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Favorite Quotes
“Take some books and read; that’s an immense help; and books are always good company if you have the right sort.”
— Louisa May Alcott, Little Women

5 Ways to Become a Subject Expert

By Annie St. Francis

Subject experts have extensive background experience and abundant knowledge of one or more specific practices, processes, the use of technology, and/or equipment. Specialists become “expert” – and you can too – through dedication to a subject of interest, and the commitment of time and other resources to a focused effort. The subject of an individual’s interest might lead to or expand on career possibilities or become a unique personal hobby. It might be related to a highly technical skill or a traditional trade. From a broad range of inspirations and ideas, remember that building a foundation of knowledge is hard work, but it’s also fun and exciting. I hope you’ll find that many of the print books presented at The Repository Project support the exploration of new ideas, the development of skills among beginners, and the refined advancement of those who are more experienced – or even expert.

1. Study with a reputable expert interested in and committed to high standards in teaching their art, craft, skill, and knowledge base to others. You may discover learning opportunities in traditional classrooms, through internship opportunities, as a part of workshops, or by attending seminars.

2. Read the best books on your specific subject of interest, and explore topics that closely surround the same. Familiarize yourself with the areas in which existing experts agree or are engaged in debate. Begin building your home library with well-chosen titles, and check their work for additional reading references and recommendations.

3. Seek out certifications recommended, or licenses required, for the area in which you want to become an expert. You can learn about these through professional associations, subject-specific, or community-based organizations.

4. Become part of a larger community of people who share your subject interest. Learn about the history of your subject, current concerns, and emerging information that will guide the development and direction of your are of interest into the future.

5. Remember that learning is a life-long journey and among our greatest adventures. Remain active and up-to-date as information and ideas develop and change within your area or areas of interest and developing expertise.

Here are a couple great examples that cover a range of development from personal hobby interest to professional career pathways.

Become a Master Gardener

Study for Your Ham Radio License

Learn to Design, Engineer and Install Alternative Power Systems

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