The Importance of Self-Education

How do you continue your education? Online classes, college, books?

The value of education is stressed upon us from an early age – starting with our teachers pushing us to achieve higher grades, to our parents’ desire for us to continue on to college.

However, alternative forms of education, like trade school, apprenticeships, and self-education are rarely discussed.

But the fact of the matter is that you don’t have to go into debt to further your education; community colleges, universities, and student loans are only part of the picture.

All you need is the motivation to keep pushing yourself.
Why Self-Education is Important
A self-educated individual can aim to learn a little bit about everything, or they can work hard toward mastering a single subject.

Either way, it is the act of taking your learning into your control. It is this drive to further yourself which ultimately leads to success on a personal and financial level.

Everyone can benefit from continuing to strive for a well-rounded self-education; this is especially true if you run your own business.

Cheap Methods for Self-Education
Educating yourself can be as simple as picking up an extra book on a new subject, or taking a beginner’s course to learn a new hobby.

The following are practical ways to take charge of a self-guided education:

  1. Attend free community workshops. You can find free community-sponsored classes by looking through the local classified sections in the newspaper or on public billboards.
  2. Take free online college courses. Some colleges offer free courses to students with the option to donate money. However, it is important to note that the completion of these classes usually does not count toward a degree program if you plan on taking official courses in the future.
  3. Check out books at the library. Borrowing books on a subject that you want to understand is one of the best ways to obtain a free education – just be aware that the information may be outdated, so always double check the date that the book was published.
  4. Find used textbooks. These can be found in many places, including online auctions, college book stores and even yard sales. If you don’t wish to purchase them, many college book stores also offer textbooks on loan.
  5. Obtain applicable hands-on experience. Consider volunteering or applying for a job that will require you to expand your knowledge.
  6. Find a mentor. Becoming an apprentice in the field is a great way to get an education while building valuable money-making skills at the same time.
  7. Apply for grants and scholarships. If you want to go the formal route instead, obtaining grants and scholarships can greatly reduce the amount of money you have to pay for your education.

Aspire to learn to move forward
For some people, a lack of discipline can be a potential drawback to pursuing a self-education.

While neither a self-guided or formal education is superior over the other, people tend to take learning to a deeper level when they are working toward an official degree – as opposed to reading literature of their choice while following their own self-described lesson plan.

To combat this, consider forming a study group or talking about your education goals with someone else periodically to remain accountable.

The drive and motivation to further one’s knowledge and skill set will always be fundamental to success.

If you don’t aspire to better yourself by continuing to learn, it becomes harder to move forward.
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