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Define Your Path

What do you want to pursue?

This first step to building a personal learning plan to to define you path. “I want steady professional employment in the field of sustainability.” “I want to combine teaching English with travel.” "I want to start video blogging."  “I want to learn project management skills to advance in my career” or “I’d like to better my understanding of how to finance a family business”.

Your task: Share the dream with us. Post a comment below and let us know: What does a person with your intended career or skill set do? What inspires you to take a DIY approach to getting there? 

Not sure what path is right for you? The second part of the Edupunk's Guide shares resources for finding direction in your career and focusing your skill set.

Discusión de la Tarea

  • Rohit.Vashisht dijo:

    My Goal is to upgarde my BSc Information Technology (with 4.0 GPA) degree to an Engineering degree and find employment as a Computer Systems Engineer.

    I am a little confused about how to go about it, I would welcome your comments. Firstly I do hold a BSc degree from India of 96 credits so maybe I really do not need to spend so much of money on tuition, just have the skills for the job. I do not know that well about the employment field in USA where I live these days.

    One possibility about How will I go about it:

    1. Upgrade my mathematics knowledge maybe get credit courses from some online University or from in Multivariate Calculus, and Differential Equations.

    2. Upgrade my knowledge of the Engineering discipline by taking maybe get credit courses from some online University or from in in Signals and Systems and Electronics nad Devices, Computational structures.


    en 12 de junio de 2012 a las 22:23

    Leah MacVie dijo:

    Hi Rohit. As Anya mentioned in her book, you may also want to check out colleges that accept experience as credit- such as Empire State College. 

    en 13 de junio de 2012 a las 11:08 en Respuesta a Rohit.Vashisht
  • Spencer G dijo:


    I have a few different paths that I'd like to pursue, and even though I'm not sure that I'll get far on *all* of them, they're all important enough for me to post here:

    1) I want to prove that I can learn on my own. I'm graduating in December, and I want to make sure that I don't stop learning once I have a degree. 

    2) I want to have some awesome hobbies. I play a lot of board games, and I'd like to learn how to design some of my own. I love speaking French, and I don't think I need a classroom setting to add Esperanto to that list. 

    3) Most importantly, I want to learn about the future of education. In many ways, numbers 1 and 2 really fall under this list. I hope to one day pursue a graduate degree in instructional technology and help contribute to or design things like DIY U and P2PU. The more time I spend with these resources now, the more I can contribute in the future. 

    en 10 de junio de 2012 a las 18:41

    AJC dijo:

    Welcome Spencer! Looks like you found the right place!

    en 12 de junio de 2012 a las 13:20 en Respuesta a Spencer G
  • Kate the Adventurer dijo:

    My goal is not a particular subject to be applied to a specific career. I want to be a Clinical Psychologist, and have to obtain a doctorate and complete a residency to do so. However, I love learning, and don't perform well in traditional settings. I want to know all about a variety of things. I want to be useful. I am more or less trying to teach myself the equivelent of a liberal arts degree. I take classes on Coursera (Princeton, Stanford, Uof M, and Penn), Khan Academy (for math) and, and now P2PU. Its nice to see that there are so many others doing the same thing. My enrollment advisor at my college even thought negitively towards it. My friends/family think I'm crazy. I am teaching myself Russian, and in two weeks I feel like I've come further than my year of high school French. laugh

    en 9 de junio de 2012 a las 21:31

    Christopher Crawford dijo:

    Hi Kate,

    If you don't mind, I have a couple of questions/suggestions. I have participated in traditional and non-traditional education and think I might be able to help a little.

    So, are you still in undergrad? and are you taking any summer classes? If you are still an undergrad student and you aren't taking any summer classes this is a perfect time to see how well this program can work for you.

    While I am a huge proponent of learning for the sake of learning, if your ultimate goal is a doctorate, then it would be best to try to find a personal learning program that will help lead to that goal (i.e. College Credit).

    There are 33 Clep exams that you can take to from the College Board to get credit.  Excelsior College is a regionally accredited school that has multiple alternate way to earn college credit including a portfolio assessment . You can continue using Khan, P2PU, Coursera and any other Open Education platform to learn the material and then use one of those alternate methods to get credit for the material you have learned. Another great method is to learn by teaching- if you want to learn about Abnormal Psych, set up a Learning Abnormal Psych challenge on P2PU with links to open resources (OCW, ItunesU, texts on Scribd).

    Usually, the earlier you get started the better, because most university policies say that the last x amount of hours has to be earned at that institution. A completed DIY Personal Learning plan will also come in handy in convincing your academic advisor and family that you have considered this and it could be the best option for your to quickly finish your degree and possibly save money.  You can also talk to your advisor about Independent Study Classes (some institutions require that you be a upperclassman and have advisor or department chair approval).

    Sorry if I am a little verbose, but a lot of this info I found by trial and error because when I started I was unaware of amazing communities like P2PU- if there is anything else I can do to help, then don't hesitate to ask.



    en 9 de junio de 2012 a las 22:30 en Respuesta a Kate the Adventurer

    Spencer G dijo:

    Hi Kate!

    I'm actually about to become a high school French teacher, but I'm not blind to the shortcomings of most high school French programs, so I wanted to ask you what's been so helpful in your Russian experience. I know that it was a personal drive to learn a foreign language that got me through high school and into some excellent university programs, but I know that not every student in a high school French class has that same desire. 

    Is there anything about your teaching yourself Russian that's helped accommodate or awaken your desire or ability to learn a foreign language? I'd love to figure out how to do that in my own classroom. 



    en 10 de junio de 2012 a las 18:48 en Respuesta a Kate the Adventurer

    Kate the Adventurer dijo:

    Thank you very much for the advice. I really appreciate it. I talked to my counsler, and I can take two clep exams, OR do one portfolio assessment. I have to wait a couple years to do an idependent study class, as I am still a freshman.

    Thank you again.

    en 8 de julio de 2012 a las 14:26 en Respuesta a Christopher Crawford

    Kate the Adventurer dijo:

    Honestly, I think the most helpful thing is that I am far more interested than I was in high school. I am using LiveMocha which allows you to talk to people who speak Russian as their native tongue (French too!), in exchange I help them with their English. That set up makes it feel more rewarding. You should check it out. =)

    en 8 de julio de 2012 a las 14:29 en Respuesta a Spencer G
  • Anónimo dijo:

    I want to build a life in a very quiet place out of town and depend as less as possible on systems such as politics or economy. Grow my own food, produce my own energy. Promote sustainability by being self-sustained.

    I went into digital art as a profession but I realized I am not made for working in an office with deadlines and all the rush to get things done.

    I hope I can learn how to achieve this escape from the mainstream with DIY.

    en 31 de mayo de 2012 a las 15:29

    Leah MacVie dijo:

    Tell me about it Felipe! Sounds amazing.... I love books that focus on sustainable farming and neighborhoods. :)

    en 31 de mayo de 2012 a las 16:06 en Respuesta a Anónimo

    AJC dijo:

    There's a wealth of permacultural information on the web, and many active web communities. I follow a lot of people on twitter and read a lot of blogs. Also, there's a lot of artists that are doing some radical things out on open land that's pretty inspiring.

    en 31 de mayo de 2012 a las 16:23 en Respuesta a Anónimo

    Anónimo dijo:

    Thanks for the reply Leah!
    Could you maybe advise me on some good books to start learning about it?

    en 1 de junio de 2012 a las 09:20 en Respuesta a Leah MacVie

    Anónimo dijo:

    Thanks Alison!


    Which people do you recommend following on twitter and which blogs are good for learning about permaculture?


    en 1 de junio de 2012 a las 09:22 en Respuesta a AJC

    Leah MacVie dijo:

    Ahhh- this was the book I was trying to find on Amazon for you, but couldn't. We own this book and LOVE it- it is AMAZING!

    en 1 de junio de 2012 a las 12:26 en Respuesta a Anónimo

    AJC dijo:

    Toby Hemenway's Gaia's Garden is the best home-scale book to come out yet, but it focuses on living somewhere with a little rainfall. Bill Mollison writes from a large-scale earthworks in a dry environment in his permaculture books.

    For twitter:

    en 4 de junio de 2012 a las 13:09 en Respuesta a Anónimo
  • Sophie dijo:

    Well, I'm only in 8th grade, but I'm probably going to unschooling through high school, and would like to use this for that purpose. I don't really know what I want to do yet, but I love biology, so my goal is just to learn a lot about all of the subjects with a focus on that. Thanks for this awesome rescource!

    en 27 de mayo de 2012 a las 23:29

    AJC dijo:

    Hey Sophie! Welcome!

    You should connect with:

    She is also an unschooler and you two could share some awesome resources.

    en 31 de mayo de 2012 a las 13:33 en Respuesta a Sophie
  • aa6614293 dijo:

    My dream is to create technology that works with our biology, like prosthetic arms that actually behave exactly like our normal arms.

    It's a strange dream but one that I feel is important in my life.

    en 27 de mayo de 2012 a las 22:06

    AJC dijo:

    That's an ambitious goal! Don't forget to add a picture to your profile aa6614293.

    en 31 de mayo de 2012 a las 13:32 en Respuesta a aa6614293
  • Christopher Crawford dijo:

    I want to learn more about political campaign management without having to go back to university and study political science. In addition to readings and online resources, there are a few workshops and real world trainings available since it is a presidential election year in the U.S.

    en 29 de abril de 2012 a las 23:05

    Christopher Crawford dijo:

    I forgot to add end goal- I want to get a job as a campaign manager or with a public relations firm. This is long term- since this is a general election year, I have an entire 4 year cycle to work with smaller local elections, and try to buil up to state level politics.

    en 29 de abril de 2012 a las 23:15 en Respuesta a Christopher Crawford

    AJC dijo:

    Hey Chris,

    A friend of ours at UC Irvine ran this course way back in 2010: You should check it out, and if you want maybe we can help you find someone to turn it into a challenge and run it again.....

    en 30 de abril de 2012 a las 20:12 en Respuesta a Christopher Crawford

    Christopher Crawford dijo:

    Thanks Alison,- looking over the syllabus now. 

    en 1 de mayo de 2012 a las 05:33 en Respuesta a AJC
  • aferral dijo:

    I want to learn cience till i know how works all the machines and inventions of today. And then be able to invent new ones.

    en 22 de abril de 2012 a las 23:01
  • Stephen Wheeler dijo:


    I want to research and develop a sustainable approach to free and open education and knowledge building.
    I currently work at a UK university supporting elearning. With the massive increase in student fees I want to explore the possibility and viability of an open DIY approach to research and education.
    My background is varied but all my experiences have had a big impact on getting where I am now.
    I started as a graphic designer in the early nineties - qualifying from a traditional UK art college. I got a job designing learning resources for the print media.
    When the World Wide Web took off I taught myself how to design and build websites - using free resources and Web communities - and I have from time to time earned a living doing this.
    I did of course see the potential of the Web for education and managed a sideways career move into elearning, landing a job as an elearning developer at an adult education college where I also trained as an online tutor.
    From there I landed a job at a university as an elearning developer. I have been in this sector on and off ever since.
    Concurrently to all this I also nurtured an obsession with Free and Open Source Software and its community ethos, and continued my formal education by obtaining an MA in Online and Distance Education from the Open University in the UK (
    In my experience, the theory for open education (or whatever you want to call it) is far in advance of its practice. I want to play my part in making open DIY education a viable option for people to reach their potential.
    en 17 de abril de 2012 a las 10:10
  • Dave Rothacker dijo:

    I am on a quest to learn about youth career development - the process of managing life, learning and work over one's lifespan.  Here is how I got on this road. 

    In addition to learning more about youth career development, my challenge is how it integrates with conventional school and unschoolers. 

    en 10 de abril de 2012 a las 11:20

    AJC dijo:

    That's an excellent post, Dave. I'm excited to see how your plan develops further. I have strong interest in your pursuit. I am an American public school system alum and can tell you for sure that I was not prepared for the real world. I was told "Go to college or else". And that's about it.

    en 15 de abril de 2012 a las 14:42 en Respuesta a Dave Rothacker
  • Anónimo dijo:

    Hi, I am Nabeel.

    I am at some kind of crossroad, I studied Biology and than after graduation worked my way into Web technology. 


    Started with a blog (about Green technology), due to my liking for designs I stared learning Photoshop -Web design-, than moved to Wordpress -Custom developement-, on my way I learned HTML, CSS and PHP ... but never practiced any of them properly..... on my way I also stopped writing blog posts -also bought 3 more domains-...


    I am looking forward to any oppertunity -trainee or even internship- at some software company to practice PHP.....

    Also regularly have thoughts of moving directly to iOS -as it's in my future plans-, or just simply try to focus on a singlr thing .

    In the meantime I have resume my blogging thing, by just focusing on a single niche i.e. Wordpress. ..

    And yes, I 'll be applying for MS this fall ... most probably in Computer Sciences.

    I Really Love:

    Photography, Typography, UI, UX (More of a design guy).

    I am participiting in this course, as I have all my plans like listed..but till now all in vain.


    en 10 de abril de 2012 a las 06:58

    AJC dijo:

    Best of luck in starting to design a plan Nabeel. Excited you found us. Welcome!

    en 15 de abril de 2012 a las 14:39 en Respuesta a Anónimo
  • rmckay78 dijo:

    Hi folks!


    My name is Ryan- mid 30's husband, father, writer, and recent entrepreneur. Very excited about interacting with everyone!


    I'm here because most of my businesses are based heavily around the tech that I have had built for me by a team of outsourcers. While they have proven to be trustworthy in general, I don't want to be at the mercy of others to keep up with the programming/maintainance of my sites and applications!


    So far, I have financial interests in ASP.Net, Java, MVP, C++ , PHP, and the Android API's. Needless to say, there is a whole lot I need to learn, but ...well, where there is a will..;-)

    en 3 de abril de 2012 a las 21:32

    AJC dijo:

    Hey Ryan - Welcome! I have a feeling you'll find lots of people in the webcrafting community at P2PU who can guide you to what you're looking for.

    en 15 de abril de 2012 a las 14:38 en Respuesta a rmckay78
  • Almudena dijo:



    My name is Almudena and I come from Spain. I have just finished my degree in Publicity and Public Relations and currently living in Manchester and working in a media company in the field of social media. The thing is that this company is increasing their services so in addition to social media and web design they are offering creation of IOS app. 

    I really would like to get involve in this two sections (web and IOS development ) that i don't know almost anything about. During my degree I have learnt how to create a web site using dreamweaver but I only have very basic notions. My boss is supporting me so I can count on through my learning time.

    This programme seems very interesting and useful for what I am trying to do so I am going to follow these steps to my self learning and I hope to achieve my goals... I really appreciate if someone have any suggestions or ideas to guide me in this project!

    en 2 de abril de 2012 a las 11:12

    AJC dijo:

    Hey Almudena!

    How cool that your boss is supporting your learning to help your professional work!

    You can check out the P2PU School of Webcraft for some courses. I would recommend joining the P2PU Webcraft mailing list and ask where the best place to find courses in iOS dev can be found (if you don't find anything on P2PU). I guarantee you will get an amazing response.

    Also, there might be a few folks in the group who can offer up some great recommendations.

    en 2 de abril de 2012 a las 13:00 en Respuesta a Almudena

    Almudena dijo:

    Thank you very much for the recommendations! I will follow the courses you metioned.

    en 3 de abril de 2012 a las 07:31 en Respuesta a AJC
  • Bernard dijo:

    I just stepped into a new leadership position related to adult, continuing, and distance education at a University.  Related to that, I want to:

    1) develop a diverse and global personal learning network of people and organizations who/that are gifted and passionate about digital age learning models, environments, and experiences.

    2) build a vision and strategic plan for a University continuing education office that promotes the University mission while providing free and/open continuing education learning experiences:  MOOCs, a badge system, webinars, meetups, alternate reality games, virtual tutoring, etc.  So, this means learning much more about all of this and building strong partnerships.

    en 30 de marzo de 2012 a las 08:58

    AJC dijo:

    Hi Bernard - you're definitely in the right place. The P2PU community is chock full of individuals working on open learning, continuing ed and alternative learning methods for higher ed institutions.

    If you don't mind I'm going to send this snippet to our community list so folks know you're here - hopefully that will help you build your personal learning network!

    en 30 de marzo de 2012 a las 15:24 en Respuesta a Bernard
  • Stinovitsj dijo:



    I'm Dutch, 18 years old and still in highschool. The way it looks now is that I'm not going to make it this year and that means I have to redo a year for the second time. The last two years it took me a lot of discipline and willpower to study and get good marks. But know it feels like I can't bring up this motivation. Not that I don't want to study, but the way I study is not the way I want it. I don't want to sit and listen to someone. I don't want to read a book. I wan't to see, watch and learn things while I'm doing them.

    To get back my motivation I have two options I think.

    1. Just keep going and hope for the best. (the best probably will be redoing the year.)

    2. Find a way to plan and organize. With that I have to come up with a new learning method. Not just the old school writing down the stuff you have to learn. They work, but I get distracted very easily and I have a lack of disciplin. I think/believe there are other methods to learn.

    When I'd choose it would be option 2. However I'm not making any progress. Neither friends, parents or students have yet come up with the right solution or with anything helpful. I just here the same old same old. Just do it! And I try to, but it wont work.

    I hope there is someone who can help me making progress in this proces.




    en 29 de marzo de 2012 a las 09:45

    AJC dijo:

    Hey Stijn,

    Thanks so much for openly sharing your frustrations. I'm glad you're here.

    There's certainly no way to change the way your school wants you to learn - at least not within the timeframe you have for graduating. However, I still think there's something you can do.

    • Read through the Edupunks Guide. Though it's aimed at Americans, lots of the resources and advice can be useful for anyone on Earth.
    • Pick something that you truly love and make a plan to master it. What's your most loved hobby? What yould you love to do for work after school?
    • Approach teachers and administrators at your school. See if you can barter with them. Bring them your personal learning plan. Commit to do well in a few courses at your school and ask to use the time you'd spend on courses you struggle with to focus on independent study. Find out what type of documentation they'd need to feel satisfied that you're learning. Work on P2PU could count.

    If you bring them a good plan, and agree to show them your progress they might have a hard time saying no.

    en 29 de marzo de 2012 a las 16:10 en Respuesta a Stinovitsj
  • dilys dijo:

    I was staged to try the traditional consulting career path for an economics major, even with a technology twist, but honestly my attention kept being pulled back to business, general, "boring" traditional startups. I started an online retail store nothing special no rocket science, just a "brick & mortar" online shop for Californian and global lifestyle - an online gift shop. I have really enjoyed this "mundane" task, and now I see a lot of matches. Growing up in a business family, having seen parents going through this, being always interested in general business, and traditional entrepreneurships/startups - juice companies and all. 

    I really think I want to stick with this. How to build a successful business, and a Good one too. May be I will start with the Good magazine, and from the serial entrepreneurs. One is a family friend. Good business is definitely challenging in a money and goal, metric oriented world. I will have to look for good examples, innovative ideas and figure out my own path. Won't be rocket science, but it will be original and fun

    en 29 de marzo de 2012 a las 02:48

    AJC dijo:

    I bet there's tons of amazing info on the web about innovating your small business. I would LOVE it if you had the time and could gather some friends to start collecting that info and run a peer-designed course. "DIY Small Business Innovation"..  You could even connect with people on twitter and convince an expert to help you desing and run the course! That would be the most "P2PU way to do it..

    en 29 de marzo de 2012 a las 15:30 en Respuesta a dilys

    dilys dijo:

    This is awesome! Thank you for the comment. I am new to P2PU, so I am not fully aware of the resources yet. I must check out this peer-designed course that you mentioned! Thanks.

    en 29 de marzo de 2012 a las 15:37 en Respuesta a AJC

    dilys dijo:

    oops i misunderstood you the first time. Yes, it will be very cool to start something like that in the near future. I would like to familiarize myself with the format and philosophy of P2PU first and then proceed :-) thanks for the advice

    en 29 de marzo de 2012 a las 15:45 en Respuesta a AJC

    Leah MacVie dijo:

    I would totally join this course!

    en 29 de marzo de 2012 a las 22:11 en Respuesta a AJC

    AJC dijo:

    How lucky is this - Entrepreneurial Marketing: Mission & Vision:

    I knew P2PU would come through.

    en 30 de marzo de 2012 a las 14:39 en Respuesta a dilys
  • oakfarm dijo:

    My name is Anders and I comes from Sweden. I'm here because I read about P2P on and since I like the idea of diy-education.

    I want to learn about biotechnology, molecular biology and similar subjects, but a closer goal could be to learn to make reasonably good videos. Videos about simple biological experiments (like this one DNA extraction at home) maybe that's called video bloging.

    That said, I am afraid that there is some problems for me, one of the biggest is that I have Aspergers. I don't think Aspergers only is a problem, a curse, it could have positive sides, but the problem here is that everyday activities take a lot of energy for me and don't  leave as much energy as I wish I should have for other thinks, like education.  Also I, to be honest, don't like to write, I also has dyslexia, and as you understand English is my second language. So this isn't that simple for me.

    en 25 de marzo de 2012 a las 16:24

    Dave Rothacker dijo:

    Hi Anders, 

    One of my most favorite people in all of cyberspace, Penelope Trunk, has Aspergers. Penelope is a writer and entrepreneur. You might find some value in reading what she has to say about this infliction here. I too have a disease that not only robs me of energy but causes pain 24-7. I am disabled and cannot work, but I devote mornings, which is the period of my highest energy, to reading and writing. 

    Don't give up on your pursuit of education. Even if you can only work at it five or ten minutes a day, do it. I admire the heck out of what you are doing! Hang in there man!


    en 25 de marzo de 2012 a las 21:15 en Respuesta a oakfarm

    oakfarm dijo:

    Thank you for the encouragement.

    en 26 de marzo de 2012 a las 15:39 en Respuesta a Dave Rothacker

    AJC dijo:

    In the DIY education movement there's room for all of us, no matter what obstacles we face. I'm excited to see what both of you come up with in your plans and see the kind of people you end up getting connected with. So happy to have both of you here!

    en 26 de marzo de 2012 a las 19:14 en Respuesta a oakfarm

    Dave Rothacker dijo:

    Thanks Alison! Although I attended college on and off after high school, I never came close to graduating. Then, twenty-eight years ago, I entered a new and foreign industry. I threw myself into a self-educating mission that never stopped. I had no clue there were other people out there who felt the same way. The Internet changed that for me in 1996, but it's only been the last couple of years that I've really been exposed to the high-power DIY'ers. 

    The moral of this story is that it's good to talk about taking control of your education with others smiley

    en 27 de marzo de 2012 a las 07:52 en Respuesta a AJC

    oakfarm dijo:


    I've actually done what I had in mind when I wrote this. I've made two videos to youtube, just as I had imagined, amateur video with simple experiments. Maybe it was not overwhelmingly difficult goal, but I havew done it.
    Furthermore, I must add that I have begun to study at a university. I am the first to praise DIY education, the last to practice it myself. No, not really. And at the moment it feels likely I'll fail with the studies. Maybe I'll be back.
    en 16 de septiembre de 2012 a las 08:17 en Respuesta a oakfarm
  • cw dijo:

    Hi Everyone. I'm Cynthia and I want to learn computer programming, but I am unsure of where to begin. I've a few books on the subject, but I'm looking to put the book knowledge to some practical hands on use. I have only just recently learned about this site P2PU. If anyone has any advice on where I should start,and point me in the right direction of any other materials I can review, please let me know. Thanks so much! 



    en 14 de marzo de 2012 a las 03:08

    AJC dijo:

    Hey Cynthia, Welcome!

    Here's my suggestion:

    Some of it might be review, but the challenge set is a lot of fun. From there you will know where to go next!

    en 14 de marzo de 2012 a las 14:49 en Respuesta a cw

    Corbin Tarrant dijo:

    I second that recommendation for Webmaking 101. I would also recommend I am going through the CS101 course right now (which is review for me, but excellent for beginners to the field). We are currently in week 4 of the course but they plan to keep running these courses over and over as well as adding new ones. This is a new program and they offer certificates for completion of the courses and are working on building curriculum to have open Udacity degrees you can obtain for completing a series of courses!

    en 14 de marzo de 2012 a las 15:08 en Respuesta a AJC

    cw dijo:

    Hi Alison, thank you! I will go over and check it out.



    en 14 de marzo de 2012 a las 23:25 en Respuesta a AJC

    cw dijo:

    Thanks, Corbin! I went over to the site and signed up. smiley



    en 14 de marzo de 2012 a las 23:31 en Respuesta a Corbin Tarrant

    Corbin Tarrant dijo:

    Awesome! let me know if you ever need any help. You can find me here or at

    en 15 de marzo de 2012 a las 14:09 en Respuesta a cw