Are you feeling stuck in a rut with your career? Or perhaps you’re just looking for new ways to expand your mind and learn more skills. With the new year coming up, it’s the perfect time to reinvigorate your life with some new knowledge. If the idea of enrolling back in a full academic program or school seems a bit too daunting, you can still find plenty of courses online in a variety of subjects — and many are available totally free of charge.
A database known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) offers thousands of classes from a range of universities all across the globe. You might be worried the courses are offered by shady fake academics, but the providers source their content from well-known and respected schools such as Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. A website called Class Central allows you to search courses from several providers, including the four biggest companies: edX, Coursera, FutureLearn, and Udacity.
Classes vary based on the time of year you’re searching, but you can count on finding options for personal growth (like courses that teach interview techniques and résumé building) or specific skills you’re looking to gain for your career (like Microsoft Excel or Powerpoint). They even offer classes for foreign languages, artistic development, writing skills, health and medicine, and education. The only caveat is that most free options don’t come with a certificate upon completion. You can pay for a class that offers certificates, but the free knowledge can be just as beneficial on its own.
If you happen to find a course you’d like to take but it doesn’t appear to be offered for free, Class Central points out that there is still often an “audit” option — you just have to look closely at the fine print before accepting any enrollment fees. The website offers detailed instructions on how to do this with Coursera classes specifically, but it’s something to definitely keep an eye out from all of the providers. Now all you have to do is start searching and see how you can make your future a little bit brighter with new skills and knowledge! Who knows, it might be exactly what you needed to stumble on a whole new (and profitable) career.