How To Keep Learning Without Grad School

learn without grad school

When getting close to graduating from college, the whirlwind of “what are you doing when you graduate?” type questions begin to surround you. With a little over 4 months left for myself, I have firmly decided that I am not pursuing grad school, either immediately or at all. But I don’t want to stop learning, so how is this possible?

I wrote a post about how to never stop learning a long while ago, and it talks generally about continuing to learn throughout your life. I want this post to be more specific, and especially for those of us that will be out of traditional education and higher education soon. This is to help build skill sets and knowledge more than just casual learning.


Master a New Skill

Maybe there was something you always wanted to learn, but couldn’t fit it into your schedule or it didn’t exactly match your degree. Now that you are free from requirements and doing what an advisor says to do, you can pursue a new skill. Plus, you will never know what may benefit your after college, it could be whatever new skill you take on. I definitely recommend Lynda for learning new skills in business, tech, and creative design, but always look local and see what you can learn in person and hands on if possible.

Study New Subjects that Relate to What You Do

If you were like me, you couldn’t take on a minor in college without risking hitting unit caps that would cancel your financial aid (Yes, that is a thing). So, even though there were a plethora of subjects I would have loved to gain some level of knowledge in, it just wasn’t feasible. And, with grad school, you continue to master what you already know, not necessarily learn anything new. So, taking advantage of being able to freely study something new that you can relate to what you already know. For example, you studied business with a focus on marketing. Now you can pursue psychology to relate to business and buyer behavior. Or you could learn more about communication and relate it to customer service. Or, learn about design and connect it to advertising and aesthetics.

Startup Stock Photos

Continue to Learn in your Field

I’m a firm believer you will never know everything in your field, and will always have to keep learning and growing your knowledge base. If you keep an eye on your industry and what is happening within it, you can learn and grow with it. Never stay static. You don’t need to pursue grad school to keep learning in your field.

What did you do after college? What do you plan on doing? Let me know in the comments.




7 Comments Add yours

  1. Chelsea says:

    I love this post and I LOVE your thirst for learning! I’m in grad school right now but I’ve found that there are a lot of new things that I am interested in, the more I grow. I am in school for counseling but I wouldn’t mind going back and taking a few business management courses to to learn more on how to effectively make my fashion blog a well-managed business.


  2. I agree that there are so many avenues to continue learning once you finish higher education! In saying that I completed a Bachelor and a Post Grad, worked for a while and then went back to do another Grad Dip (which did make a huge difference to job opportunities plus a big spike in salary). I don’t think I would ever go back to study at a Uni level again although I do keep an interest in on-line courses – there are heaps of awesome courses for free via itunes U and coursera has quite a few that you can get for free (or even for a small fee), plus most of them are sponsored by universities anyway 🙂


  3. Jenny says:

    I’m in grad school right now, but I absolutely loved this post. It’s so important to keep learning after college no matter what.

    xoxo, Jenny


  4. edefreitas says:

    Best of luck as you finish up college and after graduation! I know a lot of my former classmates chose to go to grad school, so I’m often glad to hear from someone who, like me, decided to stop at least for the time being. I had very little experience working in an office setting prior to graduating, so to build off your topic of learning, just working in a new environment for a company you’ve never worked for before will be a learning experience. I was so ignorant of just how companies even function before I started working full time that I feel like at this point in my life, this was the learning I needed.


  5. Elle M. says:

    Agreed with this post! I have too many interests of which I want to make my mark to pursue a singular graduate degree, though recently I pondered enrolling for a post-bac certificate in a field I see myself in and want to grow professionally in until I become an multi-avenue entrepreneur.


  6. I love learning. I listen to a pod cast from my favorite leaders every time I drive a long distance. (about twice a week) It is hard, when only documented learning is recognized with a degree. I should have a Masters in Living by now!


  7. Annie says:

    Great post! I’m a huge nerd so even now that I’m still in college I constantly learn things that are not even by far connected with my college studies. it’s just what I do, even tho my mom keeps telling me to focus on college, cause I’m just filling my brain with useless stuff… Like, excuse me?! I like to be smart


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s