Amazing Places To Learn New Skills Online
Date: June 21, 2016
Updating your skills is a great way to increase your earning potential, but it also exercises your mind and helps to avoid falling into a rut. With the recent explosion of online learning resources, you no longer have to solely rely on college classes or expensive workshops. Here are eight top sites for learning something new — either for free or for a modest fee.
Whether you need to update skills in math and science, or you want to learn about macroeconomics, Khan Academy is a free, not-for-profit resource. It uses YouTube videos and online exercises to tutor people in a large variety of subjects.
Khan Academy began as a tutoring website, focusing on one topic at a time, and tutoring students is still the essence of what this service offers. You can easily jump from one lesson to another as needed. Most of the content focuses on math and science, ranging from the basics to advanced college curricula, but there are a growing number of tutorials in other subjects, as well.
If you enjoy video-based learning, Lynda.com has over 4,000 video courses to choose from, in just about every field imaginable. You can get one month of free access with a trial membership. Continued learning costs $25 each month, or $20 if you pay for a year in advance.
Video libraries are categorized in 12 sections, including business, marketing, design, animation and Web development. When you complete a course, you are eligible to receive a certificate of completion, which you can add to your resume.
Free Code Camp
Coders are in demand more than ever, as the industry continues to grow and workers who can code have a competitive edge. If you're interested in web development, give Free Code Camp a try.
It's not accredited, but Free Code Camp is recognized by LinkedIn as a university so you can include your certification there when you earn it. Part of the curriculum requires that you work on live websites for nonprofits to gain real-life, on-the-job experience while donating some time to charity.
If you have an artistic flare, try Skillshare, which hosts thousands of fun, instructional videos. Topics include photography, entrepreneurship, business and branding — even art classes. One course, for example, guides students in drawing compelling compositions. Another teaches students how to build a successful online business.
Instructors set prices for each course, usually below $30. Anyone with skills to share can participate in Skillshare. Because a portion of the tuition goes to instructors, earn some extra money by showing others what you can do.
For those who are more practical-minded, Udemy is an online learning resource with a similar platform as Skillshare. Like Skillshare, instructors create their own video courses and set their own fees. However, Udemy offers more courses in the areas of business, finance and entrepreneurship. For example, if your interest is in accounting, Udemy offers over 100 courses, ranging from the basics to advanced finance. The fees for most courses range from $3 to $75. Once you master new skills, you have the option to create your own courses at Udemy.
Every year, more and more colleges are opening their classroom doors to online learning. Coursera serves as a learning portal for more than 130 institutions, with partners that include the University of Michigan, Brown University, Stanford and the University of Chicago.
All of the approximately 1,800 courses are free, covering nearly every discipline you would expect to see in most college catalogs. Coursera offers more than 80 courses in finance alone. You earn certificates of completion in many of the courses provided you register, prove your identity with a webcam and pay a fee, which is usually around $100. Certificates are issued jointly by Coursera and the school offering the program.
EdX is another well-established college portal that has partnered with some of the finest and most respected institutions in the world, including Harvard, Georgetown, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley to name just a few.
In all, more than 600 courses are available at EdX, including over 100 in Business Management. All courses are free to the public and, like Coursera, you can get certificates for many courses for a small fee, issued jointly by EdX and the college offering the course. EdX has issued more than 850,000 certificates.
University of the People
Is the lack of a college degree holding back your career options? University of the People is the first of its kind in the world — a tuition-free, online university. It was also accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission in 2014. Students pay $100 to write the final exam for each course they take. A four-year degree costs about $4,000, and a two-year associate's degree is about $2,000. Scholarships are available to anyone who can't afford the exam fees.
University of the People currently offers only two degrees: Business Administration and Computer Science. To apply, you must submit proof that you have a high school diploma or GED.