The Pursuit of Knowledge: Benefits of Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning has become essential in a world constantly changing due to fast-moving technology, evolving job fields, and shifting cultural norms. When someone is a lifelong learner, they continually try to learn new things and gain new skills throughout their life. Lifelong Learning helps you grow personally, improve your career, and improve society. Above all, learning is fun.

We will examine why and how to engage in learning throughout your life.

Mental Health- The cognitive benefits include improved brain function: Lifelong Learning keeps your brain active and sharp. Research in the “Psychological Science” journal shows that learning new skills can help your brain work better and delay memory problems as you age. You also gain better problem-solving skills: Learning new things improves your problem-solving skills. Dr. Barbara Oakley, an expert in Learning and engineering, says in her book “A Mind for Numbers” that learning new subjects can change your brain to make you better at handling complex issues.

Personal Growth- Engaging your mind and body is a boost for personal growth, including your self-confidence. Lifelong Learning makes you feel more sure of yourself. When you learn new things and gain new skills, it is empowering. It also exposes you to a broader perspective. Learning exposes you to different views and cultures. It helps you understand others better, and Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert says in “Stumbling on Happiness” that it can make you happier. Learning new things can help your career progress. Keeping up with new skills and industry trends is essential in a world where jobs are changing fast. The World Economic Forum’s report “The Future of Jobs” (2018) shows that employers value lifelong learners. People who keep learning are more adaptable at work. A survey from LinkedIn in 2018 found that 76% of professionals believe learning new skills is critical to success in their careers.

Finance- Learning has economic benefits, too. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has shown a link between education and income. Lifelong learners often have the skills and knowledge to start and run successful businesses. A report from the Kauffman Foundation in 2017 found that success in entrepreneurship is closely tied to learning.

Community- Finally, Learning is the key to advancing society and making new things. Lifelong learners help the community grow by developing new ideas and improvements. Nobel laureate Leon Lederman said, “Learning keeps you young and excited. As long as you’re learning, you’re not old.” Informed citizens are critical for democracies to work well. Lifelong learners tend to know more about what’s happening in the world and get involved in civic matters, making democracies healthier.

Find something new to learn today. Consider taking a class through the University of Florida, Monroe County Extension Office, or check out the more than 4,000 free online courses from LinkedIn Learning available to Monroe County Public Library cardholders – for free! The College of the Florida Keys, Community Education Department offers a range of non-credit courses in the classroom and online. Lifelong Learning has lots of advantages. It boosts your brainpower, helps you grow personally, improves your career, and even improves society. In a world where everything changes quickly, lifelong Learning isn’t just a choice; it’s a must. Remember the wise words of Malcolm X, “Education is your ticket to the future because the future belongs to those who prepare for it today.”
Alicia Betancourt, UF-IFAS Monroe County


Alicia Betancourt, Community and Family Development Extension Agent and County Extension Director for UF/IFAS Extension Monroe County
Posted: October 12, 2023

Category: Professional Development, Relationships & Family, UF/IFAS, UF/IFAS Extension, Work & Life
Tags: Learning, Mental Health

Subscribe For More Great Content

IFAS Blogs Categories