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Posts Tagged ‘learning’

I like to think of myself as a “multidisciplinary autodidact”.  Ever since I was young, I loved to read and learn new things: when I was 7, my dad bought me a set of encyclopedias. What bliss!  I recall spending endless hours just browsing each volume in my quest for new information. Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar

Of course, such a quest now seems silly, given the vast sea of data scattered throughout the Internet.  In this regard, Madelyn Blair’s recent book Riding the Current: How to deal with the daily deluge of data, which I just finished reading a few weeks ago, offers some very useful practical advice.  I’ll have more to say about this book in a future post.

The other night I was listening to an interview with James M. Bach (son of Richard Bach, author of the bestseller,  Jonathan Livingston Seagull), who describes his unconventional “education” growing up. Nowadays, of course, there is a whole unschooling movement afoot that seems to appeal to the radical and rebel types. 😉

I thought of how this self-learning philosophy, in conjunction with so-called social learning, fits into modern corporate culture.  Well, it seems to me that job ads still ask for formal degrees, certifications and such things. Then of course, there’s this thing called “experience”.  So I’m wondering, as a professional at the past-midpoint of his career, how to transition to a new career, one that’s radically different from my IT background. It’s not good enough that I may have read avidly in that new field of interest – I have no formal training and no formal experience (unless you count my related experience volunteering on non-profit boards).

Well I’m told I should focus on “transferable skills”.  Sure, but at the end of the day, I still lack formal “domain” knowledge in the new field I’m planning to transition to.  So what’s one to do?  Invest the time and money for formal training?  At this stage of my life, I’m not sure I want to do that …

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