How to Prioritize Education and Learn Almost Anything

A Stack of Old Books on a Table

Education is one of the largest industries in the United States. In fact, in higher formal education alone, 2020 student loan debt alone topped $1.67 trillion. There are no signs of this slowing down either, and with technology changing quicker than ever, we have to learn more, quicker, and that doesn’t include the other trillions in books, K-12 schools, and education services companies. Sometimes learning something new isn’t easy, though. It takes a lot of time, repetition, and money. But what if we changed the way you thought about education to make better education decisions that will speed up the learning process? Well, here it is.

We’re going to break down the universe of knowledge into four different buckets. They are hands-on experience (working in a high-stakes environment), people (networking and relationships), books and short courses/certifications, and formal education (college or university). We’ll dive into each one individually.

A Stack of Old Books on a Table

Hands-On Experience 👷🧰

Hands-on experience generally trumps the other three categories because it incorporates various aspects from each. Rolling up your sleeves, doing work under pressure, and facing the consequences typically leads to learning the most. It helps to create a nice balance of learning and production, which generally lets you learn quicker. If you spend countless hours learning something without implementing it in the real world, you may end up forgetting a thing or two by the time you start implementing it. Having short sprints of learning and work throughout the workday helps a bunch!

People 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

People are the life-blood of learning anything worth implementing, which makes them super important. Talking and communicating with others helps teach you lingo within an industry, and the topics that tend to be current. We’d suggest learning how to network and build relationships if you want to learn more. If you only take away two thoughts from this list, have them be experience and people. It’s almost impossible to do anything substantial in the world unless you mix both. The next two thoughts are merely icing on the cake.

Formal Education 🏫🎓

Think of formal education as your typical college programs like associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees. While not a requirement for learning, formal education should be used to bring your skills up-to relatively current standards. We say relatively because it takes a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money to update curriculums, so your “cutting-edge” degree program probably only brings your skills to standards that existed 3, 5, or even more years ago. If you want to be on the cutting edge of what’s happening globally, start working on a real project with real people. However, this doesn’t mean the program is worthless. You should assess your understanding of the major and determine if you need a broad knowledge of it.

Books, Short Courses, and Certifications 📚🏆

If the lid wasn’t off the jar yet, here it is. You can literally learn anything with books, short courses, and certifications. This type of learning tends to be super focused, specific to one niche, and potentially dangerous. You don’t want to fall into the trap of “chasing certifications” or “checking books off the list.” Many folks just try to impress others with the number of books, courses, and certifications they completed. What matters most is how you draw relationships between you and what’s holding you back from impacting the world.

Thanks for Reading!

Let us know if you like this framework we came up with! If you want content related to education, be sure to check out our education blog! Don’t forget to subscribe at Millennial Investments to learn more wealth building tips and tricks! Happy reading, and thanks for supporting our work! 😇🙏

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