Why now is the best time to learn a new skill?

Updated: Apr 22

Written by: Dr. Banu Turkmen

I often get questions on career tips from younger generations; my students, colleagues, relatives etc. As a

data scientist I feel more and more how our lives are changing everyday with the new applications of data

science and the new ways of working due to Coronavirus. When the world is changing this fast, it makes

many things obsolete for us including the good tips about education and work life. It is not only the

technology which is changing, it is also how we learn, what we value and lifestyles as a whole are

changing. Jos Akkermans, Julia Richardson and Maria L. Kraimer made a very good analysis on how

covid-19 pandemic is a career shock for many people across the globe.

In the past, we learned mostly from older generations. Now the older generation is learning from the

younger generation and they are not the number one source anymore. As older generations, we either try

to catch up as much as possible or get scared from change and cling to our traditional lifestyles. But for

young generations there is no escape from this change. You have to live your age and it is not bad at all,

believe me.

Just a decade ago, we were more limited by borders, socio-economic conditions, minority-based

challenges and many other constraints as individuals. But nowadays, you can embrace the world full of

opportunities wherever you are. I am not saying we overcame gender equality issues by technology but I

am saying you can reach women networks and overcome struggles together, stronger, with like-minded

people, much easier than before.

Women AI Academy is a perfect example in my experience. All you need is a computer and internet connection to reach the rest of us. You can learn how to play a musical instrument, a language, programming online. You do not have to go to expensive schools or move to bigger cities. Again I am not devaluing the high quality education those schools are providing, in any way.