Schools Don’t Have A Monopoly On Learning

Posted August 3, 2021 by Diego Escala

School’s great, but it’s also costly and in some cases it might even come off as a waste of time if you reach the end and realize you learned more on your own than in the actual classroom. I get why people might feel frustrated when they want to keep (or start) learning, but don’t want to take a risk on school. But college isn’t the end all be all when it comes to learning, and regardless if you never went or already graduated, it doesn’t mean there aren’t any options to learning something new or improving a skill set you’ve already been working on.


I’m a recent believer in MeetUp. I’m not usually the type to dive into a social event unless I have a friend or two with me, but after the initial hurdle it’s a great experience to meet new people. This one’s obviously very dependent on an event happening in your area where someone is teaching a particular skill you’re looking to learn, but they also do online webinars, which have been pretty informative from the few I’ve viewed.

Adobe MAX

While on the subject of webinars, if you’re interested in Adobe’s software I can’t recommend Adobe MAX enough. It’s an event that used to be in person and cost hundreds of dollars for a ticket, but last year they made it virtual and best of all, free. Dozens of sessions are available to tune into, from keynotes to step-by-step walkthroughs for creating something that you can do alongside the presenter. I’d never messed with AfterEffects before, but saw a lab for it during last year’s event and was impressed with how smooth of an experience it was. They even tell you the experience level for the lab and teach it appropriately. (The 2021 event is coming up in October, so now’s a good time to have it on your radar.)

Google Cert Courses

School can be great for those who want that sort of structured format to learn and are averse to having to dive down rabbit holes of Google searches or YouTube videos to find someone teaching a subject well. This is where a Google certification course can come in handy. The amount of topics they have on offer isn’t super wide reaching, but it’s still a great resource for learning a new skill or reinforcing an old one. More so considering some are free, and a certification from Google is just as good as a degree in most cases. You simply pick the course you want to work on first, and take your time through the course videos at your own pace, doubling back when you need to if you’re not ready to move forward yet. It’s too useful of a resource that I don’t see enough people taking advantage of, especially when it comes to wanting to break into tech without spending thousands of dollars on a piece of paper at a university that may or may not give as good a learning experience.


OK, OK, I know this is a weird one but trust me on this. I know this app has the reputation of it being filled with dancing videos (which it totally is) and I was skeptical of it for the longest time as well. The thing is, its algorithm is pretty good. Like, scary good. After you’ve spent enough time fiddling with the app it starts feeding you things you’re actually interested in, and after a while my feed was filled with nothing but videos about graphic design, UX/UI tips and weirdly enough, channels dedicated to Excel tricks that I’ve learned a lot from. It’s disgusting how many Adobe tricks my friends and I have shared with each other from this app; if you looked at our “liked videos” tab it’s just all that. As depressing as it is, I’ve honestly learned more about the ins and outs of these programs through this silly clock app than I did in my four years of schooling. And I didn’t even have to give TikTok thousands of dollars for a flimsy piece of paper.

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