Are you working in your dream job right now? If not, what’s stopping you? Could it be a lack of experience or not having the right connections, or do you need more education before you can begin the quest to land the career of your dreams?
If education is what you are missing, going the traditional route and attending a university can be financially draining. To make matters worse, if you can’t afford to foot the bill up front you may end up owing thousands of dollars in loans by the time you’ve finished your custom degree. Thankfully, there are several ways to get an education for free (or close to it) that can help you finally do the type of work you’ve always wanted to do.
The brainchild of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University, EdX was designed to bring high-quality education to the masses. At EdX, you will find custom courses from the likes of Georgetown University, the Sorbonne in Paris, and Princeton University, covering a wide range of subjects. Each course includes assignments, tests, and online discussion groups with students and instructors to help you get the most out of the class. Custom classes are free to join, and you will receive a certificate if you pay a certificate fee and pass the class. If you don’t want to pay the certificate fee you can simply print your grades to show proof of taking the class.
Developed by two Stanford University professors, Coursera is similar to EdX in that it offers classes from top educational institutions from around the world. Stanford University, Caltech, and the University of London have joined with more than 100 other schools to create the Coursera mass educational network, which offers both free courses and paid specializations. Specializations offer more personalized feedback and capstone projects that you must complete to earn verified certificates. Courses include a wide range of subjects, from arts and humanities to scientific fields of study.
3. The Library
Your local library is filled with so much more than novels for you to read in your spare time. Take the time to look closely at the spines of books lining those shelves, and you will find information on almost any topic you can think of. Do you dream of becoming a published writer? Do you write custom research papers very well? How about term papers in college? You are sure to find books on grammar, novels and short stories, and how to get your custom work published. Do you want to open a bakery? Cookbooks, books on creating business plans, and other entrepreneurial tomes will come in handy. Other things you can learn through the library include computer programming, how to become a grant writer, and more.
Are you a visual person who learns better by watching a video instead of reading about the topic? Head over to YouTube to find videos about how to fix cars, learn to knit, and even how to make money on the Internet. The chances are high that you will find whatever you want to learn about. If you can’t find a video on YouTube about it, you can always take a different route and then post your own video for others to watch.
Whatever you want to do with your life and career, don’t let the cost of a formal education stand in your way. Whether you learn best by reading, watching, or taking the hands-on approach, there is a route you can take to get into almost any field. It is all out there for the taking, and as an added bonus you won’t owe thousands of dollars when you’ve finished your education.