Although most college degree programs offer classes to every segment of the adult population, recent studies reveal that there are emerging trends in higher education that are linked to gender and race.
For example, new U.S. Census Bureau data shows that more American women have college degrees than men. In 2009, a total of 29.9 million women - age 25 and older - had earned a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 28.7 million men. However, in proportion to their population totals, men were slightly more likely to earn at least a bachelor's degree -11 percent of women and 10 percent of men.
Among young adults between the ages of 25 and 29, women were more likely to hold at least a bachelor's degree - 35 percent of females compared to 27 percent of males. This indicates that many middle-aged men go back to school to pursue higher education, while women are more likely to finish college in their 20s.
Adults of all ages can earn diplomas by taking online college classes, many of which offer flexible schedules and affordable tuition. These web-based programs can remind individuals that it is never too late to pursue higher education.
A recent study reveals that a college degree may not only improve one's career, but also his or her outlook on life. The survey, which was conducted by The Washington Post, the Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University, examined how optimistic Americans were about the U.S. economy, based on race and educational attainment. Researchers found that whites who did not have college degrees were the most disgruntled of all demographics that were questioned.
Only 10 percent of white respondents who did not have college degrees said that they were satisfied with the nation's current economic situation. In addition, a total of 56 percent of Caucasians believed that America's best days are in the past. About two out of every five participants in this demographic said that "hard work and determination are no guarantees" of success.
Furthermore, white Americans who had college degrees were more optimistic about their future than those who did not earn diplomas. Dejected individuals of any race or gender may consider enrolling in online associate's degree programs, which could provide them with new hope for a promising career and financial stability.
People who wish to start their own businesses, but are dismayed by an uncertain economy, could enroll in entrepreneur education online courses, which may help scholars advance to a business administration degree.