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Older career changers take heart

Published: 19th January 2006

NEW careers are beckoning for mature students opting for MMU’s Masters in Business Administration (MBA) courses.

Higher numbers of older students taking our MBA reflects a trend away from ageism in the workplace and towards more people working longer.

A quarter of MBA students enrolled at MMU Business School are over 40.

Older career changers should take heart, says Professor Huw Morris, Dean of the School: “We had a group of employers in asking about our older students. They wanted people with experience who were willing to go above and beyond. Individual qualities and commitment to lifelong learning was more important to them than age.”

As other business schools report the numbers of “grey MBAs” rising, some are actively recruiting in the older age bracket.

Varied career opportunities

Faced with an ageing working population and the Turner Review (2005) which recommends retirement at late as 70, opportunities for longer and more varied, careers are changing. Employers are realising they need to invest and sometimes retrain their 40 and 50-year-olds, as they may be assets for the next 30 years!

MBA are also a route to self-employment with so many organisations outsourcing to specialists

Susan Lewis, Professor of Organisational and Work-Life Psychology at MMU, says the lifelong learning model is becoming more accepted, while the boundaries are blurring between work and retirement.

“Traditionally full-time employment was followed by full-time retirement, but increasingly people are phasing themselves out of the workplace gently by going part-time or moving to a consultancy role.”

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