Why Lifelong Learning is Important (2020)
More and more, employers are recognising the benefits of lifelong learning as an important part of employee development.
Lifelong learning isn’t really about meeting mandatory requirements for a role in the way you would with school or degree results, so much as it relates to a self-motivated, voluntary intention to learn for your own self-development.
You may decide to engage with lifelong learning for a variety of reasons, both personally and professionally, such as the desire to learn a new skill, or to actively improve your employability and competitiveness in the job market.
The world moves a lot faster than it did in the past, largely driven by technology, and upskilling by means of lifelong learning can be the perfect way to accrue employee value and position yourself as a thought leader in your trade.
Additionally, longterm learning can help you to develop your own unique selling point or niche as a professional in your area. This can be a very useful thing for saturated industries if you’re looking to break the mold.
Increased Interest in Lifelong Learning
Recent years have shown a substantial increase in the number of people who have engaged with lifelong learning in Ireland, with 381,000 lifelong learning participants in Q4 of 2019.
We ran our own poll on the Euro Executive Recruitment LinkedIn page to learn some very interesting figures, that a staggering nine in ten people have considered enrolling in a short-term course over the last 12 months.
Just under half (49%) of respondents cited that they considered doing so to learn a new skill, while 43% of respondents wished to do so to upskill in their current profession.
How to Get Started
Learning can be as small or as large as you choose. It could be a series of webinar videos on YouTube, or a short program through an online accredited course. Accessing lifelong learning is not hard, as the options are endless.
Increasingly, third-level institutions in Ireland have adopted courses models which pertain to lifelong learning, with many providing short-term course offerings that span just several weeks or several months.
Springboard, which offers free and subsided courses, often provides shorter-term courses for residents of Ireland. These courses are often on the basis of skills shortages or increased labour demand.
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