Meet Jane. Jane graduates from college at age 22. She’s a smart woman who did well in school, so after a brief stint working, she goes on to get a masters degree. She finishes that degree at age 25. It’s time to head out into the world of work and career. Jane is pretty much done with her formal higher education.
Of course, these days, as a citizen of the United States, Jane can expect to live about another 52 years. Her husband Dick (You didn’t think I’d pass on “Dick and Jane,” did you?), who she met in grad school and who is also 25, can expect to live for another 50 years. (See how countries compare in life expectancy.)
All during this time, of course, the world will continue to change at the breathtaking pace that has become the norm over the past few decades. For both personal and professional reasons, Dick and Jane are really going to need to stay on top of their learning game.
That, dear readers, is a challenge for Dick and Jane – but an opportunity for you.
Right now, the market for lifelong learning is fragmented at best. It’s dotted with trade and professional associations, college and university extension programs, free online courses of every type and quality level imaginable, infoproduct pitches from self-appointed “gurus,” and a flood of videos, tweets, posts, and likes. For people like Dick and Jane, the new learning landscape is chock full of choices and it’s often quite confusing.
Dick and Jane need leaders. Preferably leaders who can stick with them for the long haul. Lifelong learning is, after all, life long.
I see three key opportunities: