Education in the modern era is no longer as narrow a field as it once was. There is now a much wider range of choices available for anyone seeking to gain an education or a valuable qualification, and the field is also open to a greater number of people from all different backgrounds. As a result we live in a much more knowledgeable and better-educated world, and this better standard of education also provides greater opportunities for the next generation as knowledge and skills can be passed down in a variety of ways.
In looking at the changing world of education we must remember that in many countries it was not that long ago that education was the sole preserve of men from wealthy backgrounds. Ordinary working people were only taught the skills they needed in order to do their jobs, and standards of literacy and numeracy were low. For women, educational opportunities were even harder to access. Even middle and upper-class women were often only able to learn those things thought proper for a lady whose main function would be to play a supportive role for her husband.
Education for all
Thankfully times have changed, and education is no longer the preserve of the few. Countries around the world have recognized that universal education is a key determinant of productivity, quality of life and a thriving national economy. Movements towards equality and diversity have also opened up higher education to everyone regardless of gender, ethnicity and social background although many would argue that there is still a long way to go. Students from deprived backgrounds still need extra support in order to access education at both basic and higher levels.
A further leap forward in the opening up of education came with the worldwide web and the wide availability of information over the internet. Today each of us has access to an unparalleled library of facts, opinion, research and speculation at our fingertips, all available in an instant and free of charge. In theory this means that each of us can become self-educated to a high standard given enough time and diligence.
While the internet has opened up a wealth of resources there is still a need for experienced tutors to act as gatekeepers and to provide a structure for learning. It is sometimes hard to find authoritative resources online and unfortunately the internet also contains a great deal of misinformation that can be dangerously misleading. A solution can be found in taking one of the many online learning courses available, which in the best cases combine the rigor and guidance of a university education with the ability to study from home in your own time.
Established colleges and universities are waking up to these possibilities, and it’s now possible to study for an online Bachelor’s degree from some of the world’s top institutes of learning. Go to bryantstratton.edu to see an example of how students who are unable to commit to a full-time course of study in person can still earn an online Bachelor’s degree from home that can enhance their career opportunities and open doors worldwide.
Particular professions such as engineering or construction have always offered vocational qualifications that need to be updated as the years go by, but the digital era has increased the number of such courses as well as introducing new job roles that can be studied for. One reason for this is the speed of progress and development within the digital field.
Software designers, cybersecurity experts and anyone working within IT will be familiar with the vocational qualifications offered by companies such as Microsoft. In many cases these build on the foundations of a university degree and allow individuals the chance to update their skills in very specific areas in order to broaden their career prospects.
For those who don’t need a particular qualification but still have a thirst for knowledge there are now more resources available than ever before. Many of us take our local public libraries for granted, but they are a great place to work on your own education in your own time. There are also often many private tutors available in your local area, as well as evening classes offering everything from foreign languages to learning a musical instrument.
The field of education is now wide open. From schools, colleges and universities to the myriad possibilities offered by the internet and on to informal classes and one-to-one tuition, there’s really no reason why any of us should ever give up on learning. It could be the key to greater happiness and understanding, a better job, or simply a way to stay active and engaged in the wider world.