The saying, “you learn something new every day”, is (let’s be frank) never going to go away. Most of the time you don’t even realise it but you’re always learning, whether you’re actively going through education and training or passively through day-to-day tasks, we’re constantly learning.
But as the world changes and hastens pace, traditional skills need to be honed and upgraded to keep up. Consider that school children are already learning new skills like writing code and Australia is facing a trade skills shortage, some of these new things could also be very valuable to learn should you need to diversify in the future.
So instead of ignoring that overused cliché, start listening and start learning something new. Here are 5 things you should think about learning in the next 5 years.
What would you like to learn next?
#1 Learn a Language
Learning another language, while time-consuming, can be great for not only broadening your horizons but also gives you a global edge. Consider learning Hindi or Mandarin as both China and India cement their place as world powers and international relations continue to develop between both countries and Australia.
While it’s all well and good to say sure, I’ll learn Mandarin, it can be quite difficult. You might first want to start by deciding whether or not you’ll follow simplified or traditional characters. Then try to follow a Chinese TV show and partner up with a native speaker, whom you could even teach English in return. There’s also a host of apps out there to help you keep practicing and translate new phrases or words.
Or you could think about Hindi. For starters, it is in the top 5 most spoken languages in the world . While Bengali and Punjabi, India’s other languages, round out the top ten.
Considering that India is one of the fastest growing economies, chances are having some Hindi phrases up your sleeve could help you in the future.
Hindi is also one of the oldest languages and hey, maybe you just really like Bollywood and would like to know what they’re saying! All great reasons to jump in and start learning Hindi.
#2 Learn How to Code
While many school students are already learning to code around the world, Australia is only just introducing lessons on writing code for applications and HTML. As everything moves to our mobiles and everyday processes go digital, it’s important to understand how web pages are written and designed and how things work on your phones.
Learning the basics of coding and how to read scripts will also give you an advantage in your career, as technology troubleshooting and even project work calls more and more often for basic tech literacy skills.
Try to master the basics of HTML or CSS. You’ll find that they’re really quite simple and logical but do take time to master completely. You’ll thank us later.
#3 Learn How to Use Excel (like a pro)
What you never realized about that frightening program that looks like a daunting, glowing grid on your screen is that it can do a lot more than make graphs and organize basic information. Excel can calculate, convert and project data in crazy ways making your life so much easier. While learning formulas may be slightly challenging, just wrapping your head around the ribbon (where all the tools are) can help you organize a ton of information in a presentable way. Just before you start filling in the cells, take some time to think about the information you are sorting and what data you may need to add later.
While learning formulas may be slightly challenging, just wrapping your head around the ribbon (where all the tools are) can help you organize a ton of information in a presentable way. Just before you start filling in the cells, take some time to think about the information you are sorting and what data you may need to add later.
Learning shortcuts will no doubt save you even more time and help take the stress out of data entry.
We find ourselves using Excel daily, so learn now and it’ll be a breeze the next time you have to create a spreadsheet.
You’ll thank us later.
#4 Learn How to Cook (if you don’t already know how to)
If you don’t already know how to dish up a simple stir fry, easy pasta dish or just not burn the toast then you need to either teach yourself to cook or get to a cooking class immediately.
Asides from being able to make your favourite dish whenever you wish, you’re also providing yourself with, well, a basic necessity and can save yourself some serious cash by not having to buy meals all the time.
Go and get a recipe book and read through it first. Find the definitions of words and techniques that you don’t know about and start practicing. The key is to start simple and work your way up to extravagant dishes.
#5 A Trade Skill
Learning how to make or fix things is an irreplaceable and invaluable skill. It’s also very satisfying to make something yourself.
With a skills shortage and the ludicrous prices that some charge for trades, it’s also a smart decision.
Getting to know how your car works inside and out can save you a lot of money and take the worry off breaking down in the middle of nowhere. Mechanics will always come in handy. While the technology in cars evolves rapidly, the things that power them (like the engine) are for the most part still the realm of mechanics. Take the time now to learn how they work and how to fix problems and you’ll probably find the knowledge still applies to future innovations.
While the technology in cars evolves rapidly, the things that power them (like the engine) are for the most part still the realm of mechanics. Take the time now to learn how they work and how to fix problems and you’ll probably find the knowledge still applies to future innovations.
Alternatively, try your hand at carpentry and you’ll never be stuck on fixing that hole in the wall at home or notching up a new deck. You might even find yourself building a new kitchen. Again, start small with woodwork and basic joinery skills before you tackle big projects.
So no matter what you choose to learn, whether it’s something from this list or something else entirely, it’s a new skill or knowledge that you now have for the future.
What we’ve listed here are no doubt valuable things to learn for today’s rapidly changing world, but there are a million other things well worth your time!
You’ll never stop learning.
Do you think these things are important to learn?