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Adult Learners

Who is the non-traditional learner? This is so hard to define because college demographics have drastically and incrementally changed over the last decades. “Non-traditional student” is therefore a misnomer, because “roughly 71 percent of all U.S. undergraduates defy the college-student stereotype,” according to the National Center for Education Statistics. This group of students are typically 25 or older. This may include mid-career professionals who are making a career change, or return to work parents, single parents, and/or students with families. This group of students bring unique perspectives to the classroom and the campus and also face challenges unique from the younger student population.

Are there employers who value experienced hires?

Yes!  It is true that age-ism in the workplace exists and is a hot topic in Alumni Career Services. As our Alumni Career Coach says, “Yes, there is evidence of age discrimination in the workplace and at the same time, people are getting hired in their 40s, 50s and 60s. There are employers who value and hire experienced professionals.” Alumni Career Services provides the tools and resources to help alumni of all ages be competitive in the job market.

Does the University of Utah help with day care?

“Take your child to work day is an event. Take your child to class day is not. But for many nontraditional students, college attendance is dependent on affordable, reliable child care.” Fortunately, the U of U has several resources for childcare on campus.

Should I worry about age discrimination?

While some mature students are concerned employers may not hire them due to their age, in many cases an employer will value your unique experience! When job searching:

  • Remind employers that due to your experience you have clear goals, hands-on experience, a track record of success, and realistic expectations.
  • Focus on your strengths and attributes and use storytelling techniques to back up your claims of these skills.
  • Project yourself as optimistic and flexible.

To learn more about your rights related to age discrimination, check out this great article titled Age Discrimination at Work.

How far back should I go on my resume? 

While the standard rule of thumb is to include roughly your last 10 years of work experience, this may not always make sense. It’s critical that you consider how relevant and important older pieces of work experience are to the jobs that you are currently looking for. If some of your earlier jobs are able to effectively communicate the strengths and abilities that you want to emphasize to your future employer, then by all means include them on your resume. On the flip side, if some more recent positions that you've held are completely irrelevant to the jobs you are now seeking, it may be best to leave them off your resume.

Campus Resources

Center for Child Care and Family Resources

Our mission is to support and coordinate information, program development and services that enhance family resources. In addition we help with availability, affordability and quality of child care for university students, faculty and staff. Please look below for more resources.


UKids - Presidents Circle          

The mission of UKids - Presidents Circle is to provide access to high quality, affordable child care for student families at the University of Utah.


Campus Child Care Programs   


Center for Child Care and Family Resources

200 S. Central Campus DriveRoom

408 SLC Utah 84112 Phone 801-585-5897

26 S. 2000 E. Room 2907, Health Sciences Education Bldg

Salt Lake City, UT 84112 Phone: 801-585-5897

Hours 8 am to 5 pm

Child Care Access Means Parents In School (CCAMPIS)        

The CCAMPIS program is a federal grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education to support student-parents as they complete their education. University of Utah students who are eligible may receive financial support for up to 85% of their eligible child care costs while in class and/or studying.


SLC Daycare & Preschool|Bright Horizons at U of U

Bright Horizons at U of U Research Park provides child care, preschool, and pre-K programs for children in the Salt Lake City area.


Community Resources
  • Association for Non Traditional Students in Higher Education Resources and scholarships for non-traditional students.
  • Ageless in America Articles and resources for aging workers.
  • The AARP Employer Pledge Program is a national effort to help employers solve their current and future staffing challenges and direct job seekers to employers that value and are hiring experienced workers. Working with AARP, participating organizations have signed a pledge that they:
    • Believe in equal opportunity for all workers, regardless of age
    • Believe that 50+ workers should have a level playing field in their ability to compete for and obtain jobs
    • Recognize the value of experienced workers
    • Recruit across diverse age groups and consider all applicants on an equal basis

We understand these resources may not cover all of your questions. To talk further about these resources or other topics, login to Cranium Café (ConexEd) to make an appointment with any available Career Coach if you are a current student or login to Handshake to make an appointment with our Alumni Career Coach if you are an alum. We also know that the content we have shared here is not exhaustive and that resources on identity are continually evolving. If you would like to share your comments or suggestions with us to help us improve our content, please contact us.


Please contact our team to learn more.