I’ve dreamed of going “Back to School” for years now. I want, with all of my heart, to become a certified financial planner. Unfortunately, in order to take the test, you must have a degree. Since higher education has not been in my cards for a while… and won’t be… I’ve been seeking out alternative educational sources. There is a plethora of free education available on the internet these days. I’m astounded at the amount of knowledge that can be had at the click of the button. Granted, you can’t get college credit for these, but they are still worth it if you’re trying to learn something!
MIT Open Courseware has 1800 courses, an RSS feed for course updates, and contains a ton of great information. Their courses have a syllabus, recommended reading, course notes, assignments, downloadable course materials, and exams. You can even sign up for their newsletter. If you’ve ever wanted to attend MIT, here’s your chance to do it… without the college credit, of course!
One fabulous resource I’ve found is the Small Business Administration‘s Online Training offerings. They provide free courses online for all aspects of starting up your business, marketing it, and tips for running a successful small business. I’ve really been focusing my education on these areas, and was thrilled to find this tool.
For helping your kids get ahead in the education department, Free-ed.net has a range of free courses available. Their website says their benefits are:
- Free education on the Internet
- No books to buy, no hidden fees
- Courses, tutorials, and skill-building activities for today’s most important vocational and academic disciplines
This is a great tool for the more basic reading, writing, arithmetic type courses… with some science, social studies, physics, etc thrown in for good measure. They even have an economics course or two.
About.com has About U. I haven’t actually taken any of these courses, but they appear to have a really large selection of topics. From their website: “Welcome to About U., a collection of free online courses from About.com. Each online course is sent to you via email on a daily or weekly basis and is designed to help you learn a specific skill or solve a particular problem. There are no grades or degrees, only a whole lot of free online learning.”
HP has a great set of business and technology courses for free. Learn to build a website, manage your books, or how to communicate effectively. I’m looking forward to getting up to my elbows in those courses. I have a feeling that I’ll be getting better at my IT job with that program.
For a compilation of 200 Free Online Classes from various sources, check out Online Education Database. A blurb from their website says:”A high quality education doesn’t have to come at a high cost. In fact, it’s possible to take classes from big names like Yale, MIT, and Tufts without ever submitting an application or paying a cent in tuition. We’ve compiled 200 online classes from these and other respected institutions, and you can take all of them with no strings attached.”
If you don’t like any of these, Education Portal has a compilation of the Ten Universities with the Best Free Online Courses and iTunes has a ton of free podcasts of courses you can check out.