Never Stop Learning

I recently overheard my son say, “I didn’t go to graduate school. I just followed my dad around and basically received an MBA from him—real world experience.”

It is vital to constantly teach not only our own kids, but the next generation everything that we know. Whether it is a core, moral value, or knowledge that we’ve learned from our own parents, or something we’ve learned along the way, or even something about the World and our Philippine culture, roots, and history. These are all incredibly important. While we may think that the ‘young’ generation is caught up in social media and in their phones—they are indeed listening—absorbing what we tell them. Passed on generational information and wisdom are the things that you cannot simply Google.

Or can you?

I recently also noticed that my son is now also a computer programmer — specializing in data science, web and app development, and digital design and architecture. But he did not go to school for any of these fields—none of them. So I asked him how he learned all of these skills and he said, “I just Googled and YouTubed it.” He also informed me that some of the very best and most intellectually challenging universities in the world such as MIT – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford now provide their courses online for free. MIT has an entire online catalog of free courses available for anyone interested in learning something new. They even have a 19-week history class titled “Visualizing Imperialism & the Philippines, 1898-1913” — a course that explores and analyzes America’s entry into global imperialism through the conquest and occupation of the Philippines.

Think about that for a second. Free education. Free knowledge just sitting there and accessible for anyone anywhere in the World with internet (and well of course the spare time). It’s truly astonishing, remarkable, and amazing to me. So as any good parent would, I told my son and all of my kids for that matter—never stop learning—there is no excuse for not attaining more skills or seeking more knowledge, more education.

Today in the U.S., student loan debt is the highest it has ever been. The United States Federal Reserve reports that the total student loan debt is now at an astronomical level — $1.56 trillion. It is not uncommon to hear of doctors and lawyers in their 40s and even 50s still paying off their student loans. I suppose that is the price to pay in exchange of chasing your dreams and hoping for a quality, stable life. It is indeed, still a common perception that in order to get a good, paying job, you need your college degree or higher. That is certainly true in many ways and I don’t envision how that would ever change — I don’t think learning how to become a doctor can just be Googled or YouTubed.

However, it is very important to take the future of learning and jobs into critical
analysis and consideration especially with automation and artificial intelligence
taking but also creating new jobs. This is very important for a country such as the Philippines because our greatest export is our people — labor.

Roger Oriel

Roger Oriel is the Chief Executive Officer and Publisher of the Asian Journal Media Group.

Spotlighting the growth, development, and progression of the Philippines since 2009. Balikbayan Magazine is a publication of the Asian Journal Media Group.

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