Adult learners’ career paths–from IT profession to education within two-year study programme in Finnish university context

Vesa Korhonen, Päivi Portaankorva-Koivisto

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Abstract

Higher education and lifelong learning projects aimed at adults have become more widespread and have sparked a debate on how to restructure higher education policies and support lifelong learning. In Finland, a recent initiative in higher education policy is based on the theme of continuous learning. Different supporting structures and practices at the governmental level are being sought. During the academic year 2017–2018, the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland funded a project that provided pedagogical studies in teaching for 16 IT professionals. The aim was to enable the participants to focus on the educational field and find new options for their careers. We utilised a narrative research approach to explore the types of adult learners’ storylines and positions that were constructed during these studies, of which we identified three: the storyline of different alternatives, in which participants positioned themselves as a career path builders, the storyline of becoming a teacher, in which participants positioned themselves as a teacherhood reflectors and becoming a teacher was an enriching alternative, and the storyline of looking forward, in which participants positioned themselves as a developers and mainly saw their studies as expanding their ongoing career opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-154
Number of pages13
JournalINTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LIFELONG EDUCATION
Volume40
Issue number2
Early online dateMar 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Adult learners
  • higher education
  • lifelong and continuous learning
  • narrative research

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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