“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ― Isaac Asimov
Learning something new daily doesn’t have to be for students only, it should be for everyone, especially those in the professional workplace. Technology is moving at such an immense pace that it is nearly impossible to keep up with. Every time you turn around, there is a new analytics platform, social network, mobile app, etc. You can’t know everything, but you can try to hone in on certain topics, or your area of expertise, and utilize the resources you have at your fingertips to stay in the mix. I often wonder why we complain about not knowing certain things when nearly all of the world’s information is in the palm of our hands on a daily basis.
School Doesn’t Cut It
During my last year of college, I had been researching jobs in Milwaukee and Chicago in the social and digital media space. Many job descriptions had mentioned necessary skills that included experience and knowledge of numerous social networks and analytics programs. To get that experience I would need to work at those types of jobs, but to work at those types of jobs I had to have those types of skills. It made things difficult. Students are at a disadvantage because they don’t get a lot of hands-on experience with a lot of the necessary applications found at social and digital media jobs. Because of that, I had taken to the internet and started to teach myself as much as I could. Whether you want to learn to code websites, build mobile apps, create 3D graphics with Photoshop or decipher analytics reports from Hootsuite, there are educational resources out there for just about everything you can think of for FREE or at a minimal cost. So why not take advantage?
Advice for Budding Students
As a somewhat recent grad, my advice for students is this: figure out what you want to learn, find the resources online and teach yourself everything you can about your topic of choice. I understand teaching yourself can be difficult, especially when it comes to motivation. Ask a few friends, or students in the same field, to work together and push each other to learn certain topics. It can be better that way because then you bring in new perspectives. School can’t teach you everything, at some point you have to take it upon yourself and begin learning on your own. Who knows, learning with a group of people, with the same goal in mind, may even lead to a start-up company of your own.
Advice for Professionals
For those in the professional world, continuous learning is essential in order to grow and further your career. Fail to do so and you will be left in the dust. You should always strive for knowledge, no matter the year you were born. Sites like Grovo, Skillshare, Codecademy and Udemy offer simple tutorials that allow you to learn at your own pace. All you have to do is take the time and make the effort. If two people apply for a position and have virtually the same skill set, except one took the time to learn HTML5 or built their own mobile app, I’d say that one likely has the better chance of landing that job because they have a more valuable set of skills.
Companies Like Valuable Employees
Companies like valuable employees. So learning new skills or gaining new experiences, especially on your own time, on a variety of platforms can help make you incredibly valuable in the workplace. For those in upper management, you may not need to be the expert, but understanding the basics in different areas can help you manage employees easier and even allow you to hire more fluently.
Never Stop Learning
Everything you want to learn is out there, just make the effort. I am a huge believer in open-sourced education and free/cheap educational resources across the web. Kids in today’s society that have been coding since the age of 8 are already working to solve some of the world’s biggest problems by the time they are in high school.
You can take it in your own hands and virtually learn anything you want.
Below is a list of a few educational resources you should definitely check out. The list is small now, but please feel free to add your favorite online learning sites that you find valuable and would love to share with everyone.
Best Online Education Resources
Online education is transforming how and what people learn these days. You can learn to code, speak a new language and more. Please share any and all educational sites you know that you find valuable.
Start online learning with Everpath. Learn to program and code in Python, Ruby, and more. Explore thousands of courses offered by experts in programming, business, and design.
With a library of over 3,000 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, we're on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.
This Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) helps you to develop your individual as well as professional online profile, with a view to enhancing international trade prospects as well as general employability and personal branding awareness.
Grovo is an online education and training platform that helps people find and use sites, and helps sites reach and educate users.
Codecademy is the easiest way to learn how to code. It's interactive, fun, and you can do it with your friends.
Software training & tutorial video library. Our online courses help you learn critical skills. Free access & previews on hundreds of tutorials.
The Community College Open Textbooks Collaborative is funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. This collection of sixteen educational non-profit and for-profit organizations, affiliated with more than 200 colleges, is focused on driving awareness and adoptions of open textbooks to more than 2000 community and other two-year colleges. This includes providing training for instructors adopting open resources, peer reviews of open textbooks, and mentoring online professional networks that support for authors opening their resources, and other services.
GCFLearnFree.org - The freedom to learn what you want, when you want, absolutely free! Check out our Everyday Life, Basic Math, and Computer Training today!
Free MIT courses, including videos, audio, simulations, lecture notes, and exams.
Dip into insights from OU academics. Watch, listen, debate, play and discover more about your passions.