Ways to Continue Learning without Going Back to School

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Thanks to advancing technology and the rising popularity of sharing information, non-traditional forms of education are becoming the norm these days. Inclusion is in, and it includes not excluding anyone from learning. As you go about the continual learning process that is life, tap into the various educational platforms available at your fingertips. Here are just a few ways in which you can broaden your knowledge in whatever topic that tickles your fancy.

Listen to Podasts

Whether it’s on your commute to the office or a not-so-lazy Sunday doing chores around your house, you can throw on a podcast and make the most of your downtime. There are so many podcasts out there that range from today’s latest news and debating politics to deep philosophical discussions or recapping history and uncovering an unsolved murder case. Personal recommendations from friends are always clutch when it comes to deciding which one to listen to. Alternatively, Googling the topics you want to know more about is a great way to find a fitting podcast. The topics available to listen to, learn about, and absorb are endless. For those new to the podcast game and looking for place to start, TEDTalks is a go-to. The podcast covers a wide range of content to choose form and is one of the most popular out there for easy and enlightening listening.

Participate in the Community

Sometimes, the best way to learn is to just do. Hands-on experience and real people interaction is invaluable when it comes to really grasping a concept. You can get a deeper understanding by simply getting involved. Volunteering in the community, for instance, can work to expand your perspective on what you once knew or never knew existed. Non-profit organizations rarely turn down volunteers. Look into how you can help not only others but even yourself, by reaching out to organizations that work for a cause you’d like to lend a hand in.

Attend Networking Events

If you’re looking to learn more about the current industry you’re in or potential industry you want to work in, look no further than networking events. Networking can take many forms, ranging from smaller conferences to large conventions to casual “speed-dating” types of events held at local restaurants and bars. When you attend a networking event, talk to people that are doing what you want to be doing and ask them direct questions on how they got to where they are—it can help guide you in your path towards success and career fulfillment. Additionally, you’ll be able to make connections and continue conversations that can further expand your knowledge about a field or industry niche you want to tap into.

Take Online Courses

These days, when you want to find something out, the simple answer tends to be, “Google it.” In the same tune, and one step further than that, you can now take educational courses online. Online academies and colleges offering distance-learning formats are becoming more and more prevalent. Lynda.com, Shaw Academy and Khan Academy are all online platforms with offerings that include academic, professional development and personal-interest courses. Whether it’s trigonometry, improving your business writing skills or mastering the art of photography, there’s an online class that caters to your needs. Even better, many of the courses are flexible and either free or considerably inexpensive—making access to education available to just about anyone seeking it.

Sign Up for Workshops

Learning something completely out of your realm can be an intimidating task. Workshops are an ideal way to get your feet wet and try out a new path. You can peruse through sites like Dabble.com to find workshops and classes in your area, taught by professionals, and usually at a decent price. The platform offers everything from candle making and cooking classes to sign-language workshops. Also, a lot of companies offer niche learning experiences to their employees. Taking advantage of this benefit is the key to growing professionally and doing your job even better. Amway, for example, provides their network with training workshops and tools to learn how to grow a customer base and run a business. It offers video tutorials and continuing education to help you reach your optimal potential as an entrepreneur.

Although you may not be in school (in the traditional sense) anymore, learning doesn’t ever need to stop. Capitalizing on all the resources available to you with today’s technology and pro-education culture is the key to growing and expanding your mind. You can gain new perspective on something you’ve never thought about before through podcasts and volunteer work, leverage connections at networking events to expand career opportunities, or explore an interest you never thought was available to you through online education, workshops. The possibilities are endless when it comes to learning, and they most definitely go beyond just going back to school.

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