IF you’ve been reading this column, you’ll notice how we often advise you to keep on learning. With that in mind, this week we want to give lifelong learning its well-deserved spotlight.
Lifelong learning refers to the on-going, self-motivated, and voluntary pursuit of knowledge for professional or personal purposes, and its benefits are innumerable.
Among them are upgrading skills, gaining new knowledge, expanding viewpoints, boosting work competency, enhancing productivity, improving social networks, and developing personal wellbeing.
The pursuit of knowledge in the long term is especially useful when you want to be employable in the digital economy, where your tertiary diploma alone is no longer enough to ensure success.
With technological advancement and globalisation transforming the work environment, more employers are demanding for highly skilled talents who are also capable of adapting to change and understanding worldview perspectives.
Plus, although knowledge has always been vital for us to thrive in our respective areas of expertise, rapid development in the digital era alludes to shorter lifespan of knowledge of up to only three to four years.
For that reason, engaging in lifelong learning not only enables you to equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and skills to compete and remain relevant in the job market, but also to keep up with changes that occur in the workplace, be it technology, working methods, or procedures.
How then can you learn continuously?
Thanks to the Internet, you can now take courses that are being offered through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) of education institutions around the world (including our own Unimas) or online learning applications such as Coursera, Khan Academy, and Udemy.
If you prefer a more formal setting, you can visit your preferred university to find out programmes that you believe can enhance your capability. Where time constraints are concerned, opt for programmes that allow part-time, online, or distance learning.
At your workplace, you can partake in professional development and on-the-job training provided by your employer. And when you have some free time to yourself, improve your capability by reading relevant articles or watching educational videos.
It’s worth noting that learning can take place beyond school and work, thus you should cultivate lifelong learning even in your daily routine.
There are many ways to go about this; for example, have a ‘to-learn’ list; spend time with people who like learning new skills; start a project where you can apply what you’ve learn; teach others through a blog or group discussions.
Most importantly, be curious about the world and enjoy the learning process!
This is a weekly column by SarawakYES! – an initiative driven by Faradale Media-M Sdn Bhd and supported by Angkatan Zaman Mansang (Azam) Sarawak – to provide advice and stories on the topics of education and careers to support Sarawakians seeking to achieve their dreams. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.