Sunday, October 28, 2007

Corporations and Universities Helping Train Older Workers for New Careers

Writing in U.S. News and World Report, Kim Clark reports on the rising demographic tide of older students in universities, as a growing number of colleges, charities, companies, and governments are accommodating and encouraging adults who return to the classroom.

Among other things, Clark tells about an IBM prgorma, launched in 2005, that pays older staffers interested in becoming science or math teachers up to $15,000 apiece for tuition and time off for student teaching. This program is now being emulated in California with the establishment of EnCorps, which relies on partners in the commercial sector to recruit, train, and prepare retiring employees to pursue alternate careers as math and science teachers.

While IBM has, more recently, extended its program to pay for training older workers who want to "retire" into other public-service jobs, other employers are focusing more dollars on educating older workers in an effort to keep them from retiring. Thus, for example, Clark writes: "United Technologies Corp. is paying for all tuition and up to three hours off a week for any accredited college class. What's more, older students who get a degree are given a graduation present of $10,000 in utc stock."

Source: U.S. News & World Report "Heading Back to College Universities are doing more than ever to attract older students" (October 26, 2007)

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