Adult Education: like a Good Second Marriage

"How can I extricate myself from my career?" said the letter sent to Columbia University's School of General Studies. The writer did not hate his job. It was just that he felt that he had "slipped unheedingly" into his career and in middle age suspected that some other profession would mean more to him. His letter, and about 3,000 others like it, are the reason for Columbia's "New Careers" program to educate successful people for diametrically different jobs. Less systematically, other universities are also rechanneling talent.

The switchers mostly feel that their...

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