Career Exploration for Adult Learners

Think you’re too old to be in college? Think again. Only about 15 percent of students are “traditional” college kids age 18-22, going to school full time and financially dependent on their parents.

A large number of today’s college students are working adults with many questions about how and why going back to school might fit their lives. Adult learners have a number of options to increase their knowledge and advance their careers.

Are you ready to (re)start your career?

Use resources on CAREERwise to explore careers, plan your education, and find a job:

Credit for Prior Learning
Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is academic credit that is awarded to students who can successfully demonstrate college or university-level learning achieved through informal or experiential learning outside of the classroom. You could have your learning evaluated for academic credit, saving you time and money towards earning your degree. Find out by contacting your advisor. Advisors and many faculty play a role in helping you recognize and identify your learning that might have potential for college-level assessment.

Minnesota State colleges and universities may have different guidelines and processes for granting credit for your prior learning through standardized CLEP examinations, military training or service, Advanced Placement exams, International Baccalaureate diplomas, and (in some cases) college course credit by examinations, individualized assessments, portfolio reviews, or competence demonstrations. Our Veterans Education Transfer System (VETS) shows how many academic credits you can receive for military occupations prior to admissions.

Minnesota State Campus and Program Search
Minnesota State offers a wide variety of programs for adult learners at every age and stage. You can find programs to fit your schedule including online programs.

Continuing Education
Maybe you already have a degree or career, but want to learn a new skill or work toward your next promotion? Through our colleges and universities at Minnesota State, you can take affordable, short-term, non-credit courses or workshops. Learn more about short-term training.

Skill Up
Do you need a new plan because your life circumstances have been changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic? Look at the skills you have now and see if they transfer to another job. Find short-term training options that can help you make a career change.

Find resources to help you with your specific situation. 

Adult Basic Education and English Language Learners

If you’re an English Language Learner (ELL), just finishing high school or completing a GED, the resources at MyMnCareers are designed to help you explore your career options, set goals, and learn about training opportunities.

Adult Basic Education
Adult Basic Education (ABE) programs serve students ages 16 and over who are not enrolled in school and who want to improve their basic skills in reading, writing, math, listening, and speaking. Learn about different types of Adult Basic Education (ABE) or use the Provider List to find ABE classes near you. You can also contact the adult literacy hotline by phone (1-800-222-1990) or text (612-424-1211) to get more help.

Immigrants and Refugees

CAREERwise Resources for Immigrants and Refugees
Are you new to this country?  Find education, employment, and legal resources.  Learn about cultural and language services.

People with a Criminal Conviction

Career Planning for People with a Criminal Conviction
The Career Planning for People with a Criminal Conviction website and workbook help people with felony and other criminal convictions succeed in their job search. Learn how to set goals, get training, and search for a job.

People with Disabilities

CAREERwise Resources for People with Disabilities
Find resources to help with education & training and employment.  Learn about financial resources and services to help people with disabilities.

Recently Unemployed

Manage Job Loss and Transition
Whether you’re recently unemployed or entering the workforce anew you can find tips to help you take care of yourself and deal with transition and support services to help you get back on your feet.

CareerForce Locations
Any Minnesota Job seeker or career explorer can benefit from the services and resources offered by CareerForce. Find counselors to help guide you. Attend classes and workshops to help you with your job search.  Find out if you qualify for state dislocated worker funds.

If you’re outside of Minnesota you can search for an American Job Center to get help.


Military and Veterans
Find resources to help you transfer your military experience to college, learn about education benefits, and more.

CAREERwise Resources for Veterans
CAREERwise has resources to help you transition to civilian life, make career decisions, find education & employment, and more. 


Get Help

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