Never stop learning
Written on the 11 April 2018 by Arrow
If someone asked you to name the last time you learned something new, chances are you'd think back to the last time you studied at school, uni or TAFE. It's pretty natural to equate 'learning' with formal education. But most of the facts, skills and thought processes you learn don't come from textbooks and lectures. The old saying "you learn something new every day" rings true, especially given that we're lucky enough to live in a country with good internet access and lifelong learning infrastructure. These learning opportunities are well worth pursuing and not just for the sake of your career.
The benefits of self-education
Newer studies discuss how continual learning may help stave off age-related cognitive decline, including dementia and Alzheimer's. There are different theories as to how or why this works, but one is that learning forces your brain to make new pathways and connections which it can then use for everyday functions.
Some suggest that self-paced, self-directed learning is more effective because your brain gets to pick out the new content (stuff it doesn't know yet) and focus on that.ii But over time, the data suggests that all kinds of learning can make a difference.
Upskilling for your career
Many vocational education and professional training providers offer short courses or intensive 'taster' classes. These are samples of their longer courses, and are often free or very low cost. They allow you to get an overview of a field you're interested in, or a skill you need to work on. Short courses are also a chance to see whether formal study could actually work for you. Just taking a couple of hours out of your schedule on a random weeknight could be the start of a learning journey that shapes your career.
Satisfy your curiosity
Tips for finding cheap and free learning opportunities