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Lifelong Learning in US – Competition is coming from every direction

Those who aren’t trying to improve will get passed by. One compelling motivation for some is to stay nimble and keep learning in order to increase their worth for employers and in their own eyes:

You don’t want to stagnate in your learning and your position. My thinking is you have to have a hunger to learn, or else the people who do have that hunger are going to make you seem like you’re out of it – [you’re] besides the point.– Middle-aged professional in St. Louis region

I want to be alert and keep my mind working and going. I don’t want to be somewhere stuck. I keep trying to learn more by challenging myself, thinking outside the box. Be creative, inspirational, that kind of thing. I would hate myself if I stopped trying to get better at what I do.– Millennial in the music business, Atlanta region

Competition is coming from every direction, including globalization and new job entrants. Technology advances are only part of the story.

People know jobs can be outsourced abroad or challenged by others in the local labor market:

Everything in life is getting more competitive and it starts with the job. There are people trying to get hired and get promoted. There are people trying to show how much they have learned and how much they have done – real resume builders. There are people who will work for less in other countries. [Expletive], I even compete with myself. I just started body building and I want to get better – and also beat the people working out in the gym around me.– 30-something white-collar worker, St. Louis region

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  US workers’ motives for learning in a knowledge economy | Pew Research Center

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