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A Back-to-School “Boom,” as Retired Iowans Start New Careers

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October 8, 2007

Des Moines, IA – The number of older Iowans attending community colleges is on the rise as baby boomers train for new careers after retirement. About 79 million of them will soon be retiring, but many want or need to find work, in order to stay active or provide a paycheck.

Drew Gocken, dean of business management at Des Moines Area Community College, says some Iowans are coming back to school to reinvent themselves.

"We have retirees who have left one vocation and have decided that they really found out what they wanted to do when they grow up and move onto another career."

Gocken adds many of the returning students are looking for jobs that can boost their financial security after their initial retirement.

"They know that by going into another vocation or another career, they could pick up their health insurance again, plus make it a job they really like, this time around."

Gocken notes the new careers they are training for are not just in the traditional retail sector. Some are studying for jobs in law enforcement, culinary arts, and computer technology.

Dick Layman/John Robinson, Public News Service - IA