Lifelong learning is the coming trend in education. In fact, adult learners are the fastest-growing educational segment in the United States right now. But there are many important reasons to pursue learning past your traditional school-age years that have nothing to do with trends. It’s beneficial to you to learn throughout your life.
Lifelong learning can benefit people in their careers, of course, by setting them up in career paths and making sure they don’t become obsolete. But it can also have positive effects on your life in general, augmenting everything from brain activity to the number of acquaintances you have.
Education Keeps You Current With Developments in Your Field
The days of a single education and a single job for 30 years are long past. It’s now necessary to keep education going to stay current with developments in your industry, especially in fields like technology and marketing.
Think about how much technology changes over the decades. Writing, too, has moved from newspapers to online sites. Nearly everyone needs to keep learning and asking questions in order to stay current with the changing job requirements. The educational delivery can vary from professional development seminars in your workplace to obtaining certification and advanced degrees from an educational institution, to even just reading an updated book on your industry in the peace of your home.
Learning Boosts Employee Productivity
Employees who are stuck in the same position doing the same thing for long periods of time tend to stagnate. They may grow bored or just weren’t very excited about their jobs to begin with. Learning new things is exciting for most people. In particular, it’s been shown to improve employee productivity by 12 percent.
Education Prevents You From Becoming Outmoded
By 2020, more than 60 percent of jobs will require education past high school. Therefore, it’s going to be increasingly important to have advanced degrees. Going back to school, even later in life, could be an awesome goal. If you just don’t have the means to, you can show your employer how much you care about keeping up by reading as much as you can outside of work and bringing those fresh ideas into the workplace.
Expanding Horizons Increases Your Motivation
Human beings are naturally curious. Learning something new, even using something as simple as a massive open online course, which many universities offer for free, can energize how you face your job. It hikes your motivational level.
Learning New Things Is Fulfilling
Let’s not forget the advantages of lifelong learning outside of work. It can be profoundly fulfilling to embark on a new course of study. Have you always wondered what Shakespeare’s plays were like, why people listen to Bach or how a semiconductor chip really works? Lifelong curiosity can fulfill your life’s dream to know.
Lifelong Learning Improves Brain Health
Engaging your brain makes it work. As a result, it responds. There is a lot of evidence suggesting that learning new material can make your brain healthier. Learning a new musical instrument, for example, reduces drops in cognitive ability. So if you’ve ever yearned to play the dulcimer, or even the electric guitar, you can pick it up at any point in your life and still gain something from the experience. Your brain will thank you.
Reading Reduces Stress
Learning involves many things, but it almost certainly will have a component of reading. Reading has been shown to cut down on stress. Need to feel calmer in life, as most people do? Read, read, read.
Better Skills Bump up Your Salary
Higher education, for one thing, grows your salary. Over the course of a lifetime, that rise can be substantial. Women with bachelor’s degrees make $445,000 more during their lifetime than their counterparts who only have a high school education. That gap gets bigger for those with advanced degrees.
If you don’t have a degree or can’t get one, the best thing to do is, again, just keep reading and trying to grow your skills outside of the workplace. This kind of initiative will impress your employer no matter what your title is or what degree you hold or don’t hold. An impressed and happy employer can also lead to an eventual salary bump.
Education Encourages You to Grow Your Natural Abilities
We all have natural talents. Perhaps you can draw, sing or dance. Working a job and, say, raising a family may have left you little time to pursue those passions. Making them a priority will give you added energy because they’re endeavors that you exhibit real enthusiasm toward.
Learning Leads to Valuable New Relationships
If you learn something important, it’s natural to want to share it. Classes and other forms of lifelong learning such as seminars can introduce you to people. From ecological tourism to seminars on cruise ships, the world is filled with educational opportunities done in a social setting. You can diversify your social network via lifelong learning.
Gaining a lifelong curiosity can benefit your paycheck, your employment picture, your brain and your free time. Given the wealth of opportunities available, it’s important to keep up with learning new things throughout your life.
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