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The New School

BY RELEVANT ISSUE 53 / LIFE September 12, 2011

By now, you’ve realized learning doesn’t have to stop just because you’ve “finished” school—in fact, it probably shouldn’t stop. Whether you’ve earned your high school diploma or your master’s degree, upgrading your work skills and knowledge can not only keep you on the cutting edge of your field but can also be kind of, well … enjoyable.

Continuing education doesn’t have to mean pursuing a degree. Most colleges have auditing policies that allow you to sit in on classes of your choosing without having to take the tests or do the homework (basically, the way you wish college was in the first place). Look into community colleges, as they often offer significant tuition reductions if you live in the area.

Deciding to continue education also offers a chance to beef up your résumé. Taking classes in your field lets your current or prospective employer know you’re serious about your chosen profession. Consider taking business, management or computer courses. And don’t forget language classes—even if a position doesn’t require more than one language, candidates who are bilingual are coveted in the ever-growing global economy.

After graduation learning doesn’t have to be about the corporate ladder, though. Don’t feel like reliving four years of ramen and peanut butter? Invest in a cooking class with a group of friends at your local YMCA or community center. Break the monotony of winter with a ballroom dance class or a rock-climbing certification course. Local classes are offered on almost everything, and oft en for very reasonable prices. See, it’s like your mom always said—learning can be fun.