Working mums go back to school


24-09-2001

Working mums are going online to get better jobs, a new report reveals.

More and more women who want to get back into education to improve their employment prospects are turning to the internet.



In the US 60 per cent of online learners are over 25 years of age and female.



The AAUW - American Association of University Women - says working mums are squeezing in a 'third shift' on top of their responsibilities to their employers and family.



But although it may be more convenient than going back to college, women still feel guilty at having to juggle work, family and education.



'For all the benefits of distance learning for women, these students still have to make tremendous sacrifices to balance the demands of work, family and school,' said the AAUW's Cheris Kramarae.



'Despite the motivation and dedication online learners demonstrate, our study found that many are still made to feel that they are letting their families down when they try to further their education.'



However, women do give distance learning high marks. It means they can be at home for their family, learn at their own pace, and do course work when they can fit it in.



The 'virtual classroom' also reduces the alienation they sometimes experience on college campuses full of 18 to 22-year-olds. One 31-year-old legal secretary said: 'Because of my age, compared to the average college student, I feel I don't need the social aspect as much as someone younger may feel they need it. In fact, on some levels, I'm happy not to have to deal with other students.'

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