Do we need adult education to keep us competitive?

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“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – Benjamin Franklin

Developing competitive skills such as adult education at par with the industry is the key to a career growth and a prospect for better job opportunities. If you want to see more doors open for you, you might consider learning what is the next best thing in your field of work.

Suppose one work in a technical field, then learning new programming languages is most desirable. If one is inclined towards management or business analysis, then knowing more tools can augment one’s existing skill sets. I am a technology consultant, I recently completed a course on R Programming from Coursera and am planning to pursue a very interesting course on Machine Learning.

How do people learn adult education:

Malcolm Knowles’s concept of Andragogy highlights five distinct characteristics of adult learning. He states that an adult learner – 1) is a self-directed¬†learner 2) accumulates a growing reservoir of experience that becomes an increasing resource for learning 3) is ready to learn with changing social roles 4) is problem centered in his or her learning, and 5) is best motivated by internal factors. Any adult learner should know his/ her learning profile.

This means that you should understand what kind of program would suit you – e-learning, classroom training, experiential learning or a combination of all of few of these methods. Choose such a program that aligns with your learning profile.

What should I learn from adult education:

The next step in this continuous learning process is knowing what to learn. There has to be a purpose to the learning you are undertaking. If you set a goal and augment your knowledge and skill sets to achieve that goal, you will never lack the motivation and you will never be complacent in the journey of continuous learning.

On a piece of paper, write down 6 months to 1 year down the line, what extra would you want to achieve. Keep abreast of the advancements in your field and start your journey to learn the latest technologies and tools. Every year, I make a list of things I want to learn – from technology, tools, a new language, or a new skill. I am fascinated with data science and am working on finding new areas to learn.

From where do I learn adult education:

The next step after knowing the “what”, is to know from where you should attain that knowledge. There are many sources of learning. Many people take a break from their lives to go back to school. I respect their decision to take such a step.

That shows a true commitment to learning. However, one need not necessarily quit his/ her stable job to go back to school. With the advent of technology advancements in the field of education, sites such as coursera.org, datacamp.com, khanacademy.org etc, provide an education platform that partners with top universities worldwide to offer online courses.

Apart from that many professionals lose out on the most important and the most efficient source of learning – your job. Learn from your colleagues and mentors. Practice your new skills in your free time.

Employers appreciate people who show commitment to learning.Continuous learning is not only beneficial for an individual, it is a key to success even for organizations. It can potentially lead to increased productivity, enhance the motivation and interests of the employees and so it can help organizations remain effective and competitive as well.

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AthenaDo we need adult education to keep us competitive?

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