If you’re in your 50s or older, sick of your job or career, but aren’t ready for retirement (financially or mentally), you might be looking for a way to break into a new industry or career. There are a lot of pretty good programs out there for people looking to make a new start in the business world. In fact, we did a whole article on adult internships. Check it out here.
The problem starts, however, when you want to start a completely new career and will need more training or education. Encore education programs are designed to help you do just that. They are college classes and degrees created specifically to help older generations learn new skills they can use in life. What’s the problem? American colleges are far behind the times when it comes to older learners.
In general, any colleges that offer classes for people age 50 and over only have classes like History of Science or Renaissance Art, a.k.a. not applicable to the real world.
Don’t give up hope though. There are a few schools leading the charge in Encore Career College programs:
- Notre Dame – Notre Dame is set to open one of the country’s first large-scale encore career centers next year, opening it’s doors for 25 “fellows” with at least 25 years of work experience.
- Pace University – Named the Encore Transition Program, Pace’s encore degree consists of evening workshops and online courses offered to 123 students in total.
- Stanford and Harvard – True to their Ivy League reputations, these programs are very small and very expensive. They start at about $50,000 and are classic degree programs.
- University of Minnesota – This program is one of the least expensive. Its 2017-2018 program only cost $10,000, with next year’s going up to $15,000.
- Union Theological Seminary – The Encore Transition Program at this school is a shorter, but priced to match at $3,000.
- Hamline College – This St. Paul, Minnesota program, called the Encore Hamline Fellows, is only $695.
- University of Texas – This Tower Fellows Program is only available to individuals with 20 to 30 years of major career accomplishments. It costs $59,000 not including housing.
What do all these programs have in common? They’re incredibly elite and selective. The few continued education programs that do exist in the USA are for the best of the best, some only accepting as few as 25 students every year. Most of them are also quite expensive (with the exception of shorter programs), making them even less available to the everyman.
Encore career college programs are amazing, but things need to change in the United States’ education system, before they will be readily available to anyone that wants to attend one. First, we need more. Second, they need to be more accepting of applicants. Finally, they need to be more affordable or at least allow readily available financial aid.
Would you attend one of these programs? Why? Comment below with your thoughts. Keep an eye out for more articles, tips and tricks about continued education.