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Online Career Advancement, Career Exploration, and Just for Fun

There has never been a more opportune moment to explore the wealth of information available at our fingertips through the internet than now, when we’re stuck at home and running out of things to fill the void of what used to be our normal schedules. Online courses are a great way to expand your knowledge and even advance your career by earning certificates. Taking an online course is also a useful tool for exploring fields of study. By studying short courses in different fields, you can make better decisions when it comes to deciding what degree to pursue. And useful information doesn’t have to come at the expense of putting you in debt!

To reduce the time spent digging for information, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best resources for learning new skills & subjects online, for free!

MIT Open Courseware is produced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They offer courses in Business, Engineering, Health & Medicine, Math, and even language courses! The courses in OCW are classes that were once offered as college classes. When you select a course, you’ll be provided the course description as well as what materials are available to you. These courses require self-discipline since you’ll be working through the course schedule without the assistance of a professor. OCW courses take some practice working through, but once you get the hang of working through a syllabus and downloading course materials, you’ll be learning in no time!

Coursera is another service that offers free online classes, as well as opportunities to earn a certificate or degree, as well as career training. Coursera offers classes in Arts & Humanities, Computer Science, Personal Development, Foreign Language, & Information Technology. They also offer degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science, Public Health, & more in both Bachelor’s and Mater’s degree. You can study & receive certificates in IBM Data Science, Construction & Engineering Management, Google IT Support, etc. All the courses offered through Coursera are created by national and internationally recognized organizations, such as University of Michigan, Imperial College London, IMB, & Yonsei University to name a few, so you know you’re getting all the right information. Coursera Allows you to work at your own pace & provides feedback as you work through the course material.

Alison, similar to Coursera, works with recognized organizations around the world to produce high quality courses for free or reduced prices. Through Alison, you can receive certification in Foreign Languages, Media Studies, Health & Fitness, Networking, & more. You can also work through Diploma courses that offer skills training in Workplace Safety & Health, Business Management, Nursing & Patient Care, and many more! Another option offered through Alison is Learning Paths. Learning Paths combine courses in a related subject area to offer an in-depth learning experience. These paths combine courses in areas such as Hospitality & Food Safety, Tourism & Language Studies, and Project Management & Physics to name a few. You can also search for courses, certifications, & diplomas based on your career. Alison also offers Career Building and Guidance training based on where you’re at in your career, whether you’re trying to start, seek promotion, or re-enter the workforce.

Edx is yet another service that provides free courses, certificate programs, & degrees online from top institutions around the world. Take courses in Architecture, Biology, Economics, Literature, and a wide range of other fields. Earn a MicroBachelor’s in Computer Science or Information Technology. Or achieve your Mater’s in Accounting, Nutritional Sciences, Supply Chain Management, or Cybersecurity to name a few. Advance your career with a certificate in Python Programming, Corporate Finance, Business Science, Deep Learning, etc.

Open Culture is a free database for all the best free cultural & educational media available on the internet. Open Culture connects you to over 1,300 online courses, degree & certificate programs, movies, audio books, eBooks, textbooks, language lessons, business courses, and K-12 Educational resources. Open Culture is completely free to use and is a great place to go to explore that area that you’ve always wanted to learn more about. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about Digital Photography, this is a starting ground. If you or one of your children has always wanted to learn about space exploration, now’s their chance! Maybe you’ve been wanting to write a book, but want some creative writing lessons before you start, all your resources are available. Open Culture is also a great tool to help your kids’ study after being out of school for weeks.

Drawspace is an online drawing course with free lessons covering all the bases of learning to draw. Start with an introduction then work your way through contouring, shading, composition & perspective, all the way to working with color.

If you’ve ever wanted to learn sign language, lifeprint is a great place to start. Here, you can find a wealth of resources from the American Sign Language University. ASLU offers four levels of learning, starting with fingerspelling, introductions, and moving onto more advanced sentences until you can carry on a conversation in sign. Knowing Sign Language not only can provide new career opportunities, but connects you to millions of new people.

Many students will be joining or returning to the school band this coming fall, give them a head start or refresh their memory with Music Theory offers basic lessons in reading sheet music, rhythm & meter, intervals, chords, and chord progressions. It’s a great tool for students just starting to learn an instrument or for those looking for a refresher. Even if you aren’t a student and are looking to get into an instrument, it’s a good place to start.

There’s a wealth of information available to us all through these resources. And there’s never a better time than now to start learning something new. Every bit of information gained & skills developed is a door to opportunity that has opened. Your knowledge is your power. In the words of B.B. King, “The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.”


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