One of the most important investments you can and should make is in your continued education. Technological advancements are changing the world, so much so that some skills are becoming obsolete, just as new ones are being sought. This is why it is imperative that you continuously upgrade your skills and ensure that they stay relevant.
Among the reasons why most people do not upgrade their skills is because of the time it will take and the costs involved. Fees for enrollment in a single course can set you back anywhere from P10,000 to P30,000, not to mention having to take time off from work, or giving up your weekends or committing after work hours to attend these sessions.
Thankfully, you can now upgrade your skills, from the comfort of your home or office, using the wealth of resources available online. Many of these free courses have been developed by prestigious organizations, including the world’s top universities. You can also dictate your own pace of learning and choose when to access the courses, allowing you to arrange your schedule in such a way that it does not interfere with your work or other responsibilities.
Best of all, many of these are free. If you want a certificate of completion, some may require a fee plus you will need to verify your identity so they know you are the one doing the assignments and taking the exams. Compared with having to physically attend training sessions, this still comes out more convenient and more affordable.
The lessons are usually taught through a series of videos, and are accompanied by discussion boards where you can see students raising their questions. If you’re decided, all you need will be an internet connection, a curious mind, and the willingness to augment your knowledge.
The internet is filled with aggregators that list free online courses on a wide variety of topics. Here’s a guide to help you navigate the online resources available out there to help you expand your knowledge.
1. Want to become tech-savvy? No shame in admitting you need an upgrade! There are online courses on a wide range of subjects and how they are leveraging on technology, from agriculture, to automotive, to tourism. Instead of laboratories or workshops that brick-and-mortar schools offer, these courses make extensive use of videos and graphics to demonstrate the lessons.
2. Broaden your general knowledge. If you want college or academic courses, there are courses with affiliations with leading global universities. These universities provide the material used for these courses. Some of these offer massive open online courses, as well as a structured classroom-style environments utilizing discussion boards, and quizzes. These courses cover math, science and engineering, economics and finance, computing, and arts and history.
3. Reboot for engineering courses. The online world offers many courses for those who want to learn the latest updates in engineering, where technological advances mean the introduction of new subject matter. These courses are very well suited for the online environment, especially since they involve the use of new software and programs. Complementing these, you can expect lectures, lecture notes, homework assignments, sample tests and other innovative materials.
4. Educators need to sharpen their tools too. If you want to sharpen your skills as an educator, online courses will help you become a more engaging teacher using technology. You can learn how to use video and audio learning as well. The courses can also help you deepen your knowledge on specific topics and show you new ways to interact with your students.
5. New media for writers and communicators. Learn how to use your skills for the new platforms that are emerging, such as the web, social media, and others. You can also learn how to do lay-outs and edit photos. New languages are also learned well in an online environment. You can also learn new languages such as French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and a long list of others with the help of online tutors.
There are many more websites offering free courses to suit your need. Explore what’s out there so that your skills do not get outdated.
If you are not yet employed, studying online is the best use of your time as it would contribute to a more impressive resume. If you are already working, it’s still the additional learning is still an asset as it allows you to acquire skills and knowledge that will expand your career options and possibly even help you get that promotion.