The Top 10 Resources You Can Use To Learn Online (And Without Paying For University)
In the era of crippling student debts, ever rising school tuition, and a vast abundance of free information online, it’s starting to not make sense to go to college for many people.
Some might argue that outside the field of medicine, engineering, and other scientific areas, you do not need a college to learn what you want to learn.
If you have an internet connection, you can teach yourself everything you need to learn, and this is especially true if you want to learn a non STEM field such as the social sciences, literature, design, animation, economics etc.
Here are some resources you can use to learn everything you need via the internet:
Edx is a website containing online courses from some of the worlds largest universities such as MIT, Harvard, and Berkley, and is completely free to use. This website can also teach you STEM fields such as computer science, data analytics, and electronics.
Moreover, by paying a small amount, you can get yourself a verified certificate that you can use on a place on your resume and let prospective employers know that you have completed that particular course.
If you are focused enough, you can complete most 4 year degrees within 1 year using EdX – for free. Save your money and your cash.
This is the place to go to when you’re not looking for full-time education, but you just want to learn new skills. Think of it as a vocational course website. It can absolutely help you launch a small side business.
Let’s say you want to launch a small YouTube channel to supplement your income, but you know nothing about video editing, music, and even accounting, Skillshare would be the right place to go to learn what you need, and quickly.
Remember, Skillshare teaches you execution – and is probably the easiest way for someone who wants to start an entrepreneurship venture to learn the ropes.
This website is similar to EdX and contains a host of courses in various fields from top universities.
However, this website tries to trick you into buying a paid subscription.
What you want to do is to open a course page (not the specialization page) and then click on enroll and “Audit this course”. This way, you can access all the course materials for free.
Duolingo teaches you languages.
Spanish, French, Hindi, English, and many many others – completely for free. In fact, I learned Spanish by using Duolingo.
The system uses a “language tree”, where they start from the bottom and teach you about the basic syntax and words of the language, and as you become more and more proficient, they teach you more words, prepositions, grammar rules, phrases, and tenses.
Duolingo makes it really easy to learn a new language, and only needs 20 minutes of your time each day.
It also has an iOS and Android app, that makes learning very easy, no matter where you are.
Even if you plan to go to school to learn a new language, I would still recommend that you use Duolingo to figure out which language you want to learn.
Codecademy is a very easy way to learn how to code. They offer courses on all sorts of computer programming languages such as Java, Python, HTML, CSS, SQL and even full courses on machine learning and data visualization.
They have in in-built coding interface, so you won’t have to install anything, they have learning paths where they serially introduce new courses for you, and they have a strong community of over 25 million users.
A premium subscription brings in access to a coding expert staff member to solve your queries immediately via chat, provides you access to quizzes, and projects where you can build things from scratch.
The Odin Project
The Odin Project is a free, open source education to the career in full stack web development, and is focused on learning by actually doing. It has an active community and is a “What I wish I had when I was learning” resource, as described by their developers.
Unlike Codecademy, which is heavily structured, the Odin Project is a more flexible way to learn. You can use whichever IDE you like, there are no restrictions, and you have to install all the software on your own machine, which is a learning opportunity by itself.
It was founded in 2013, has 80,000 learners and 2500 contributors – so you can be assured that everything is up to date.
“The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials and make them widely available to everyone.” – Dick K.P. Yue, Professor, MIT School of Engineering
MIT OCW is an open and available web-based publication of a large amount of, you guessed it, MIT course content.
Khan Academy is a wonderful resource for school students to learn and for adults to re-learn their high school curriculum. It can teach you physics, chemistry, biology, math, and even economics, and contains video courses right from the 5th grade all the way up to the 12th grade.
If you feel that you missed out something in school, or want to learn the old concepts again – this is the website to go to. They also have classes available in regional languages.
This website can also help you prepare for tests such as the SAT, GMAT, LSAT and IIT JEE.
It has no ads, no subscriptions, and is completely free for people of all ages and backgrounds.
Lynda is a subscription-based video learning website, very suitable for visual learners.
They offer pre-designed learning paths if you cannot figure out which courses you want to take.
Simply chose whichever profession or field you want to learn about and they will serially take you through everything you need.
Harvard Open Learning Initiative
Their website describes them as “an affordable way for any motivated student to take courses at Harvard”, and they have stayed true to their word.
They offer several free courses and 800 for-credit courses at reasonable tuition rates.
The courses range from science and cooking, war and society, history, politics, and even world literature.
About the author
Harsh Strongman is the author of Life Math Money, a website dedicated to helping you get rich, get fit, and get smarter – teaching you the things they won’t teach you in school.