Thursday, April 16, 2009

Continuing Education

We as parents spend a lot of time making sure our kids get a good education. We watch over what they learn and push them to do well in school. But what do we do for our own education? Getting a Bachelor's degree or Master's degree is expensive and time consuming. Sometimes we think we don't have the money or the time to pursue that education. We all know that learning more helps our career chances and that in turn hopefully keeps us employed and earning better raises.

The site Lifehacker recently posted a couple of articles about some video sites that show lectures from various universities. Academic Earth and YouTube EDU are good places to find lectures on topics you find interesting. It won't give you any course credit but who wouldn't want to brag about having audited a class at MIT, Harvard or Yale?

If you don't have the time or bandwidth at home to access these, what else can you do to learn more?
  • Spend some down time at work doing research on things that interest you.
  • If your employer has a library that's a good place to start. Or just use the Internet to do some reading or watch some educational videos.
  • Along the route of educational videos, you can find a lot on the web. Microsoft has a bunch if you are interested in technical areas.
  • Go to the public library. Take your kids and let them get excited about books and reading while you spend some time in the quiet. Several of the libraries I have been in have had play areas for kids so even if they can't read they can have fun and get a positive impression about the library.
  • Volunteer for a church or non-profit. It's good for experience and it is still something you can put on a resume.
I am continually trying to learn something new. As a software engineer, there is always something new in the field. I have been learning more about investing by reading through The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham and learning about investing. I have also read through every single shareholder letter that Warren Buffett has written. I read several blogs a day like The Simple Dollar, Get Rich Slowly and The Motley Fool. I try to learn from other parents with sites like Parent Hacks.

What have I missed? What do you do to learn?

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