I recently came across an article on Men with Pens about cheap education and continuing learning. Working in education myself, I thought I would give my views on the subject as well as a few tips for getting started.

One of the largest problems with most peoples view of education is that it is focused on a way to get some where or something rather than to learn something for the fun of it. Most people tend to think of a degree as a way to get a better job and a higher salary. And to be honest, I used to view it the same way. The problem is that people stop trying to learn something and focus on receiving the credential. With everyone trying to get degrees and credentials you end up with academic inflation. This is something that has really increased. This can easily be seen by looking at the requirements for job positions. Many jobs that use to require a high school education now require a bachelors and the ones that required a bachelors require a masters.

In turn the education quality also lowers as you have more degree seekers. More people start looking for ways to get a degree and not really caring about learning the knowledge. Completing online degrees and masters programs just to have the credentials.

However, learning to gain experience and a new skill is a great idea. Focus on learning rather than obtaining a degree and you will learn a lot more. While the internet may not be the best place to get an MBA, MD, or PHD, it can be a great place to learn about technology, web design and marketing.

self-learning can be difficult and does require dedication, perseverance, and time management. Though if you are learning because you want to learn, and not just to gain some type of credential, then this should be no problem. Below I have listed some of my favorite ways to learn new things as well as some tips to stay focused.

Learning Mediums

1. Classes at local community college- class room setting and super cheap. Many professors also work in their fields.

2. Books- there are a number of best seller books with lots of great information. Many of the books will also have much better information than common text books as the writers have usually been very successful in their fields. If my text books were half as good as some of the best sellers I might have read more in college. Audio book is another great way to educate yourself while you commute.

3. Internet classes-I am not just referring to to schools online. There are a number of online courses you can take and many are free. For anyone interested in online marketing and increasing traffic to websites, checkout the 30 day challenge. Amazing tips and advice and all for free.

4. How to videos- Besides the videos you can buy there are amazing videos on a range of how tos on sites like You Tube.

5. Mentor- most people are very proud of their skills and if you ask, then most people will be enthusiastic to teach you. This is a great option and gives you the chance to have your own personal teacher.

Study Tips

1. Set your goals- decide what you really want to accomplish and learn. It is fun to learn something new, but you will be more successful if you clearly define what you plan to get out of it.

2. Create a schedule- this one is really important. No matter what medium of learning you choose you must set aside a designated time to study and focus only on your learning matter.

3. Seclude yourself while studying- remove all outside distractions. If this means going to the library or the park to read a book or use your internet course then you should do so. It is easy to get distracted and say you will work on it later (not preaching, only speaking from experience) and not come back to it at all. If you do internet learning, only open as many tabs or pages as you need to accomplish your work.

4. Reward yourself- even learning fun things can be difficult at times. Learn to discipline yourself by giving yourself small rewards for your accomplishment. May be as simple as getting a drink after finishing a chapter or something such as going to dinner for getting a 90% on the test.

5. Have fun- Hopefully you are learning because you want to learn. If you enjoy learning then not only will learning be easier, but you will learn much quicker. Don’t stress about not getting it right away. Just have fun and you don’t give up. Eventually you’ll figure it out.