As the old saying goes, “you never stop learning”. Over the last few years in particular, the principle of lifelong learning has become an established truism. For a simple reason: if you don’t want to be left behind, you must keep learning throughout your life – as a child, as a teenager, but above all as an adult. Nowadays, most of us are well aware that the knowledge we acquired during our time at school is no longer enough to last us throughout our lives. And this is true on multiple levels – personal, social and professional.
Lifelong learning is often associated with a particular mindset. If you welcome new experiences, plunge into new environments, and enjoy meeting new people, you automatically learn new things. And if, on top of all this, you regularly and voluntarily take steps to further your personal development, you have clearly grasped the fundamental principle of lifelong learning.
Because new experiences are a kind of education in themselves, lifelong learning is often regarded as something that happens outside the bounds of a formal school or university education. But continuing professional development (CPD) also forms part of lifelong learning – as do new professional challenges, because what was once considered a shameful admission of lack of skills is now regarded as an essential stage in a lifelong learner’s career. Nowadays, those who fail to take advantage of CPD opportunities must, sooner or later, answer the question “why?”, as lifelong learning continues to evolve beyond personal conviction and become a self-evident part of our lives – practically, socially and politically.
On the one hand, lifelong learning helps people deal with social change. On the other, it also helps them cope with the challenges of finding work on today’s labour market. Employers now recognise that formal educational qualifications are not the only way to identify and develop talented individuals. The frantic pace of today’s knowledge economy means that companies increasingly regard lifelong learning as an opportunity to be adaptable and flexible, allowing them to stay both competitive and relevant. Critical voices note, however, that this is precisely why companies should not offload all responsibility for lifelong learning onto their employees. Employers who want their workforces to adapt must provide the necessary resources, support and training. This is where you as an employee can actively intervene by highlighting your desire for further training. After all, the benefits are clear!
Whether pursuing professional ambitions or indulging personal interests or passions, lifelong learning can help us all achieve personal fulfilment and satisfaction. To provide you and your company with the best possible support for your lifelong learning projects, we continuously update our range of CPD courses and adapt our portfolio to cover the very latest developments. In our new Frankfurt School Executive Education Catalogue 2021, you will find all the continuing education courses you could ever need for your future personal and professional development – download the online PDF here. And if you’d like to find out more, our executive education consultants will be delighted to help.