My struggle with employment has really opened my eyes to learning opportunities outside of formal education. I thought once I had a four-year degree, a professional certificate and a Master’s degree, I would be set on my way to a life-long career; this has not been the case.

Obviously going back to school for another degree is not an option (no thank you Student Loan), so I have found other ways to educate myself.

Whether you’re thinking of making a career change, improving your knowledge in your industry or simply adding to your skill set, here are ten simple but effective ways to learn without going back to school.

Listening to podcasts

Getting your life in order can be as easy as downloading a podcast episode to your phone. Whether it’s for your business or your personal life, make sure to save the episodes you like so you can go back and listen to them again.

Email someone you admire and ask them for an informational interview

If you want to learn from the best, then message the best. Email them to see if they’re available for an informational interview, it may scary to take this step but the worst thing they can say is no.

Learn how to speak a language while you do house work

Download an app to learn another language – like Duolingo- to make mundane tasks like washing dishes or ironing a little more interesting.

Listen to the news every day

Whether it’s at home or on your commute, make an effort to listen to the news. Lucky there are different podcasts available

Take an online course

If you have some funds to invest, it’s never a bad idea to take an online course where you learn anything and everything from how to be more productive to learning to be a wedding planner. Skillshare and Open University has a variety of classes to help you get your education on.

Turn Netflix to Ted Talk

Although Netflix may have the latest shows and movies, instead of relaxing with Netflix, you can learn a thing or two if you watch a Ted Talk instead. Spend a few hours watching at least two to three Ted Talks a week, grab some snacks and maybe a notepad and pen, kick back and enjoy.

Read a new book at least once a quarter

Reading a book at least once a quarter will make you feel like a well-read person, better yet you can join a book club. Hold yourself accountable by reading at least 20 minutes a day, that way you can make you finish a book and maybe add a second one. Check out my list of reads this year.

Go to a museum or art gallery

Why look at digital art when you can physically go to a museum or gallery to explore things that have been collected from around the world? Make sure to ask questions and really immerse yourself in learning.

Watch documentaries on your day off

If you really want to watch Netflix, there are hundreds of documentaries you can watch on a number of subjects.

Travel to another country to learn about their culture

This one is a bit more of a long term goal that needs a budget, but never underestimate the lessons that travel has to offer. Plunging head-on into a different culture that’s unlike your own is a great way to learn and expand your horizon. Connect with the locals, try to learn their language, and most importantly enjoy their food. The longer you stay, the more you absorb.

What are some somethings you do when you want to learn something new? Let us know in the comments below!


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