Applied Psychology

Lifelong Learning for Career Success

Apr 19, 2024 | By Saranne Durham
Handsome young man upskilling through lifelong learning

A commitment to lifelong learning is a quality that is valued by most employers. Consequently, it improves your employability and helps you stand out when it comes to finding a job. Additionally, being able to learn and adapt are key elements to progressing within an existing profession or even changing a career  

What is Lifelong Learning? 

Lifelong learning is the voluntary pursuit of knowledge. It is an ongoing quest, which is self-motivated and usually directed by a mixture of need and interest.  

10 Characteristics of Lifelong Learners 

  1. Have an agile and curious mind. 
  2. Have a growth mindset
  3. Know their interests. 
  4. Understand their learning style. 
  5. Set attainable goals. 
  6. Are self-motivated and put their plans into action. 
  7. Seek resources. 
  8. Have good reading skills. 
  9. Enjoy sharing skills and knowledge. 
  10. Associate with like-minded learners. 

            Why You Should Keep Upskilling  

            In an age where technology is ever-changing, being proficient in a job necessitates continual upskilling.  

            Thus, the primary reasons many people keep acquiring new skills and knowledge after completing a formal qualification, are to stay relevant in their field and have successful careers.  

            Willingness to learn is a sign of commitment to a job and an innate strive for career excellence. An employer views these as ideal qualities to look for. Accordingly, a lifelong learner can be a defining factor for those recruiting new personnel

            Aside from upskilling and remaining career-relevant, there are several additional reasons to keep studying once you start working. 

            Benefits of Lifelong Learning 

            1. Increases confidence. 
            2. Improves mental aptitude. 
            3. Enables a change of direction. 
            4. Expand business network. 
            5. Increases social life. 

              Thus, within the broader context of life, being a lifelong learner also enriches someone’s personal life. An increased level of confidence often re-ignites passion and motivation. This can help you discover new interests, explore opportunities, and reduce boredom. All of this assists in giving life purpose and thereby making it more fulfilling. 

              Advantages of being a Mature Learner  

              Many of those who go directly from school to study are still unsure of what and why they want to study. Studying as a more mature student, enables you to be more strategic about what you study to upskill yourself. Therefore, the work you put into a course is more likely to be relevant to your career. This means you can create the right traction you need to succeed professionally.  

              Studying once you have some work experience, means that you are better able to contextualise what you learn. This results in improved understanding and remembering of material. It also enables you to apply what you learn in your everyday endeavours. Which can assist in augmenting the quality of your work. Thereby, leading to career success. 

              How to Choose Short Courses  

              As someone who is already working, the courses you choose need to boost your career. Therefore, you need to focus on courses which upskill you. Specifically, courses that provide skills that are highly sought-after or assist you in improving your existing skill set. 

              Choose a short course strategically. Short courses have an explicit purpose and can be completed in a limited time. Therefore, they are an efficient and effective way to upskill yourself. Micro-credential courses often have the advantage of being stackable. This means that you can later use them to apply for module exemption if you pursue a degree  

              It is prudent to carefully assess the overall context before you embark on a short course. Firstly, check the registration and affiliation information of the educational institution. For example, are they registered with the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) or accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC)? This ensures the legitimacy and quality of your academic course content and will help confirm the calibre of your short course. Finally, review the short course outline to make sure that it is what you think the course is about. And therefore, what you need to enhance your career. 

              Where to Complete Accredited Short Courses 

              SACAP Global offers online short courses, micro-credentials and CPD workshops,designed for working professionals who want to enhance their current skill set. As such, they are intended to be strategic and focused learning opportunities. Get in touch with the SACAP Global team to find out more about which short course best suits your needs. 

              Previous post

              Next post