Continuing your education — for free or inexpensively

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No matter your industry, i encourage you to continue to learn.

Stay ahead of the game. Heck, at least be abreast of what’s current in your field.

Yes, i know you’re busy, you have a social life, you’re a parent, you have to take care of your pets, you need sleep, you’re dealing with a chronic illness, etc. I get it. We all have a combination of these things.

Learning should be added to that litany of things to do; things that are priorities in one’s life. Make continuing education a priority. And that doesn’t mean it has to be a paid class or official certificates that require 100s of hours of your time.

As a web and app developer, i check out what are the trendy coding languages and frameworks, as well as what’s coming down the pike, and what is old(er) but not yet antiquated.

Amazon and their plethora of AWS services are paramount for me to learn. I do this partly by checking for conferences, events, training sessions, talks, etc.

Not all of these are strictly in-person nor do they cost anything financially. For Amazon related stuff, this is a key resource to finding what’s upcoming. Many of them are free and virtual. Sign up. At minimum, it’ll cost you 10 seconds and an email address.

Google has such a resource, too. For example, search for “[field or company] upcoming conferences OR events” and mark down anything that’s applicable to you. I also like to add a custom date range, usually 6 months up to a year in the past. So for project management conference and events, look at the screenshot below.

Googling for upcoming conferences and eventsThere are more passive resources, too.

Podcasts. Yes, that little ‘p’ word that’s been all over the media. Everyone seems to have one these days. I’m sure your field does, too.

I have a love/hate relationship with this Android app called Podcast Addict to keep track of all my podcasts and to find new ones. There’s also iTunes and Stitcher.

Recently, i subscribed to a handful of WordPress related podcasts, and they vary in episode lengths. One podcast, WP the Podcast, its episodes range from six to nine minutes long. Focused episodes on a topic that don’t take much time to digest. There are other shows that are more of a typical podcast length, around an hour.

Whatever cup of tea you like, there should be one for your field. Take a few minutes to look. Google is your friend. Or, your search engine of choice. If you’re in the psychology field, here’s what popped out while writing this piece.

best psychology podcasts

To recap, check out these ways to keep learning:

  • Conferences (virtual and in-person)
  • Check out Eventbrite and scour local Meetups in your field or hobby you’re looking to expand
  • Podcasts, typically from 10 minutes to an hour.
  • Find industry specific magazines. Many times you can get one for free. For instance, if you’re in the e-commerce field or thinking about it, subscribe to Internet Retailer magazine for free. I’ve been getting the physical copy for a few years now.

I hope this was useful. If you have any other suggestions, let me know below. Cheers and peace.

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