loved gardening and talked about working as a gardener one day, but it’s never been the right time. My wife persuaded me that being laid off was the chance I’d been waiting for – I was apprehensive because it seemed risky at my age, but eventually I decided to go for it. I’m still studying for my RHS level 2 Horticulture but I’ve already set up my own business and have my first nine customers. It’s the best decision I ever made, even if it did take a bit of convincing on my wife’s part to begin with!”

Other popular areas for retraining include interior design and garden design.