The Self-Taught Professional Phenomena
Times are different. You no longer need to attend four years of University to become a professional. The few exceptions may be certified professions such as doctors, lawyers, engineers (civil engineering), architects, etc.
Online Learning Resources (Video)
There are numerous types of resources online. I will focus on video since I find these to be very effective learning tools.
YouTube is great. You can find a ton of material, ranging from software engineering topics, physics to business and finance. It’s all free.
Udemy has a ton of content at a relatively cheap price. You can often find 20+ hours of well crafted professional learning material for $15. Not nearly as steep as the tens of thousands of dollars you would spend going to university and spending years studying.
Great for well structured material. Kind of a mix between Udemy and university.
Finding the material to study online is the easy part. It’s the hundreds and thousands of hours you need to spend to become competent in a field that is a real roadblock.
- Pick learning resources that you can finish from start until the end. Start small, maybe 30 minute tutorials, before you go into 40 hour long commitments.
- Study regularly. It’s easy to forget something and get lost when you come back to it. I can’t stress enough, 30 minutes a day is better than 3.5 hours in one sitting once a week. Your brain will have more time to contemplate what you have learned.
- Balance theory and application. There is a spectrum of learners. Ones who only focus on theory and are not able to execute on one side and ones who learned how to do and don’t understand the “why” on the other. Make sure you do a bit of both. Alternate.
- Enjoy feeling stupid. That’s right. When you learn something, there is going to be a huge learning curve in the beginning. You will doubt yourself and feel stupid. Don’t. It’s going to get better, you just can’t see it yet.
- Track your learning. Track what you have done and what you should do next. Feel free to pivot. Try to have a learning plan that has an end-game. For example, if I want to learn how to make a website, I know I need to know HTML, CSS, some backend and some frontend. I should be learning those things in succession with my goal in mind. If I alter my studying, or my goal I can adjust accordingly.
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