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Message To 2013 Grads: Lifelong Learning vs. Formal Education

School, or formal education, is a little bit like a game. Play it right and you will succeed.

However, the skill set it takes to do well in life after school is quite different. Personal and business finance, effective marketing and selling, and networking, for examples, are not really taught in schools.

So how does one get skills necessary for success in the game of life?

Lifelong learning is the pursuit of knowledge, either for the sake of the knowledge itself OR to improve one’s life. Simply because you are done with school should not mean you are done learning. Why? Because a degree used to get you a foot in the door in a job, and then what you did once there ... well, separated the promoted from the eternally stuck.

Things have changed, if you haven’t noticed.

It is still true that the life-long learners get promoted and the degree-holders only do not. But now a degree might actually be a sign to potential employers as too many years wasted drinking beer and pondering the different influences of religion on 18th century Europe. Fascinating stuff, but how does that help you and your boss or your business make MONEY?

So why spend so much of our time in school if it doesn’t directly prepare us for life?

It’s a difficult question that requires us to re-examine the foundations of our education system. In the meantime, however, if you decide to pursue higher, formal education ... and it is your decision (and you must take the responsibility for it as such) ... it is up to you to figure out how to develop the skills you need to hit the ground running after graduation.

There are amazing resources available to you in the form of books, classes, and seminars that are inexpensive or free. If you need guidance and feedback, let me know and I'll be happy to help.