Recently I wrote about why a traditional college education is not the best route for everyone wishing to get ahead in the world. Due to the cost of tuition, loss of income (and retirement savings) while you’re in school, and the possibility that you will go through several career changes in your lifetime, it’s worth it to explore other options.
Before jumping in, which group are you in? For some, these websites will be used to learn a new coding language, update presentation skills, or learn how to be more assertive in the boardroom. Others will take advantage of the courses geared toward personal development, like cooking, practicing yoga and stargazing. Lastly, there are those that still don’t know which career suits them. A word of advice: Before enrolling in a graduate program because it’s something to do in the meantime, why not use the variety of courses to explore your interests? Maybe a course will grab your attention that will put you on a different career path, save you from regret and costly student loans in the future.
Whichever group you are in, the following websites are only a few of the quality online resources that you have at your disposal, either for free or a very reasonable cost.
One of the first e-learning websites, offering a variety of classes for personal and professional growth.
# of Courses: 3,767
Cost: Free trial period for ten days. After that, there are four membership options, depending on if you want to pay month-to-month or annually. Their basic plan is $24.99 per month.
Courses you might find interesting: Social Media in the Classroom; Grant Writing for Education; Create an iPad Web App
Online courses offered in partnership with universities and organizations worldwide, including John Hopkins University, The University of London, and The National Geographic Society.
# of Courses: 1,092
Cost: Free. An optional certificate of completion is available with some courses, which can be paid for at the end of the course. This would allow you to attach a certificate to a CV or resume.
Courses you might find interesting: Psychology of Popularity; Managing Your Money: MBA Insights for Undergraduates; Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction
Claims to be the world’s largest source of online courses, available in more than 80 languages.
# of Courses: 30,000+
Cost: Courses range in price from free to $300.
Courses you might find interesting: Meet your Brain: An Introduction to Neuroscience; Gamification in Education; The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown
Offers a wide range of educational videos for both professional and personal enrichment.
# of Courses: 20,202
Cost: After a 7 day free trial, $60 per year.
Courses you might find interesting: How to Develop a Meditation Practice; The Benefits of Delaying Gratification; The History of Pundits
Note: Unlike the other websites on this list, in addition to the popular subjects of web design and business management, they offer courses in meal preparation, jewelry making, cello performance and self-defense to name a few.