February 6, 2011
The kids are back in school. Are you?
We live in a knowledge-powered economy and if we’re not continually upgrading our capabilities we become obsolete. The good news is the educational choices we make at 18 don’t need to be hard and fast choices we’re stuck with for a lifetime.
You can choose to look at lifelong learning as the homework assignment that never goes away. Or, you can choose to look at it as an essential strategy for living long and living well.
I’m not suggesting you must go to university to gain the necessary knowledge. What university did do for me was make me recognise that theory is great, but practical skills are what pay the bills. Organised learning, whether in traditional schools or through condensed courses and teleclasses, would significantly shorten my learning curve.
“Don’t let your schooling interfere with your education.” – Mark Twain
Had I to do it all over again I might choose a succession of bite-sized learning opportunities in the specific areas of my interest (recognising those change over time). Short-term, condensed educational programs have become more available and recognised as an efficient way to gain specific expertise in less time without spending your life’s savings on a long program.
Learning does not take place in a box we call a classroom or in a hotel conference room. We learn more, we learn better, and we learn faster by doing and being actively involved. So, where to start? Why not learn to speed read and open up the enless wealth of knowledge in your local library? Or learn that language you’ve always wanted to? Enrol in a course to help bridge a skill gap? Get some coaching on an issue that’s holding you back? Enrol in one subject at TAFE or university if you’ve been putting it off for years.