Why study gets better with age

Education students Annette McCormick and Gabriella WayneEducation students Annette McCormick and Gabriella Wayne

Study in your late 20s, 30s, 40s or even 50s is no longer the exception when it comes to university.

36 per cent of higher education students are aged 25 or above according to 2018 Department of Education, Skills and Employment data.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students) Professor Nan Bahr said the average student age at Southern Cross University was closer to 30 than 20.

“Many of these mature age students have often already experienced a career and have figured out the direction they want to take and are dedicated to undertaking that transformation,” Professor Bahr said.

“Some students continue to work full or part time to support their families and responsibilities, while others dive headfirst into study to complete it in the shortest timeframe”.

Work can often be a catalyst for upskilling

Colleagues seeking his advice about work-related events was a catalyst for NSW firefighter Craig Blandon to look at upskilling. “I found that a few of my work colleagues were coming up to me and just wanting to have a chat about certain incidents,” he said. Craig has just recently completed his Master of Social Work (Professional Qualifying) at Southern Cross University.

Until recently, he was dividing his time between working as a firefighter and as peer support at Lismore-based Momentum Collective, an organisation that provides support with complex and difficult issues of domestic family violence, homelessness, and mental health.

“I’ve always enjoyed learning. If I knew I could have handled my studies and work as a firefighter, I would have done this a long time ago. I just didn’t think that university was for me at all,” he said.

Craig has recently started working at the Department of Communities and Justice where he is assisting families in his role as a Child Protection Case Worker. After he graduated in December 2019, he became a qualified Social Worker.

Life experiences can guide you towards a career transition

After completing high school on the Gold Coast, Gabriella Wayne embarked on a decade-long career in real estate, starting as an office junior, working her way into sales and climbed the ranks to become an organisational leader, managing seven offices across Gold Coast and Brisbane.

The Robina local, now aged 28, said when she fell pregnant she found her purpose and the reason she wanted to change careers.

“I understood how important it is for every child to have a great education and become the people they are meant to be, and the course at Southern Cross University has been life altering,” she said.

“I chose Southern Cross for the location and for the staff – they were so welcoming of me even when I was juggling with feeding my five-month-old and attending classes. I’ve met an amazing group of friends, including connecting with lots of parents who are also studying.

“The way uni is structured ensures we aren’t just a number and we’re able to develop personal relationships with tutors and teaching staff.”

Study online to learn anywhere, anytime

Online learning, the Southern Cross way, is a dynamic and interactive environment where you can access pre-recorded and live lectures and events, online study materials and interact with your peers and lecturers.

Online learning provides access to the quality of a Southern Cross University education with the convenience of studying where and when it suits you best.

We are here to help

Are you looking for more specific information on your study options, how to apply to the University or how to enrol? Register for a personal phone consultation with a Southern Cross University study advisor. They can explain your study options, answer any questions you might have and help with your application.