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Adult Education Myths That May Keep You From Enrolling

Myth #1: It’s too late to go back to education.

Many adults wonder if it’s too late to go back to education. After reaching major personal milestones and professional achievements of your own, whether that’s raising a family, joining the workforce, or even starting your own business, you may feel like the door to a college education has closed.

But no matter how old you are, it’s truly never too late to pursue an education. Adult learners often worry that they’ll be the oldest student in class, and as a result, they fear not being able to relate to classmates. However, the demographics of today’s 3rd level students are more diverse than ever before. In fact, most students at Tangent, Trinity’s Ideas Workspace, are aged 45 to 52. Diversity in the classroom also leads to more interesting conversations and opportunities for learning.

Although it’s normal to have some reservations about stepping foot in the classroom as an adult, Tangent is here to help you at every step of the way, from application to graduation.

Myth #2: I don’t have the time

It goes without saying that as you get older and take on additional responsibilities, life gets busy. For adults who have families of their own, it can seem impossible to cram one more thing into an already busy day-to-day routine filled with the school run, after-school activities, and parent-teacher meetings — not to mention the stresses of work life and projects to get done at home.

Luckily, Tangent understand the pressure adult students are under. That’s why our courses are part-time, short, and scheduled at a time that suits you. Flexible course work and no exams also helps you get the most out of your study without feeling overwhelmed.

Although it’s normal to have some reservations about stepping foot in the classroom as an adult, Tangent is here to help you at every step of the way, from application to graduation.

Myth #3: I can’t make it to in-person classes

There are lots of reasons why in-person classes may not be an option for you: long working hours, evening commitments, and lengthy commutes to name a few.

In the wake of COVID-19, universities of all sizes have learned how to adapt coursework and schedules. Both students and staff have discovered that remote learning is not only possible, but in some cases, preferred. In addition to keeping everyone safe during this precarious time, hybrid learning options have made a world-class education more accessible than ever before.

That’s why Tangent offers a hybrid learning model for busy adult learners, with online teaching complemented by opportunities to learn in-person in one of our regional classrooms. Our students can receive an accredited qualification from Ireland’s leading university, without stepping foot in Dublin, making an education from Ireland’s leading university accessible to the wealth of regional talent Ireland has to offer.

Myth #4: It’s too expensive

Many individuals who are considering going to college hesitate over tuition fees and other associated costs. There’s no doubt that a decision to return to college must also consider the financial responsibilities involved. You may even be discouraged from applying without realising the full extent of resources available to help offset and manage costs.

Don’t let the cost of education hold you back from achieving your academic dreams. Tangent’s postgraduate courses are free or subsidised for all eligible applicants, with thanks to the government’s Springboard+ initiative. This means that jobseekers who successfully apply can enrol for free, and successful applicants in employment can receive 90% funding for course fees. Applicants to Tangent’s postgraduate certificate in Innovation and Enterprise Development will pay a maximum of just €300 to receive a level 9 accredited qualification from Trinity.

Myth #5: I don’t have the qualifications for further study

Making the decision to return to formal learning is not an easy one. Adults, particularly those who have not been in a classroom since their school days, can find the prospect of returning to learning daunting. People who left school early, especially those who don't have any formal qualifications, can be worried about whether they are a good fit for adult education.

Luckily, Tangent understands that not all learning takes place in a classroom, and so we recognise your past experiences, including any ‘on the job’ experience you may have chalked up over the years. This process is called ‘recognition of prior learning’, or RPL.

RPL is a way in which previous learning, whether attained formally (such as a qualification you hold already) or non-formally is assessed and given a value. At Tangent we use RPL to ensure worthy candidates from diverse backgrounds can gain entry onto our courses

Tangent Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation and Enterprise Development (Level 9) from Trinity College Dublin – coming to the Midlands:


Aimed at those who want to be job shapers and not seekers, students of Tangent’s Postgraduate Certificate in Innovation & Enterprise Development (level 9) will learn what innovation means, why it’s essential in business, and how it can be mobilised within organisations for competitive advantage.

A Springboard+ funded course, most applicants pay 10% fees, or just €300 to obtain a level 9 qualification from Ireland’s top university. The course is also free to eligible jobseekers.

Hosted in the Arbutus Innovation Centre, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, Tangent’s postgraduate certificate in Innovation and Enterprise Development is also available in Wexford and Dublin. To apply, visit our Innovation and Enterprise Development Course Page.

Apply soon! Closes Thursday 25th November; begins 4th February.