When I was eagerly and actively hunting for jobs, especially when I was starting out, there was this classic fork in the road: experience or education. Either you had a degree but no worldly experience, or you had lots of experience but no degree.
I’m in the camp with lots of experience. I don’t have a degree. I did attend college. Seven so far. I’ve got credits from some great colleges. But I continue to view attending actual brick and mortar colleges to be an interesting hobby and not an actual means to an end. Instead, I like to study voraciously on my own behalf. (Quick note: one of the colleges, Lesley in Cambridge MA, has a program that would probably suit my style, because it allows for individually guided study. In fact, maybe I’ll check in with them again).
Say you’re like me and you choose NOT to attend formal college. Or, let’s say your degree is way out of date and doesn’t really do much to help you get by. Best of all, let’s agree that you are in the camp of people that realize education doesn’t stop at the ceremony and the credential. Here are some resources I think you’ll find interesting:
These are all just sources of knowledge. In all cases, learning without a college underneath you requires some extra effort that doesn’t come naturally to people. It requires discipline to choose learning over watching American Idol. It requires you to develop some skills and an ability to discern that come from professors picking your course of study instead of finding your own.
In coming posts about learning, I will give you some insights into what *I* do to try and stay engaged in learning. I will also get some different opinions together on why one should follow through and get a degree, ways to accellerate the program, and other ways to work around getting a degree.
This relates to self-improvement in lots of ways. I am PASSIONATE about the notion that experienced amateurs contribute just as much to several fields as skilled and trained professionals. I think the only differences come from tunings and efficiencies, and not necessarily the products and outcome of the finished work.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on learning, college, and what you did to keep your skillset alive and growing.
tags: elearning, opencourseware, learning, college, opensource