The Importance of Life Long Learning

The Importance of Lifelong Learning

By Research Analyst: Adrian Tan

Introduction

Many believe that after completing their education, they have thus finished their journey of learning and their path of learning stops there. Some never enjoyed the education system but chose to sit through the endless hours of what they perceived as impractical and thus not useful in their future careers. However, learning should not be perceived as a goal to earn a degree or make a living; those are simply the opportunities that learning gives us. 

Instead, learning should be thought of as a pastime that makes life ever so amusing, and those opportunities are only a minor reward for our hard work. Each day we are given various opportunities to strive to improve ourselves, yet we do not allow ourselves to grasp the opportunity and time to make an effort. In a world where globalisation is the norm and change is a frequent occurrence, only through our constant development to learn and sharpen our skill sets can we match the ever-changing environment.

Lifelong Learning and its Benefits to the Individual

Of course, the major benefit of lifelong learning is an increase in wages, where enhanced courses are crucial for surviving economic downturns and the evolution of technology, especially in a professional landscape. With trends like Artificial Intelligence already at our disposal, the constant change in our work requires continuous improvement.

Moreover, a habit of learning can not only increase half a year of a person’s life span for every year of formal education, but it can also lead to greater happiness. People with higher levels of education tend to have better problem-solving skills, which also helps them make better lifestyle decisions.

Lastly, this habit will also foster curiosity, which brings great personal and professional benefits as people who tend to be curious are more social and engaging, which can be applied on a professional basis. Showing their intellectual curiosity by asking good questions would foster motivation and fulfillment from challenging tasks.

How Organisations Can Foster Lifelong Learners

Businesses today need employees who are willing to learn and adapt. Fostering lifelong learners is not simply traditional upskilling, enhancing employees’ technical skill sets. As the purpose of fostering is to ensure that employees are actually motivated to pursue and improve themselves on their own. Employers have to encourage a culture of risk-taking, such as taking a risk to develop an efficient production line or the use of AI in addressing support tickets. Besides, a study found that the passion of employees thrives instead of using fear as a tool for motivation, as passion is the essential item needed for an employee to improve themselves.

The study further points out most employees are discouraged by organisations since employees with passion tend to ask too many questions and take too many risks and organisations prefer systems that have already been in place because it is faster and cheaper. Therefore, the study found that employees encouraged with passion tend to have a long-term commitment to achieve their goals in the organisation, are excited about facing the unknown, and have the desire to seek help from others to quickly resolve a problem. Besides, this passion is seen in children who have all the criteria needed to foster lifelong learners: curiosity, imagination, creativity, and willingness to take risks and connect with others.

Building The Habit of Lifelong Learning 

After exploring the benefits to the individual and organisation of a habit of lifelong learning, instilling the habit of learning requires persistence and needs to be carefully polished. Such as carefully selecting a specific subject you would like to master and sticking to the subject, and setting a realistic goal are crucial. Such as setting aside a little time in the week to slowly build momentum and build learning into our daily lives. Technology nowadays is also highly useful and should be taken advantage of as it provides materials online that are easily accessible while also having apps that help track and manage habits. However, it can also serve as a distraction; setting aside our technology occasionally can increase our attentiveness, improving our retention and understanding of what we are learning.

Conclusion

Society and technology have been rapidly evolving, as the average human life expectancy is expected to increase to 80 years old. Moreover, the general population will peak sooner than expected, causing the world population to start falling off, which will cause the retirement age to also increase. This will cause an increased dependency on the older generation’s labour to support the economy and meet labour market demands. Therefore, causing the older generation to work to improve themselves can also alleviate poverty by providing the right expertise that the labour market desires. Lifelong learning is simply continuous education. In this age where change is the only constant and information is at our fingertips, learning is what makes life interesting.

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