Looking for a career change, but know that you need new skills and dread the idea of going back to school and paying all of that money? Do you miss the learning of college, but not the pressure, cost, or deadlines?
Well, here are ten sites that will give you access to pursue your life-long learning and career goals on your own terms without the financial stress in 2014.
EdX www.edx.org. Last year, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) partnered to create a new nonprofit partnership, known as EdX, to offer free online courses from their respective universities. Since then, educational institutions like Stanford, University of California Berkley, and University of Texas Systems, and many other universities have been added to the mix.
MIT still offers its own MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW), www.ocw.mit.edu which is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content and so does Stanford University at www.online.stanford.edu.
Coursera: www.coursera.com Coursera is an education company that partners with top universities like Columbia University and international organizations to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. They offer courses spanning the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others. Taking these courses can actually improve your resume, advance your career, or just learn more and expand your background.
Open Culture www.openculture.com/free_certificate_courses: This website identifies the universities and colleges that provide you with a statement of complete or certificate after you have finished the course. Knowing that you will receive a certificate is a great motivator to complete the courses of self-study and a great addition to your resume.
TED www.ted.com Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. On this site, you can listen to the “talks” of world-renowned experts on an array of topic. I really love this site. The “talks”, on average, are to be around eighteen minutes, so you get a lot of information in a relatively short period of time without having to read. My husband and I actually send each other videos during the day and discuss them over dinner.
And for those of you part of Beyoncé’s beehive, she used an excerpt of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s, “We Should All Be Feminists” talk at TEDxEuston as part of her Flawless video.
GoodReads: www.goodreads.com I love this site. My friends and I share our reviews about books that we have read. It is good for those of us looking, that love reading independently, but still want to share our thoughts to a community of readers. Also, it is great way to look for your next book to read.
One Day University: www.onedayuniversity.com For the longest, I have been going back and forth about going back to school, but honestly, going back to school for me does not make sense right now given my immediate goals. Plus, I really don’t want to spend the money for a degree that I really don’t need. I really don’t want to do homework. Basically, I want the learning without the hassle. A fellow educator with the same love of learning told me about this site. One Day University gives you access to some of the most highly sought after professors for prices as low as $99.
DailyLit www.dailylit.com DailyLit lets you read literary classics and new fiction in short installments. Once you’ve found a book, just select when you want your installments to arrive in your inbox. This is really great for those of us on the go and for those of us cringe at the idea of tackling a really long book.
With all of the advances that have been made in free online education and digital reading/book sharing communities, there are fewer boundaries and by default, fewer excuses, for not getting the skills and knowledge that we need to live the lives that we want.