A Strategy for Keeping Up
By Peter Weddle
- In 2008, humankind created a total of 4 terabytes—that’s 4 followed by 20 zeros—of new knowledge. There were more new facts and figures produced in that one year than in the previous 5,000 years of human history.
- If a young man or woman goes to college in a technical field today, 50 percent of what they learn in their freshman year will be obsolete by the time they reach their junior year. In effect, the half-life of their expertise is now down to less than 24 months.
Staying a Student on the Job
Continuous learning is a strategy for nonstop knowledge acquisition in the workplace. It transforms education from an external adjunct to a person’s career to an integral and constant presence within it. Personal development is now as much a worker’s “job” as the tasks they perform at their desk or on the assembly line. It is, in essence, a core competency of success in a modern economy.
Continuous learning is not education for education’s sake, but the forthright acknowledgement that the American economy no longer operates at an industrial era pace. It is, instead, propelled by a technology-fueled explosion of knowledge that provides only two options for working men and women. They can either keep up or they can be left behind. And, continuous learning is the only viable strategy for keeping up.