There may be a number of reasons why going back to school isn’t an option in your life right now. It could be that you feel those years are behind you and you are now in the workplace. Or, it could be that due to a variety of different reasons, maybe you never really were able to figure out what you wanted to do and what degree you should get.
No matter what the reason, is doesn’t mean you can’t continue to educate yourself. After all, education isn’t just about classrooms and exams. It’s about having a wide and unblinkered view of the world, and knowing what is going on in it. It’s about identifying your weaknesses and strengthening them of your own volition. It’s about discovering the skills you feel you need to improve yourself or increase your chances for a promotion or raise at work. Once you obtain the skills you need, then it’s all about going out there and getting what you want!
Whatever you do, don’t think that not having a degree is the end of your own personal education. With the internet, there are hundreds of options available to you. Here are a number of ways that you can continue learning without the help of traditional academia.
1. Stay Current News
A great way to self-educate is to keep up to date on current news, events and affairs around the world. Read the news and know what is happening in the world. You don’t have to buy newspapers (which can be quite expensive); pretty much all of the same news and information is now available online. Sign up to news outlets mailing lists, and they will send you their main headlines in an automated email each day.
Set aside at least 30 minutes per day to browse the news. You can also watch videos, join discussions and share interesting articles with friends and family on social media. Our favorite way to stay up to date with the news is by reading theskimm.com every morning.
2. Sign-up For Online Courses
Thanks to the many wonders of the world wide web, the classroom is no longer the only place you can learn things. If you want to educate yourself on a topic, or skill, or subject, find and sign up for an online course. For example, this English speaking course is taught 100% online, with no need to even leave your computer! You can teach yourself pretty much anything online these days, or at least the absolute basics.
Great places to find affordable (or even free) online classes are Udemy.com, Khan Academy and Lynda.com. Make sure you check out CCG’s job search and entrepreneurship courses too!
3. Don’t Dismiss The Arts
Valuable lessons are not just learned through subjects like math and science. The arts are also a goldmine of valuable lessons. Best of all, many arts can be done by yourself or taught by yourself. You may even be able to find a free local class or a free co-working environment where you can meet like-minded people while you get artsy! Not only will you learn new skills, but you will also learn things about yourself by being creative and exploring a new artsy side of yourself.
4. Find a Mentor
Whatever industry or profession you want to work in, there is somebody else who has done it before you. Others have years of knowledge and experience above you, and they don’t necessarily want to keep that all to themselves! Finding a mentor who is happy to teach you what they know could be a life changing experience for you and sometimes, even more valuable than another degree.
5. Attend Courses Through Your Current Employer
If money is holding your back, ask your manager or Human Resources if they have courses available or tuition reimbursement to attend education classes. Is there a course you want to attend that your employer might be happy to pay for? It never hurts to ask!
Just be prepared to make the case about why the course will help benefit the company and the new skills you’ll be able to take back to your job once complete.
Hopefully, you see that self-education is often even more important that formal education. No matter what, always continue to educate yourself because your most valuable investment is YOU.
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