As most professionals worth their salt can tell you, learning doesn’t stop when you finally score your degree. While it’s a start, no program in the world could help you learn absolutely everything that you needed on the job. Whether it’s customer relations, using software or reading up on the latest management trends, microlearning is a solution that fills in the gaps for professional development. While you may be done with school, your education is far from over.

Microlearning – gaining knowledge through short, bite-sized lessons – can be divided into two categories: Reactive and proactive. Reactive learning occurs when you realize that you’re stuck and scramble to find an answer. It’s when you can’t figure out a command on your computer, so you reactively search an online tech forum for a solution. Proactive learning occurs when you’re ahead of the game and willing to seek solutions by watching short videos or even reading a tweet on management – before you’re even in a management position.

Either way, microlearning gives you the ability to informally expand your knowledge base. Every time you watch a video lecture posted on Facebook, peruse an industry forum or read tweets from an industry leader, you’re participating in microlearning through various delivery methods. It’s fast, it’s free and perhaps most importantly, it’s completely flexible and independent of other training methods, which means you can gain education and training on your own time.

Instead of relying on instructors and course material, you’ll instead rely more heavily on person-to-person exposure to enhance your micro-education. Not only does this help round out your education and help you stay on top of trends, it also enhances your connections and networking skills.  Microlearning should be a vital part of any person’s professional development by offering opportunities that may not otherwise be available with a standard-issue diploma.