People who know me, will confirm that I am an incredible nerd. I read the Harvard Business Review for fun, I get excited if I learned how a software program works and I have a bookshelf full of business, psychology and language books that I actually read for fun. While studying I did not have the urge to do any extra reading, but after a few months into working life I started to feel curious again. There is so much more to learn!
I am sure I am not the only one, so I thought to share some of my favourite online learning platforms with you. In a later article I will also list some of the best books that I read, in the hope that it might help some of you to pick their next study subject. I would really love your inputs as well!
Learn new business skills
For my new job I had to dig deeper in project management methods. I started with a few free classes on Lynda.com, which offers a broad variety in language and general business courses such as online marketing, photoshop, public speaking, and time management. Some courses are free, but you get complete access to all courses for 25 euros a month. For a bit higher quality, and a bit more expensive, checkout Coursera, Udemy, Open2Study and SimpliLearn. Here you will often pay per course and many courses are developed by universities. I took a paid project management course with exam and certification at SimpliLearn, which I can highly recommend.
If you are looking for courses on software for example Microsoft or Google, do checkout their websites. They offer many free courses ranging from Excel to Cloud Computing, SEO optimization and App building.
Learn to Code
As every technology you touch is built on some form of code, it does not hurt to understand the basics. Two of my favorite free online tools are CodeAcademy and CodeSchool. They allow you to learn any programming language, by means of small fun exercises. After a couple of sessions I could design a Christmas card with snow falling down. Large parts of the content is for free, for 19 or 29 Dollar a month you will have unlimited access to even more features.
If you are seriously planning to make a career in programming, take a look at Udacity. They offer Nanodegrees, made by Google (among others) and became famous for their hiring rate after you finished a degree. The basics are for free, but the Nanodegrees are a bit pricier of course, starting at 200 dollar a months.
Learn a new language
When it comes to languages, I am actually quite traditional, as I prefer to learn from books. However, some online tools helped me as well. Memrise helps you learn a language with flashcards on your phone. Besides their courses for more than 200 languages, they offer over 300.000 other courses in history, geography etc. Duolingo is an app that won many prices. It offers lessons in over 19 languages and has a competitive gaming element built in, to push you to learn every day. Both are for free!
Learn something completely different
Besides all the useful things that you can learn to get further in your career or studies, there are a lot of platforms that also just teach you on more general topics like history or help you write a novel. Memrise was one example, Khan Academy has a great selection on topics such as history and biology. Also take a look at Skillshare, it offers a massive range of courses from fashion design to writing, music or cooking. A very cool example as well is Pianu, a website where you can learn to play the piano.
Whatever you want to learn, there are no excuses such as money or time. With online courses you can diversify your knowledge, without having to spend (much) money, spending a year in college or even having to get off your couch!
Which platforms do you believe are the best? Which courses would you recommend to the community? And more importantly, what will you learn next?