The more you learn

The more you learn

… the more you earn!

As a teacher I believe we need to learn our whole life. I believe that once you stop learning you stop growing, and that basically means you are dead. Some people die at 80+ and some die at 20. And not because of their body failing them, but because of their minds being shut to growth.

To be honest I’m not a fan of formal education. The tests scare me and they present the stress that I’d love to avoid if possible. I believe in education for life. Practical education that pushes your heart and soul to move forward. But at the same time I do like to reach far enough to receive certificates or diplomas. To avoid the formal education (which for UX is non existent in my home country) I am happy to spend hours and hours researching and learning on the internet. Nowadays this is luckily not a hard thing to do and has a lot of positives, but it also has some challenges.

The good

  • learn in your own time
  • learn wherever
  • dictate your own tempo
  • learn only what interests you
  • no need for competition
  • usually cheaper
  • slowly getting recognition in business world

The bad

  • informal education
  • hard to connect with other students – especially in real life
  • usually no teacher support
  • not much constructive feedback
  • can feel overwhelming
  • hard to recognize what is worth your time and money

When I stumbled upon UX Design a few years go I wanted to learn as much as possible. I’ve found every course that was available and tried to soak up the knowledge. When more and more UX Design courses started popping up all over the web I’ve quickly became overwhelmed with the amount of learning I thought I had to do. I remember I was sitting on my couch one day and was so overwhelmed and tired that I just stared at my Google calendar. It was overflowing with the amount off assignments I had to do and videos I had to listen. At that point I had to chose me. I chose learning, but I’ve also decided that I don’t need to do it all – I just needed to do the best and then apply my knowledge in real life.

I stuck with 4:

  • Coursera as this way the first platform I’ve done courses on and the course Human Computer Interaction was to this date one of the best I’ve been a part of.
  • Interaction design foundation as I like the bigger amount of knowledge covering the topics and the stress free learning. Besides it has a very good reputation in the industry.
  • Career Foundry as they have a mentor system and incredible community. As a mentor at CF I don’t really take classes on my own, but if I’d be a student I’d love this one as the mentor and tutor system brings so much value to it as non of the other three do.
  • Lynda.com as they have very practical courses that show you how to use tools and have this class-like approach to it.

Disclaimer: some links are ref. links that will give you discount if you choose to join and give something back to me as well.

I’ll go deeper and do a review on all thee in the next weeks, give you a bit more information and perhaps help you decide which would be better for you.

There are so many resources out there that you can choose from. I chose to showcase just four. The four I believe in. But no matter what you choose – never stop learning! Not only will that make you feel more alive, it will also help you become a person with a wider understanding of the subject, and a great sparing partner in discussions. And if nothing else learning will in the end you better at your job, and effectively make your pay bigger.

Until next time, don’t stop learning!
Pia

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