Up Your Game – Online Learning

Whether you are developing a new skill-set, need a refresher, or just love to learn, the web offers a plethora of free and low-cost courses. Even better, the number of topics are endless. You can learn hard-core physical science, how to start a business in a given industry, how to write a novel, coding skills – you name it. So next time you are stuck, uninformed, or just curious, help is a mere website or two away.

While this list is by no means extensive, here are some resources to check out.

Expand Your Skill-Set

Alison is a practical place to start if you are looking to learn new skills. It’s FREE and offers a number of courses in diverse categories including business, digital, soft skills, basic language, health and safety, and finance. All courses are self-paced and you can either pick and choose from their categories or follow a “diploma” path that groups courses together for several subjects. While the courses are free, you also have the option to get “certified” for many courses or diplomas for a reasonable fee. The courses come from a number of different publishers so there is not always consistency. If you delve into one course that doesn’t meet your standards, don’t be afraid to try another.

Lynda.com  is a great go-to resource if you are willing to pay the $20-30 a month. The learning paths are well-organized and comprehensively covered, and both their courses and their platform are high quality. All of the courses are self-paced and it is easy to isolate specific information when needed. At the very least, if you are serious about upping your skills game, sign up for a 10-day free trial and take a couple of courses. Lynda.com offers many individual learning paths including courses in audio and video, business, design, IT, marketing, and web development. I subscribed several months ago and have no regrets!

A Taste of Academia

edX offers free online courses from  well known colleges and universities. Courses focus on traditional collegiate areas – everything from architecture to humanities to philosophy. While most individual courses are free, you can choose to become certified in a given class or series of classes. Although the courses are self-paced, some of them have start dates and include online interaction with faculty and/or other students.

Coursera also offers college courses and classes from other educational institutions. While you can sometimes view class video recordings for free, Coursera is really designed as a fee-based service where you can pursue individual courses for $29-99, specializations for $250-500, or even full-blown online degrees for $15k-25k. Most classes require online participation with faculty and/or other students. If you are serious about continuing your academic endeavors but the traditional college thing won’t work for you, this is an option to consider.

Now go blow your mind on something you’ve always wanted to learn!




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