Your education shouldn’t stop when you receive your diploma. Being a lifelong learner can improve your career, your earning potential, and your understanding of the world, as well as help you develop better relationships at work and at home.  

But being a lifelong learner doesn’t always mean seeking out formal education. Today, learning opportunities extend far beyond the classroom, from online courses and MOOCs to professional development programs and podcasts. Let’s look at a few of the benefits of becoming a lifelong learner: 

Lifelong learners are more likely to survive (and thrive) during workplace disruptions

The most obvious motivation for becoming a lifelong learner is an improved ability to weather changes in the job market. The world is changing more rapidly than ever, so continuing to advance your workplace skills and developing new abilities can give you an employability boost. This type of adaptability is essential in today’s workplace. 

Professionally, businesses are increasingly seeking well-balanced employees with transferable skills. Displaying your commitment to education also shows an employer that you are dedicated to excelling in your field.  

There’s also the economic imperative to consider. Study after study has shown that additional degrees boost a person’s income over their lifetime. Additionally, increased skills can lead to more responsibility, a higher chance at promotions, and a boost in earning potential.

Lifelong learners tend to live longer 

Researchers believe there is a connection between longevity and learning. Much as regular physical exercise benefits people of all ages, regular mental exertion can also lead to a longer and healthier life.

A 2017 study from the University of Edinburgh found that for every year spent learning in school, people realized almost a year longer in their lifespan. More education has been linked to both higher income and healthier behaviors, as well as increased mental stimulation which can help ward off the effects of aging. 

Lifelong learners are often more engaged personally and professionally 

Finally, a commitment to lifelong learning can also benefit your personal and social life. People who are curious and engaged in the world are often viewed as admirable and likeable. At the same time, seeking out new ideas and perspectives can increase an individual’s social awareness and empathy. 

Luckily, it’s easier than ever before to become a lifelong learner. From online courses to audio guides to YouTube tutorials, learners don’t have to go “back to school” to keep their skills sharp and expand their personal and professional lives. Why not make 2020 the year where you prioritize learning in your life?