“Once you stop learning, you start dying”
These wise words have been attributed to Albert Einstein. It’s easy to understand where the famed physicist was coming from. After all, we’re taking in new information and processing it into understanding all the time. Even if we’re not consciously aware of it. We never stop learning, and this is even truer considering the unending resources that internet access has given us. With the proliferation of blogs and websites, it’s easier than ever to share information with a wide and receptive audience. From coding to philosophy and other academia, there is a wealth of free to moderately priced online learning tools available to students who would like to learn a bit more in their free time.
Coursera.org partners with universities and other organizations worldwide to bring together material and research on a number of different subjects. Coursera offers short courses, specializations for those looking to master a specific career skill, or fully-fledged, accredited and university-recognized degrees. The website is also very flexible, offering courses and videos with subtitles in over 30 languages. It’s pretty incredible considering you can, for example, become a professional data scientist with a degree from the University of Illinois at a much cheaper rate than typical university fees.
Similar to Coursera, Udemy offers 45,000 courses taught by expert instructors. The reasonable and often discounted prices mean getting a comprehensive course for around 15 dollars. Some courses are even free. Udemy’s model works by allowing any user to create a course, market it and generate income from tuition fees. Udemy’s unaccredited courses also go a long way toward improving CVs and job-related skills. The main selling point of Udemy is its variety. Courses offered cover a large breadth of different subjects from business and entrepreneurship, health and fitness, the arts, and even niche courses like how to bake the perfect sourdough.
That’s right, Stanford University offers courses on this website directly from themselves. And the best part of all? They’re all free. All of the courses, self-paced and session-based, allow learners to complete them at their own speed. However, the comprehensive courses limit themselves when compared to sites like Coursera. They’re not the only prestigious university offering free online material, however. Check out Harvard Extension, Open Yale Courses, and UC Berkeley Class Central if you’d like a broader range of material and campus lectures on subjects taught by these top learning institutions.
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