The corporate world is rapidly changing, with technology closing the geographical divide. Skills that were previously relevant for a certain job may not be enough today, so employees must continuously advance their knowledge. The benefits of lifelong learning are much more than just professional growth. It helps learners to have a global perspective and understand the world better. Lifelong learning improves the quality of life by increasing competitiveness and social inclusion.
The digital age presents diverse opportunities that require people to continuously upgrade their skills set. Whereas technological advancements have a range of merits, they have some drawbacks. For example, artificial intelligence and automation threaten blue-collar jobs that are routine in nature (McKay, 2018). These technologies put people working in offices and across all industries at risk of losing their jobs. For this reason, it is important for employees to upgrade their skills, so they can keep up with the changes in their workplace. Staying up-to-date with the industry developments and trends is critical as it increases employability in the future.
Lifelong learning not only fosters professional growth but also improves social inclusion. A significant population today is at risk of social exclusion due to poverty, but participating in lifelong programs can be a lever. It equips the vulnerable groups with skills to improve their livelihoods as members of the family and society (Moore, 2020). It potentially improves the quality of life and reduces the negative impacts of poverty. Lifelong programs allow adults to acquire the necessary skills to use their homes and workplaces to meet their needs. When people acquire new skill set, they feel fulfilled and can avoid depression.
Given that learning is a never-ending process, learning something new potentially improves the quality of life. Whether it is attending a seminar, conference, or enrolling in an online course, continuous learning boosts creativity and helps people to realize their passions. It keeps someone motivated in pursuit of career goals (McKay, 2018). Taking a new challenge after several months of doing the same job helps renews the energy and prepares someone for the task ahead. To the older generation, it keeps the brains working at optimal levels, which prevents memory lapse. Further to this, it helps people to have a wider perspective about the world around them.
Continuous learning has been hailed for its ability to help people stay connected. Through participating in continued education in institutions of higher learning, people network a lot. From meeting in group discussions to having online conversations about important issues, continuous learning allows people to connect with ideas (McKay, 2018). Lifelong programs are effective networking platforms and ideal for people who are constantly looking for new friends. The rise of online courses has made lifelong learning a whole easier and more interesting. No matter where and how someone lives, continuous learning is a possibility for everyone. With online learning, it is easy to acquire new skills while at home at one’s preferred time and schedule. Furthermore, there are plenty of courses available online, and there is no limit as to how many someone can take. All that is required is the will and time to acquire new skills.
Overall, lifelong programs are gaining more appeal due to their unlimited number of benefits. Whether it is going back to college, attending an industry-specific workshop, advancing skills is vital for someone to stay relevant. The world is changing at a rapid rate, and people need to upgrade to stay up-to-date with the change.
McKay, V. (2018). Literacy, lifelong learning and sustainable development. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 58(3), 390-425.
Moore, R. L. (2020). Developing lifelong learning with heutagogy: contexts, critiques, and challenges. Distance Education, 41(3), 381-401.