Education alternatives to boost skills & worth – words Alan Woods

We know the same old line from our parents — go to college, earn a degree and get a job. There’s no reason to put down the value of a college degree.

It’s still a priceless tool for many and the path to most specialized careers. But for others, four years at a university doesn’t carry the same weight it once did.

So many young people are looking elsewhere to sharpen skills and gain real-world experience. If you want to start your own business, work for yourself or maybe just take some time to gain some experience and perspective before college, these are three education alternatives to improve your skillset.

Entrepreneurship Education

Entrepreneurship and starting your own business is big in 2017. Investors and public speakers such as Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk carry celebrity status among young people looking to start their own business. And network marketing companies such as Amway are growing in popularity thanks to an also growing desire to leave the 9-to-5 lifestyle. Education should be top of your starting your own business checklist.

These avenues offer a level of personal development most people aren’t learning in college or even at their jobs. Industry leaders such as Ferriss and Vaynerchuk have tons of content in their books, blogs, podcasts, videos and TED talks offering practical, real-world advice. And those network marketing companies focus heavily on personal development training for their members.

University of YouTube

Yes, YouTube. It isn’t just for cat videos. The question isn’t “What can you learn on YouTube?,” it’s “What can’t you learn?” The world’s largest video platform hosts billions of hours of content and thousands of tutorials teaching you to cook, code, program, build and repair.

Take video editing, for example. You could plan an entire college major around using professional video editing programs like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro, or you could just watch a few videos to learn just as much. Are you brand new to editing software? There’s a tutorial for that.

Feel like you’re getting the hang of it and want more advanced tips and tricks? There are tutorials for that too.

If you look at KingTutsPro’s YouTube channel, you’ll find dozens of excellent tutorials detailing specific tricks in Final Cut Pro. So what’s your trade? It doesn’t matter if it’s fixing cars or learning how to edit a cinematic masterpiece, YouTube can tell you everything you need to know. Oh, and it’s completely free.

Professional Communities & Mentorship

The best way to improve personal development is to surround yourself with like-minded people with similar goals. It’s easy to find people like that in college or at work, but social media and professional networks make it just as simple outside the office and off campus in 2017. These are just a few places you can look to find others in your industry.

  • LinkedIn:Look through groups and find one matching your own industry. Reach out to members and talk about your goals. Anyone with a Premium membership is probably especially willing to talk to new people.
  • Toastmasters: This is an organization to help people improve public speaking skills. There are chapters all over the country and its members are likely professionally motivated people like you. Could be one for you for your list of professional goals.
  • com:You can use Meetup to find new people in a new city for a fun night out, but it’s also full of professional groups across multiple industries. This could be a part of your personal development objectives.

Education alternatives to boost skills & worth – words Alan Woods

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