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Eight Ways to be a Lifelong Learner — By Susan Kemp, Marketing Manager, Hart Crowser, a Division of Haley & Aldrich

You already know that being a lifelong learner is important for professional reasons. The more skills you have, the more you can help your company thrive. But the real motivator to learn something new every day is so you can experience those joyful moments of “Hey, I didn’t know that!” or “I can just do it like this and it works.”

But where are some good places for continuing education? How do you find the right program that will challenge you and above all interest you enough to keep learning day after day? Here are a few places to investigate.


If you aren’t already a member of SMPS, it’s well worth becoming one. SMPS members have access to a plethora of free webinars, learning labs, and classes geared to marketers of professional services (architecture, engineering, construction, etc.). Also, the SMPS bookstore has studies and papers (free to members) and books that are also geared to our needs. Definitely start with this valuable resource.


Free online university courses from famous institutions all over the world (Harvard, MIT, Berkely, the Sorbonne, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, University of Queensland, and more). Covers a very wide range of subjects.


100,000 online video courses. Many of them are around $10 each. A friend of mine has been pleased with the cost and quality of what she’s taken though Udemy.

LinkedIn Learning

This used to be It has a tremendous number of business, technology, and creative skills, for example, 938 Leadership and management courses and 38 photoshop courses. The cost is $29.99 per month or $19.99 per month annually. Access it free through some libraries, including the Seattle Public Library (if you have a library card).

Video presentations from famous people (currently they have 85 instructors). Comes with workbooks and participation in an online community of others who are watching the videos. Subjects are writing, business, photography, fashion, cooking, film and TV, music and entertainment, sports and TV.  I’d been wanting to do this for some time and finally gave in a month ago. I’ve been enjoying lessons from Margaret Atwood, Malcolm Gladwell, David Sedaris, Neil Gaiman, James Patterson, and Annie Leibovitz, and I’m looking forward to a lot more.

The cost is $180 a year for as many different teachers as you want to watch, and they sometimes have a special that includes sending a free subscription to a friend.

Luminous Works

If you prefer in-person training for Adobe products and live in the Seattle area, Luminous Works is unbeatable. Instructors are top notch and class sizes are small. (At the time of this writing, they also have video courses.) They also have training books on InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.

School of Visual Concepts

Another possibility for in-person training in Seattle. (At the time of this writing during the coronavirus pandemic, classes are being taught online.) They provide certificate programs and also individual classes. Topics are marketing, branding, design, content creation, user experience, visual design, and advertising.

Social Media/Digital

Since it changes so fast, one of the best ways to learn and keep up with social media is to keep an eye on (or subscribe to) the industry blogs. There are so many! Here are just a few.

If you have any comments about your experience with these sites, please share them with us.

Do you have a favorite educational site? Let us know!

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