Why And How Self-Learning Is Important

  | 6 min read
self learning

Self-directed learning strategies

Self-learning is the modern form of learning. Not that it has replaced traditional, instructional learning, but it has supplemented it and with some great results. Self-directed learning has been proven to be effective, convenient, and fast, thanks to the rise of the internet. Nowadays, you can learn how to do almost anything through a simple Google search, by watching a YouTube tutorial, and by simply reading instruction manuals. Self-learning is the new form of learning that is equipping people with skills that are relevant to their daily activities. However, this can be a challenging form of learning even for the brightest students, since it requires lots of discipline.

Advantages of Self-Learning

In case you are not sure whether this is the best mode of learning, here are some proven advantages;

  • You Develop Strong Problem Solving Skills

problem solving skills

Self-learning gives you the ability to identify problems and quickly look for effective solutions on your own. This could be from colleagues, the internet or by exploration. Whatever the case, challenges and obstacles do not kill your drive to get things done, instead, they provide you with new opportunities to learn something new at your own pace and time. You get to learn how to actively look for solutions instead of having solutions brought to you. Moreover, you can easily adapt to changes in the environment due to the ability to learn fast.

  • It is a Stress-Free Learning Process

Enjoyable learning process

The process of self-learning places a great emphasis on the process rather than the outcome of the learning. Moreover, there is no pressure to learn the required content within a certain time, with the ultimate goal being the achievement of high grades. You choose what you want to learn when you want to learn, and how you want to learn. The overall outcome is an internalization of content and this is why self-learners tend to internalize what they learn, more than those who take part in directed learning.

  • You Gain Other Skills in the Process

Additional skills for career growth

When learning, you get to learn other important skills such as time management, self-assessment, and setting your own goals. These are important skills that you can apply anywhere. In fact, people who are good at self-learning have an increased ability to develop other skills as they often have to employ a certain set of skills in order to learn. Finally, self-learners have a strong commitment to tasks, as they learn how to stick to a plan until they achieve their goals.

  • The Learning Experience Becomes More Meaningful

Enjoyable learning experience

Self-driven learning comes from a personal desire to gain new knowledge. It is driven by the need to find more information about a topic and use the information for a particular purpose. Therefore, you have a clear purpose of why you are learning and the information gained is often relevant, making it meaningful. Additionally, you are inclined to search deeper information about a topic since you are not just learning for the sake of learning. Learning now has a purpose and is enjoyable, leading to good results.

  • Learning is Now Led by Curiosity

Learning by curiosity

A great part of learning is to satisfy some level of curiosity and learning occurs naturally when there is curiosity. This, therefore, means that you will be motivated to learn and you will get to acquire much more knowledge when the drive comes from within than from outside sources. It becomes an adventure and your capabilities are expanded each time you successfully learn something new.

  • You Get to Choose Your Mode of Learning

Different modes of learning

YouTube tutorials, webinars, books, or any other mode of learning is at your disposal when you decide to learn. With all these modes of learning within your reach, you get to choose one that suits you best and one that you find most engaging. You don’t have to stick to one mode of learning just because it is what is available.

How to Successfully Learn by Yourself

Self-learning requires lots of discipline and it can be challenging. However, it can be one of the most interesting learning experiences when done properly. Here is how to go about self-driven learning;

  1. Get Ready to Learn

Be ready to learn

Any kind of learning requires one to be ready to take on the subject because the truth is, there will be challenges and obstacles along the way. Be in the right frame of mind, understand what you want to learn and why this subject is important to you. You will need lots of internal motivation so being ready to learn will keep you on track even when your motivation levels are low.

  1. Have Clear Learning Goals

Clear learning goals

Just like a teacher prepares a teaching scheme which is aimed at helping learners attain different skills and knowledge at the end of a lesson, so should your personal learning. When your learning goals are clear, you will be able to evaluate your progress and whether you have gained any knowledge and this sets the stage for a fruitful learning process. Additionally, with learning goals, you can be able to create a systematic learning process which will enable you to learn the subject matter progressively.

  1. Decide Which Tools You Want to Use

Learning tools

With so many learning materials available, you are spoilt for choice. Depending on the subject matter, there are different resources available for you. Choose one that best suits your learning style and one that will be most effective. The beauty of self-driven learning is that you are not limited to a specific way of learning. The availability of different tools also gives you the chance to learn the same subject from different angles, which makes it easier to grasp the main subject matter.

  1. Decide How You Want to Assess Yourself

Personal assessment

Unlike formal learning which has exams every so often, self-driven learning will often have no assessment tools. The trick here is to, therefore, know what milestones you want to achieve along the way, by what time, and then decide what will indicate that you have learned something. Some online teaching resources have small exams at the end of each course to assess your grasp of the course so you can also take advantage of these.

Self-learning is an emerging form of learning that has emerged due to the availability of learning resources online. Self-learning enables you to learn what you want when you want, and how you want. You drive the learning process and this tends to be more effective that instructional learning.

Njeri Karanja
Njeri is a reading and creative writing enthusiast who is neck-deep in research writing. She is well versed in researching and writing on various topics.


    • Hey Ndetu,
      We are glad to hear that you were inspired to improve.
      Please check our career development section for more insightful articles.

  1. Many thanks for the clear materials.
    That is a real good piece for those who were still in doubt.
    You can learn on your own as long as all the required equipment among others are readily available.

    • Hey Paul,
      Thanks for the feedback.
      The article had an open view of self-learning.
      This means that that you can also choose to follow any self-learning path including external examinations as long as it meets your requirements.

    • Hi Geoff,
      Thanks for taking an initiative.
      Before embarking, make sure you have done thorough research then pick a learning avenue that meets your needs.

  2. I have Read and it has come into my perception that it is the best way of learning.
    How can one join the learning?
    Thank you

    • Hello Wilson,
      There are a couple of ways of learning.
      Maybe you should consider the online learning approach.

    • Hi SELLA
      Thank you for reading.
      There are various channels like YouTube, tutorials, webinars, books, where you will find engagement.


  3. hey, thanks for posting this great content, to me it’s motivation, am learning computer software online through a self paced learning program, and it’s true about the pros with self learning, lemme brief you a little about my journey,
    well it all started with the curiosity to learn how to buld mobile apps, I felt like I could build a mobile app, right the I searched for mobile app developing platforms….and that nowhere else but in Google, the results was a list among which I choose Appypie which was top rated in the list, then logged in ready to build my application, but I reached halfway and got stuck, I couldn’t do it more simply because there were features I wanted to define my app with but unfortunately they weren’t any templates to add.so right there I realised I needed to learn coding skills so as to building my app from scratch.that was then today after diving into research and all what I am learning today has become a part of my daily digest,I took advantage of social media, on twitter I created a network to get updates on mobile development, further I subscribed to get news letters, updates, tutorials and webnairs from, datacamp,coursera, class -central, udemy., among other blogs which offer online education, Medium an online blog for Data science and Software development has been feeding me with the programming content I hardly could know of.it’s through the interest I had in mobile software development, that has led me to gain interest on programming and and also UX designing.Finally thanks for your mailing service, Its through your email I knew Andela learning Community sponsored by Google android community, I have applied.

    • Hi David,
      This is really impressive and congratulations on your achievements. We wish you well in your application to Andela.

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