Continuing Education and Why it is So Important

Many people graduate from college and jump into their career thinking that school is now in their past and they won’t ever need to write an essay or study again. However, it’s a proven fact that continuing education is the best way to keep your mind strong and can even be a confidence booster. Studies have shown that continuing to learn can help with everyday skills and improve the way your brain performs on a day-to-day basis.

Now, continuing education doesn’t have to mean going back to school or adding more to your student debt. It can be something as simple as taking a one-night class at your local community college or taking up a hobby like learning a new language. Anything that gets you excited and helps to keep your mind functioning at its highest level can be beneficial.

Another way to continue learning is to attend conferences or networking events to further your knowledge and connections. Being in the know of everything your industry offers, as well as being connected, is a sure way to have an edge over competitors in your field. You can also take courses on topics like HTML/CSS or the basics in design programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. In today’s world, the more tech knowledge you have, the better.

And for those of you who cringe at the thought of speaking in front of a group of people, there are classes to help with that as well. These classes help to enhance your professional skills like public speaking, negotiation tactics and ways to effectively market your company. Activities may include things like role playing and speaking in front of the class to help you gain experience and confidence that prepare you for the real thing.

Finally, in today’s world of everything being online, you can learn a new skill or hobby just by watching video tutorials. You can find instructional videos and how-tos for almost anything. Have you been wanting to take a photography class? Want to brush up on your cooking skills or try a new recipe? Just type it into the search bar and ta-da, hundreds of videos to choose from!

All that being said, get out there! Take the first step and research non-credit classes at your local community college or jump into that hobby you’ve always wanted to try. In your down time, you can also do brain exercises like the ones listed below to keep your cognitive levels on point. Remember, keep your mind active and never stop learning!

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Work Out Your Brain

Everyone knows the importance of eating healthy and getting some sort of exercise on a regular basis, but many people forget the importance of also exercising their brain. Studies have shown that doing regular “brain exercises,” along with regular exercise and eating plenty of antioxidants, can increase your brain’s cognitive reserve. There are several types of software that can be purchased to put your brain to work, but experts recommend practicing more real-world activities for more effective brain training. Here are 10 effective and less expensive ways to give your mind a workout.


1. Test your recall: Do something as simple as making a grocery list and try to memorize everything on it. Put it away for an hour or so and then see how many items you can recall.

2. Music: Studies have shown that learning to play a musical instrument over time or singing in a choir can do wonders for an aging mind.

3. Mental Math: With all the technology available today, math is made simple, but figuring out problems the old-fashioned way can be a great mental stimulation. To really test your cognitive abilities, try walking at the same time!

4. Cooking Class: Whether you’re a natural in the kitchen or are more of a microwave chef, try cooking something new. Because cooking involves so many senses (smell, touch, sight and taste) it is ideal for working several different parts of the brain.

5. Learn a new language: Not only does the listening stimulate the brain, but having a rich vocabulary has been linked to reducing the risk of cognitive decline.

6. Visualizing Words: Think about a word and the way it is spelled in your mind and then use either the first two or last two letters to form another word. This activity helps to refresh your brain on the things you already know.

7. Maps: After traveling to a new place, sit down and try to visualize a map that you used and draw it from memory.

8. How good are your tastebuds: When eating a meal, try and identify the different ingredients that you are tasting, like the different spices or other tastes that may be harder to place.

9. Hand-eye coordination: Instead of watching television or using various forms of technology, try a hobby that requires the use of your fine-motor skills like knitting, drawing/coloring or doing a puzzle.

10. Learn a sport: Try a new sport that not only uses the body, but also the mind, for instance yoga, golf or tennis.