There are hundreds of thousands of students who just received their degree and are marching into the workforce, eager to wield their newly attained knowledge in their first post-secondary education job. The lesson that a lot of us missed is that the learning should never stop, the education should continue, and the rate of advancement in most industries is lightning fast, so we are going to have to run to keep up.
Thankfully, we have these handy dandy internet devices that put professional development and continued education at our fingertips (literally), and a lot of it’s free. Sites like Lynda and Coursera put the professors in front of us at all times, giving us the freedom to not get left behind and the ongoing opportunity to advance ourselves out of the status quo.
Well, why are a lot of us not taking advantage? Why are so many of us getting left behind in industries that are literally outdated by the time we step foot in them?
Because, it’s difficult.
It’s difficult to have just spent countless sleepless nights trying to stay ahead of the curve in school. It’s difficult to work a demanding job that we have to balance with a home life, family, friends and relationships. It’s difficult to find time to cook. Also, when am I supposed to go to the gym?
“All things are difficult before they are easy” – Thomas Fuller
I sincerely believe it will slowly become easier. I am not writing this from the finish line, I am writing this from the starting line. I’m a week behind in a Data Science Specialization due to moving, cooking, working, and everything that falls in between (maybe a Game of Thrones episode). It’s difficult and I am going to have to find time in the wee hours of the night to get everything I need to get done, but I’m going to get it done, and I’m going to get better at juggling (I might be dropping some bowling pins, but I’ll eventually be good enough to add more). This is of significant importance to me.
A lot of us fall into the trap of pushing our education out for another time because our schedules are too full or we can’t afford it. In my experience, our schedules are going to stay full for a very long time, and with time, they are just going to get more hectic as our lives and situations evolve. Our bank accounts might get better, or they might not. We need to get moving now, start juggling, practice juggling and become juggling pros. I’m not encouraging jumping into a Master’s Degree without funding. I am encouraging looking at sites like Lynda, Coursera, edX, and so much more for a solution that is right for your situation. There are so many opportunities available and for most of us, it’s just a matter of taking advantage.
I’m going to keep this article short, because, well, I have homework to do. I’m hoping to learn as much as I can and keep learning so I can bring that knowledge to my colleagues and clients, and to you folks (whoever is reading this and future articles). I’m going to leave this link here for you, just in case you want to take the opportunity and start learning to juggle: