The internet doesn’t have to be a depressing and dark place. You can use it as a space of positive and purposeful consumption to empower yourself.
When it comes to matters of the workplace, the value education holds is tricky. Only the very privileged can afford a degree with ease, and even then, sometimes it doesn’t even matter because you’re required to have loads of experience on top of that. But what if you can add to that one degree for free? Add to your skills set as opposed to only getting one costly piece of paper? What if added skills are what tip the scales in your favour when they’re asking for those five years of experience and you only have two?
Times have changed in the sense where you can teach yourself almost absolutely anything and everything these days online. Aside from being free, it’s often the most updated version of what you’re looking for. Disclaimer: I haven’t done any of these courses, but they are all verified websites with their own processes and procedures and come highly-recommended.
From short certified courses to places where you can simply learn pick up a skill or craft, these are my favourite sites for free online education:
Alison has over 1000 free online certificate and diploma courses that are self-paced, so you can learn on your own time. Some of their offered fields of study include marketing, lifestyle, science, mathematics, business, language and more. There are courses as specific as food safety, plumbing, carpentry, photography, hospitality management, public relations and the list goes on by the hundreds!
On their website, when it comes to short courses it states you get “free access to the course for its duration, plus two more weeks after it finishes”, and thereafter you have the option to upgrade. The upgrade entitles you to certification, continued access to the course and course tests where available.
Course categories include Tech & Coding, Teaching, Business & Management, Study Skills, Health & Psychology, Politics and more. These courses are provided by multiple top universities from around the globe.
Coursera offers both free courses and paid options from universities that include Yale, Stanford, Leeds. Categories include Arts & Humanities, Data Science, Personal Development, IT, Business and more.
Personally, I’ve got my eye on some of the fashion and art courses on offer by MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). While exploring one of them, I was notified I have the option to gain total access to the course for free, but pay $49USD to get the actual certification.
Duolingo (Free App)
This is the app I’ve been using since February to teach myself Portuguese. It’s free, so easy to use and tracks your daily progress. It also sends you message reminders so you don’t miss a day. It’s the number one language app in the world, and has languages on offer like Arabic, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, Turkish, Greek, Hindi and so much more.
Honestly, the websites above also have multiple language courses, but those are ones you would really have to apply yourself to with dedicated time. I love Duolingo because it’s just 15 minutes of my day, directly on my mobile phone so I can do it anywhere. I often squeeze my lesson in while I’m standing in queues, getting my hair done or in the car (not when I’m driving obviously).
YouTube is not just a place for random content. Ever heard of Julius Yego? He’s the Kenyan athlete who taught himself how to throw the javelin by watching YouTube videos, and he went on to win the Olympic Gold Medal.
Mark my words when I say there is a YouTube video for absolutely everything, whether you need to know how to change a plug, build your own spinning pole in your living room or how to shave a cat; there’s a video for it. It can improve your daily life, or increase your skills set. Many channels offer course-like materials with weekly videos and modules to take you from a beginner level all the way up. YouTube isn’t going to give you that piece of paper, but it can still equip you in many ways (just stay focused and try not to get sucked into a wormhole of other videos).
If you try any of these websites/courses or find a particularly interesting one, let me know in the comment section down below!