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Why Generation X Appreciates Life-Long Learning

Generation X, the group of Americans born between 1961 through 1981, tends to be overshadowed by the much-larger Baby Boomer and Generation Y groups.

September 22, 2015

Generation X

Generation X, the group of Americans born between 1961 through 1981, tends to be overshadowed by the much-larger Baby Boomer and Generation Y groups.

Generation X came of age during a time of change and upheaval. The members of this demographic have experienced the Cold War as children or teenagers and the War on Terror and the Recession as adults. They’ve also been influenced by the rise of mass media and the information age as they’ve started to build and then establish their careers, families, and world views.

Gen X’s value system is quite different from the other groups, especially concerning education and lifelong learning. Here are some of the key educational and cultural characteristics of Generation X, as presented by a 2013 study from the University of Michigan.

Earn greater educational achievements

Many Gen Xers consider education to be a lifelong pursuit, instead of the end of a path. When you compare Gen X to other older and younger generations, they have the highest level of education, with a greater number of both undergraduate and graduate degrees. This group believes that learning is an integral part of their life, rather than a goal to be achieved. Their quest for knowledge in a rapidly changing economy and fast-paced culture has kept them looking for new educational opportunities.

Gather and use information from both formal and informal sources

Baby Boomers show a preference for books, newspapers and TV, plus face-to-face communication. Gen Y, for the most part, gets most of their information through digital sources. Being sandwiched between these generations has given Gen X the opportunity to grow comfortable with an array of digital and traditional information, as well as more informal learning opportunities they’ve integrated into their everyday life as an employee, parent, or community member. For example, they’re likely to gather information from talking to friends, family, and co-workers; have conversations with experts like their doctors; read materials such as books and magazines; or visit a museum or library. This type of information acquisition is common among Generation X’s members, many of whom have completed formal schooling, are involved citizens, and continue to want to grow.

Lindenwood Online Meets Gen X’s criteria

Generation X’s members consider formal, online education to be a learning opportunity that can advance their career, and they are attracted to our undergraduate and graduate programs. Many of Lindenwood Online’s students also say that they appreciate the convenience of a virtual education while working or taking care of family. If you would like to learn more about our accredited programs, contact Lindenwood Online today at 636-373-7719.

Lindenwood University
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