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Definition (Wikipedia): Autodidacticism (also autodidactism) is self-education or self-directed learning. In a sense, auto­didacticism is “learning on your own” or “by yourself”, and an autodidact is a person who teaches him or herself something.
The term has its roots in the Ancient Greek words αὐτός (autós, or “self”) and διδακτικός (didaktikos, meaning “education/teaching”).


It takes both time and severe discipline to be an autodidact. Not only are you without a teachers assistance, but you also have to make sure that you learn much more about the subject than officially “educated” people in the same discipline.
If you do not have a certificate, which states that at a certain time you mastered certain disciplines in a certain way, then you will be faced with a distrust of your abilities and knowledge and have you’ll have to prove more than those who have such a certificate.
The self-educated person has not only found his own knowledge, he has also exercised his abilities on the basis of that knowledge, or learned from people he found or met along the way.
Knowledge can be found. Today there is the Internet, which does need a lot of source analysis and critics, but which can give the answers for most questions. Earlier it mainly was the library. That one can still be used of course, and one does not need quite as much analysis and criticism, but also there you need to question the source of know­ledge. (Who is the writer? Who pays him? Who has an advantage in presenting that knowledge exactly that way?)
The autodidacts road is long and filled with new knowledge at any time. He is used to finding information, new techniques and methods. He experiences more doubt about his abilities, because of his self-education and is in a high degree subject to source criticism.
That is the cause of his extended know­ledge, and the extended experience that comes both from his work with the subject and the great variety of sources from which he gets his knowledge.