There have been gobs of studies like this one from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics focused on the number of years of school someone has completed in relation to their annual and lifetime earning potential. If you are a high school drop out vs. high school graduate vs. Associates Degree vs. Bachelors Degree vs. Masters Degree vs. Doctoral Degree. The higher up the education ladder you have climbed, the more money are making now and will continue to make in your career.

While I agree that formal education is important, I would argue that those studies neglect the importance of ongoing training and education, which in my opinion for almost everyone is more important than what degree you have earned, and in most cases that continual education over your lifetime is significantly more important than the formal degree you obtained.

If someone has received the formal schooling but then quits updating their knowledge and skills, then there skills are going to stagnate and become less valuable over time.

Now a total lack of ongoing learning is virtually impossible. Everyone is going to learn on the job and get better and faster at what they do over time, but you won’t grow and expand that knowledge base of skills and tools that you know unless you are learning new things.

If you compare that “stagnation” philosophy to someone from the other school of though so to speak, that is a continual learner, you will find that the person that is continuing to learn and grow is going to be doing significantly better in their career and life than their non-learning counterpart.

Just so we are on the same page, my view of a an ongoing learner is someone that reads business books, financial and economic book, personal development books and is trying to grow their knowledge. They know that there is always more to learn, throughout their entire lifetime, and spend a significant amount of their time doing so. They also likely attend courses and seminars and/or participate in online training courses and have a mentor or coach helping to guide them down the right path toward their success.

Do you agree, that everyone needs to continue learning throughout their lifetime?

From what I have seen, that person with the drive to continue learning and growing throughout their lifetime is going to make significantly more money over that lifetime than the person that thinks that since they have their degree(s), they are all done with learning and now have an entitlement mentality. The ongoing learner is also going to be happier in their life as well as they are continuing to grow and challenge themselves instead of just withering and dying.

What are your thoughts on the topic?

Post a comment below to tell me your thoughts. I love to hear about what ways you utilize to continue to learn and grow, or if you think I have no idea what I am talking about, I’d love to hear your thoughts on that as well.

Author's Bio: 

Paul Monax

Independent Contracting Resources

I am a Mentor for Independent Contractors to help them with the Business Side of their Business.

I have been a small business owner of a number of businesses over the past 11 years.

For the past 6+ years have been as the owner of a small Independent Contracting business specializing in custom software development for large enterprise systems.

Because Being Independent Doesn't Mean You Have To Do It All Alone!