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Don’t regret your education: Choose a course that’s right for you

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Article by: Meera Bhanji

Research* from Arden University, has revealed that 52% of UK adults regret decisions about their education. The UK online distance learning specialist commissioned YouGov to explore the education choices most adults would change given the chance. The findings might surprise you.

Based on the results, here are Arden’s 5 top tips to help you avoid longing for a learning time machine by choosing the right course for your future.

1) Study harder – it’s what your future self would want

Almost a quarter of adults would tell themselves to study harder to get better qualifications, making it the biggest single education regret we have as a nation. Achieving amazing results is never the be all and end all, but fail to be the best you can be and you’ll wish you could re-live those study sessions.

2) Keep calm and carry on thinking about your career

The second most common education regret is rushing into study choices without having a clear career path in mind. One in six adults feel they did just this and wish they hadn’t. With so many ways to study now available – at university, online, on sponsored work placements, through apprenticeships – and with student intakes happening virtually all year round, don’t feel pressured into anything. Take your time and do what feels right.

3) Don’t rely too heavily on advice from others

Appreciating the irony of a top tips list telling you not to rely on advice from others, this is a real regret for many of us. In fact one in ten UK adults think they made poor career/education choices based on the advice they received at school. A good student advisor will always present you with a wide range of options but they shouldn’t try and say what’s right or wrong for you. Ask lots of questions and do your own research into which qualifications are right for your future.

4) Ask yourself, who you are studying for?

Are you studying what you want to or what you think others want you to? If it’s the latter then you might end up in the same boat as one in twelve UK adults who regret studying for further or higher education qualifications to please teachers or parents. One in eight 25-34 year olds have this regret. Whatever you do, do it for you.

5) Go on, do it! Chances are you’ll regret not studying.

Around one in eight adults regret not continuing with their studies beyond their school years – this figure rising to almost one in five among 45-54 year olds. Remember though, there’s no expiry date on learning. It might be that work or starting a family are your current priorities and that’s fine – with a world full of flexible learning options, you can get that degree, masters, or HND whenever and wherever you want.

*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2076 UK adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

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