The history of online education is only as old as the internet itself, but it’s grown so much since then. As of 2019, over 6 million students are taking at least one class online, and that number will likely double by 2023.
Online learning is more common than some people might think. It can be a great way to continue your formal education in your own time.
There are many reasons why you may choose to take an online course instead of a traditional one. You may have a job or family obligations that prevent you from attending on-campus classes during the day.
You may want to learn at your own pace or on your schedule, or maybe there is an online course that doesn’t get offered near where you live. Whatever the reason, there are numerous ways for you to get educated without leaving home!
Get a Degree Online
Did you know that online education is becoming increasingly common? More and more educational institutions are offering a wide range of online courses.
The great thing is, many of these courses are free. You may find that some require a small fee for certification, but most will not.
Of course, the main benefit of studying online is you can study at your own pace.
It may mean you have time to take on the challenge of furthering your education while working full time. It may mean you can do it from home or even while traveling!
Learn a New Skill
There are endless opportunities to learn something new online. Whether it’s a skill you can use at work or just something you’ve always wanted to know how to do, the internet is an excellent resource for learning.
Perhaps you want to learn how to write code, or you want to learn how to use Photoshop.
Plenty of websites and apps will walk you through whatever knowledge or skill transfer you’re seeking. You can learn anything online.
You can refer to Sweetstudy’s blog to understand the various ongoing learning methodologies. You just have to make your mind up and get started!
Teach Yourself a New Language
Language learning has never been easier. There are so many free and low-cost resources available to you whenever you have time to dedicate to it, and they can be used at your own pace. Here are some of the best places to go if you’re ready to learn a new language:
You can try out apps like Duolingo or Memrise on your phone. They’ll walk you through the basics for free, and you can always choose to pay for premium features down the line if you want them.
You can use online translation tools like Google Translate or WordReference in conjunction with an online dictionary like Merriam-Webster or Cambridge Dictionary.
These allow you to look up words that might puzzle you and see how words get used in sentences by native speakers.
You can put them all together, and there’s no reason why someone who knows English couldn’t become fluent in another language within a few months (or even weeks) using these tools alone!
Take a Certification Course
If a full degree course seems daunting, consider certification courses instead. These courses have a design to teach you a specific skill or set of skills relevant to your career.
These courses can be completed in as little as two weeks and help boost your resume.
Strengthen Your Current Skills
If you’re looking to jump-start your career with a promotion or new opportunity, the first step is to take stock of your current skills and identify what areas you want to pursue next.
It can happen through candid conversations with mentors, peers, and managers at your current job. Talk about what you’ve learned so far in your career, which skills you’d like to improve upon, and how you can best go about doing that.
Make a list of the benefits of strengthening these skills (e.g., “learning about online advertising will help me write more effective ad copy and help The Company sell more widgets”).
Then consider how to get feedback from someone who has already mastered these skills. It can be an internal manager at your company or an external mentor who’s willing to share some wisdom for free.
Learn Coding and Programming
You can enroll in an online course that teaches you how to code. Many available courses and programs can teach you the basics of computer coding, so it shouldn’t be hard for you to find one that works for you.
Sites like CodeAcademy offer free tutorials, while others such as Coursera offer paid courses designed by universities and professionals in the field.
You must understand why learning a new language is important. Just like being bilingual allows you to interact with more people daily, knowing how to code will allow you to better understand the vast majority of people’s interactions with each other. It can be, namely, communication over the internet.
Similarly, knowing how computers “think” will allow you to become a better user of technology overall. Once you know how something works, it is much easier for your brain to process and use it correctly in the future.
You can continue learning about computer programming on your own time if possible. If studying computer languages is something that interests you, consider continuing your education even after any classes or programs have ended!
Your local library may have books written by experts in the field. You can search online forums and chat rooms specific to computer science.
You can watch videos on YouTube related to coding practices and trends or ask your friends (in real life or online) if they know more about this topic than you do!
Taking Up a Musical Instrument
You can take up a musical instrument. Learning to play a musical instrument, like the guitar or piano, can be a great way to keep your brain active.
A study done at the University of Zurich found that learning to play the drums can lead to structural changes in the human brain, including an increase in gray matter.
It improves your ability to learn and process information, reduces stress levels, and improves your coordination.
You can learn how to sing. Learning how to sing can have benefits similar to learning how to play an instrument.
A 2013 study published in The Journal of Neuroscience showed that singing improved participants’ moods and their motor skills, verbal fluency, and social functioning. Your community might even offer free or low-cost classes on singing!
The world wide web has so much to offer when it comes to learning new skills and getting an education, whether you are doing it for free or paying for a class.
You can learn a new language, expand your skills, take classes online, and get degrees online. All of which will be immensely helpful in your career.