Some people are under the impression that you finish learning after school. Whether you only completed some high school or are going on to get a master’s or doctorate, some people feel that standardized education may be it.
That’s not the case though. We are always learning, whether you are taking actual courses or experiencing life, there is always more to know and learn.
If you are someone who enjoys learning new things but don’t want to deal with the exuberant costs of college or having to take a course at the same time every day, an online course may be better for you.
They are easy to do and, depending on the subject, you may even be able to learn and watch the lessons when you would normally just be wasting time, such as while standing in line, or being driven in a private charter bus.
No matter what subject you want to learn more about, there are plenty of websites that offer courses and classes.
Udemy is a little on the costly side. Each course will cost somewhere between $10 and $500, however, there are often sales, and first-timers to the website often qualify for discounts. Usually, the more complex the lesson and the more specialized the subject you are trying to learn, the more expensive the course.
There are all sorts of courses, even basic life information, so you don’t have to worry about picking something with the focus of getting a job or improving your career status; you can learn just for fun.
Most of the time, the course posters are professionals or well-experienced in their field, but just in case, Udemy also offers a rating system where students who have taken the course can leave their feedback.
edX is an online website full of many different courses and educational focuses. It was created in a joint effort by MIT and Harvard. The company is a nonprofit and offers many different courses for free.
However, there is often a fee if you want a certification or proof of taking the class. While this isn’t necessary for hobbies, it is useful for trying to build up your resume. Since it was made by colleges, the focus tends to be on building a career and learning more in certain fields, but many of them can be taken just for fun as well.
YouTube is a great option. It is full of videos and people from all sorts of backgrounds. It is also free, which can be a great option for those who don’t want to pay a lot of money to continue learning. You can find any topic to learn about, from software design to how to learn a new language.
A lot of the videos are set up similarly to what you would find on the other course websites listed, with individual lessons broken down, and even downloadable material. However, since anyone can post on YouTube, you do have to verify the information isn’t incorrect or outdated more often than you would with the other websites.
Always look at the reviews and comments, as well as how many people have watched the video before getting too invested.
Harvard Online Courses
Many people don’t realize that Harvard offers online courses for those who aren’t attending their school. Since it is based out of the college, its online catalog focuses mostly on STEM materials, so science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. They do expand a little beyond that occasionally, such as computer basics and real estate, but that isn’t their main focus.
Their courses are available for varying prices. They offer some free ones, and plenty well below $100, but they also have quite a few that can be a couple of thousand dollars.
Most of the courses have deadlines for registering and are only available in certain years or certain times of the year, so you may have to plan in advance to take a Harvard class, but with excellent teachers, lessons, and materials, it is well worth it. They even offer transcripts of their material for more accessibility for all who want to learn.
Khan Academy has been around for a long time. It was founded in 2008 and quickly became popular. Whether you need extra help with your current school subjects or just want to learn something new, Khan Academy has plenty of resources. It even provides lessons for studying for big tests like the SATs and Praxis.
It works well by breaking each subject into small lessons. This makes them more palatable and helps you to remember information better. The platform was already full of resources for parents, teachers, and students, and offered many free lessons and the COVID-19 pandemic only expanded the services to benefit people of all ages and backgrounds.
It doesn’t cost anything, as their mission is to provide education for free for anyone, but they are a nonprofit and would accept any donations or volunteering.
As the name suggests, Lifehack isn’t focused too heavily on standard educational or business courses. Instead, it focuses on how to make your life better with hacks. These are often tried and true hacks and focus on all aspects of life, including health, relationships, and productivity.
The website itself has a membership, so you can learn as many hacks as you want for as long as you want. If you are someone with a lot of spare time to learn, this can be a great way to get your money’s worth, instead of paying per course.
They have some free options as well, so you can try out the website and see if it is what you’re looking for before you spend money.