Lifelong Learning: Why Is It Important for People and Institutions?

The concepts of “you live, and you learn” and being “a student of life” have been growing in relevance, which has made people focus on devoting their time to constant learning. 

This concept is discussed as “lifelong learning,” and this idea advises alternating work and constant education, continuously focusing on personal and professional growth. 

Find out what a lifelong learner is, what this concept means, its basis, its rewards, and how you can approve it in your life.

What’s lifelong learning?

Lifelong learning means continuing education. The concept has increased in the professional and commercial fields because only getting a bachelor’s or a master’s degree isn’t enough. 

The meaning of “graduated” is becoming less specific and flexible. It cannot be denied that simply having a degree is no longer enough to adjust to market evolution.

As technology advances, regularly studying is a requirement. New discoveries are growing, new products and ideas are being made about society, and everything you learned in school years ago isn’t enough for development. 

Experts who understand the need to always be educated have the benefit, and this is what lifelong learning is about.

What are the four pillars of lifelong learning?

According to the Lifelong Learning Council Queensland (LLCQ), a board that promotes the concept around the world, the concept has four major pillars:

  1. Learn to know: Developing your interest and enthusiasm to learn, having critical and curious thinking.
  2. Learn to do: Putting knowledge into practice and learning through real experience
  3. Learn to live together: Developing social skills, volunteer nature, receiving feedback, and teamwork skills.
  4. Learn to be: Knowing what your interests are, your strengths and weaknesses, your purpose, and the knowledge you should seek.

What are its objectives?

The objective of lifelong learning is to keep people consistent to adapt to changes in life and the market which is highly dynamic. 

Through constant study, people can continue, long, medium, and short-term courses to learn and become qualified. 

With the time market is getting more demand. Professionals that only have technical skills (hard skills) aren’t as appreciated as they were before. 

Today, a professional is one who has soft skills with social and emotional abilities. These skills should be encouraged by the companies and the government.  

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Good communication
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Sympathy and tolerance for diversity
  • Self-management
  • Creativity
  • Resilience
  • Ethics

What’s the importance of lifelong learning for companies?

Can you imagine a marketing professional who doesn’t invest in his education? 

New technologies in digital media have rendered marketing totally volatile, and those who can’t deal with these changes can’t fulfill their duties.

However, not only those jobs concerned with technology require lifelong learning. 

Such as during the pandemic almost all employees and students have required to use online tools such as WhatsApp Business, Zoom, and Google Drive to prepare and watch live streams.

For companies is having people connected and able to adapt to the changes.

For educational institutions, lifelong learning is even more applicable. 

Encouragement of this mindset means an increased demand for training and courses, meaning it’s important that schools and universities also adapt to this new model focusing on the role of technology in education.

Not only should bachelor’s and graduate degrees be offered, but also shorter courses that develop skills. Schools should also invest in online courses since online education can reach more people faster and provide more flexibility.

Having people go back to school generates an even greater link between students and institution. 

This is appropriate to develop student loyalty, since they’ll spend a lot more time in the place, receiving more education.

What are the main challenges for schools?

For institutions, getting used to this new model means constantly redeveloping what they offer for education. Schools and universities should also pay attention to market trends to address new demands.

Furthermore, there’s also the challenge of keeping an experience relevant to students so they always return to the institution.

After all, the student-institution relationship is no longer a one-time deal; no longer do they take a course and finish their academic life. 

Now, the experience is prolonged: students become customers who can come back as needed, just as with companies like Uber and Starbucks.

What are some advantages of lifelong learning?

As you can see, lifelong learning brings advantages to everyone: educational institutions, employers, and professionals.

The intent is:

  • To develop new skills to have gradually qualified individuals.
  • To help professionals use new technologies.
  • To make people more creative, innovative, and with enough background knowledge to elaborate ideas for the sake of society.
  • To make flexible professionals with diverse abilities, given a dynamic market and those new generations (X, Y, and Z) don’t want to have the same job for years on end, such as happening with baby boomers.

How can you become a lifelong learner?

To be a lifelong learner, you really need to embrace the mindset. This means not waiting for the company where you work to offer you training. Lifelong learners should oversee their own learning process since the benefits will directly impact their lives and not only that specific work.

Develop your sense of constant curiosity and look for your own sources of knowledge:

Read more books each year.

Listen to podcasts and watch videos and documentaries (on YouTube, you can learn whatever you want for free).

Invest in short training courses.

Pay attention to the news and market trends.

Always talk to mentors and other professionals who have more experience than you. Exchanging information with others is a great way to learn.

For this purpose, it’s important to have a method so continuous learning becomes a habit. Plan your goals, track your progress, and always revisit your objectives, since everything is always changing.

The concept of being a lifelong learner goes hand in hand with changes in education and social influences concerning learning methods.

In Education 5.0, the present educational process, teaching combines the latest technologies with an interest in founding people who can change the world and make it a better place

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