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View Poll Results: Autodidact or Higher Education

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  • Autodidact

    1 16.67%
  • Educational Institute (University/College/etc...)

    5 83.33%
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Thread: Autodidact vs "Proper" Education

  1. #1 Autodidact vs "Proper" Education 
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    >>>>>not actual<<<<<


    Last edited by N0VUS; August 16th, 2011 at 04:59 PM.
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  3. #2  
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    WTH is Autodidact?


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeteorWayne
    WTH is Autodidact?
    Autodidact is someone who does not learn in an educational facility (school, university, college), but learns "on his/her own" about a certain subject (by reading, researching, debating, and collecting info on it)

    So for instance if you occasionally read a lot about biology, you are learning in an autodidact way (however you won't be a doctor because it will not give you any diploma)
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    The educational system has it's share of problems, that's for sure - but as you say, you need some way to prove to potential employers and collaborators that you are qualified. There are ways to do that outside of the school system, but it will still require contacting and working with people in your field of interest. One of the advantages of universities is that students have access to active researchers (as long as you go to a research uni, of course), and it will be easier as a student to network with these people than it will as an outsider.

    You get out of college what you put into it - if you just do the minimum amount necessary to pass, you won't get much out of it. If you bring an autodidact attitude and soak up everything you can and then some, it could be a really rewarding and educational experience. Be willing to do extra reading when you come across something interesting to you, be an active participant in classes, don't be afraid to chat with your teachers outside of class, especially on topics related to their own research, join discussion groups, volunteer to work with professors on their research, take full advantage of having a full pass to a university library, join honors programs, take thesis classes where you get to do your own research projects, etc etc.

    If you use the time to learn how to learn, you'll be a better autodidact once you're done than you were when you started. With a diploma.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
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  6. #5 Re: Autodidact vs "Proper" Education 
    Forum Freshman Beard Baron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N0VUS
    So I am thinking about whether I should leave school and become an autodidact (more time and freedom, however economically difficult and will not have any papers, certificates or diplomas),

    Or continue to higher education (Economically much safer, will give diploma/certificate, however less time, the institute decides the material, will not have time and energy to research)
    Hi Novus.

    Your only pro of being an autodidact seems to be an abundance of freedom and free time. Yet, the pros you list of a higher education are economic stability, diploma/certificate. Truthfully, when I see that you are considering free time to be of equal or greater value than a degree, you seem like a person who will simply give up when you hit the hard material of what you want to learn. It sounds like the lazy way out. I get the feeling that all that free time will start going towards videogames and a minimum wage job just to support yourself. Although, I don't know any serious autodidacts, so I'm not going to pass any judgment.

    I will however, offer you some friendly advice. I'm an undergrad biology student currently doing the data collection phase of my thesis for my final year. Going into the lab is the best damn part of my day. It's a great feeling knowing you're doing real science. I doubt autodidacts have the same satisfaction after reading an article or webpage. All year, I study like crazy, but I still have free time. Sure, a student studies a lot, but you get to really enjoy studying. Hardly anyone is so drained they don't have enough time for extra-curricular activities. Most students go to the gym or do some sports while managing to keep their grades up. Also, if you choose to go for an honours, you'll get an opportunity to try your hand at real research. Indeed, if you go the university path, you'll see it's not nearly as exhausting as you think.

    You'll be working your ass of in university, and you'll have to sacrifice a lot of otherwise 'free time', but you'll be a better person for it.

    There really is only one choice here.
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  7. #6 Re: Autodidact vs "Proper" Education 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N0VUS
    ...., the institute decides the material, will not have time and energy to research
    Beard Baron's answer is pertinent and telling. Frankly when I read what you had written here I felt like adding a further option to the poll:

    Lacks the gumption to learn anything significant by any method.

    Harsh? It's up to you to prove me wrong.
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  8. #7  
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    For the amount learned there'd probably not be an extra free time gained from learning it on your own. In addition you risk getting a fractured and incomplete education.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by N0VUS View Post
    I am 18 years old, I have a special interest in history, sociology, biology and the similarities between civilisation and living organisms.

    So I am thinking about whether I should leave school and become an autodidact (more time and freedom, however economically difficult and will not have any papers, certificates or diplomas),

    Or continue to higher education (Economically much safer, will give diploma/certificate, however less time, the institute decides the material, will not have time and energy to research)

    I am looking forward to answers

    N0VUS
    Higher education, is about learning. It is not about being taught. Particularly at the post-graduate level, one is expected to do independent research and learn on one's own. The availability of other students and experts with whom to discuss ideas is very valuable.

    You offer a false dichotomy.
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  10. #9  
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    Thank you for the answers, I think now I have decided which one to choose
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  11. #10  
    Forum Freshman Beard Baron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N0VUS View Post
    Thank you for the answers, I think now I have decided which one to choose
    I trust you made the right decision.
    "Science is more than a body of knowledge; it's a way of thinking. A way of skeptically interrogating the universe." - Carl Sagan
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  12. #11  
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    ==========================
    Last edited by N0VUS; August 16th, 2011 at 04:56 PM.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beard Baron View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by N0VUS View Post
    Thank you for the answers, I think now I have decided which one to choose
    I trust you made the right decision.
    He chooses bankruptcy.
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  14. #13  
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    =====================
    Last edited by N0VUS; August 16th, 2011 at 04:57 PM.
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  15. #14  
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    =====================
    Last edited by N0VUS; August 16th, 2011 at 04:58 PM.
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  16. #15  
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    Final Decision : Educational Institute
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