Some people associate learning with formal education. They unconsciously regard other ways of learning as less serious or not worth. Of course, attending a good college or university can be an exceptional learning experience. Formal education has its place and value1. But it’s not enough. To quote Kevin Kelly, “all of us—every one of us—will be endless newbies in the future simply trying to keep up.”2
We need to be continuously learning. Every day.
Thanks to the Internet, information is abundant. Most times it’s free or cheap. But access to information does not guarantee that you’ll convert it into knowledge. Of course, you need the motivation. “Learning is not done to you. Learning is something you choose to do”3. You need some plan. But most important, you need to learn how to learn. Learning is a Superpower, as meta-learning expert Jim Kwik says. Knowledge may no longer be reserved to elites, but the ability to learn by ourselves, and to learn efficiently is more necessary than ever.
There has been no better time to be self-learned.
The argument of mentioning people like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and others as successful college dropouts is tainted by survivorship bias. What about the unsuccessful college dropouts? ↩