There's an abrupt life transition almost everyone goes through: school to job.
You might go from middle school to manual labour, or PhD to teacher. But regardless of details, a more gradual shift would be better. Most entry-level jobs could be apprenticeships that mix education and work.
Why mix them? Trying to do a job well gives context and motivation for learning. And you improve faster at your job by acquiring things in a targeted way, not by chance.
Most of us aren't about to start our career, though, so how is any of it applicable? Well, you probably work every day already. How about replacing one of those hours with targeted learning?
"But I can't spend work hours on learning," you protest. I think you can. Most managers I've spoken to are glad to allocate time and budget for that, given initiative and a clear plan from the employee.
Of course, then you need to choose topics, and figure out how to acquire them so they stick. But the first step is to make the choice that you'll start to mash up your career and education.