- the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.
- the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession.
- a degree, level, or kind of schooling: a university education.
I am a huge fan of learning and I'm not overly picky about how. Over the years, I have taught myself to macrame and crochet by buying books and fumbling my way through until I was reasonably proficient. By picking the online-brains of those who know, I've managed to figure out (more or less) how to build a website and create a blog.
It's not, necessarily, the method that's important - it's the learning that counts.
More than the knowledge, however, recruiters and employers look for that piece of paper. Something from an institution, such as Walden University, as proof of learning; as evidence of competency. No recruiter is going to come knocking at my door with a job offer, but they do contact, and work with, colleges and universities to place graduates.
So, there are serious advantages to formal education. (Not to mention, a correspondence course in orthopedic surgery is just too scary to contemplate.) And I do contemplate the benefits, and costs, of going back to school; of getting my degree - frequently.
Being out of the workforce for as long as I have puts me at a serious disadvantage when it comes to marketable skills. But, as a primary stay-at-home caregiver, my time, travel, and financial options are severely limited. Just thinking about tuition expenses at, for example: WaldenU.edu, makes my palms sweat and my heart race.
Nonetheless, it is highly probable that within the next couple of years I'll be forced to find employment and support myself. I can do it with a rusty, outdated skillset. Or I can start investing in my future and see what educational options actually exist.
I'm hoping that the surprises will be pleasant ones.