Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
― Henry Ford
Fortunately, or unfortunately, the fundamental basis of receiving income from of our modern society is largely dependent on how much value can you provide. The more value you can provide, the larger your reward. Typically, what this encourages is for people to deepen their skills in their chosen fields, in order to be able to provide more value. This typically involves finding a field that you can be better passionate enough to stick with, and interested enough to really hone your skills. Thankfully, this has been made much easier in recent years.
The Old Way Of Learning New Skills
When I was much younger, I remember learning new skills was a journey fraught with difficulty and obstacles. You had to find an instructor through the classified ads on the newspaper, or search for a school with enough students to form a class, or go for a community class. A lot of the time, if there weren’t enough demand for a class, you’d be out of luck.
Even if you did manage to find a class, it was another matter finding a good instructor. I remember way too many horrible instructors who were either disgruntled, disillusioned, or disheartened. So many were there just to get paid, and whether or not you learnt anything was quite secondary.
Free Online Courses – Learning For Free
These days, there’s a huge push for open learning, and you can find high-quality, professional courses online, for free. Even Harvard, MIT, and Stanford have entire college courses available online for you, at no cost. So really, there’s no excuse to not be learning something new everyday.
Here are 14 of the top learning platforms, sorted alphabetically. Some of them offer premium/paid content, but every single site here at least has a selection of free content. I’ll be updating this page periodically, and I’m hopeful to see the whole open learning movement mature and have new sites join the list.
1. Academic Earth
Academic Earth: Find free online courses, lectures, and videos from the best colleges. Take online classes from schools like Yale, MIT and Stanford.
CreativeLive: CreativeLive is an online education platform that broadcasts live classes for free.
Duolingo: Duolingo is a free language-learning platform that includes a language-learning website and app, as well as a digital language proficiency assessment exam.
EdX: edX is a massive open online course provider. It hosts online university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide student body.
FutureLearn: Enjoy free online courses from top universities and specialist organisations.
7. Khan Academy
Khan Academy: Learn anything. Expert-created content and resources for every subject and level. Always free.
Platzi: Courses on programming, design, marketing, web development, Frontend, Backend, mobile dev, UX, usability.
Guides.co: A free publishing and hosting platform for sharing the world’s information on any guide-type content.
Highbrow: Highbrow is an email-based learning service that brings bite-sized courses straight to your inbox every morning.
Make: Make focuses on do it yourself (DIY) and/or DIWO (Do It With Others) projects involving computers, electronics, robotics, metalworking, woodworking and other disciplines.
12. MIT Open Courseware
MIT Open Courseware: MIT OpenCourseWare is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.
Udacity: Learn to code from the best online free courses and Nanodegree programs.
Udemy: Udemy.com is an online learning platform. It is aimed at professional adults who want to add new skills to their resumes, or explore their passions.
What Websites Do You Use To Learn New Skills?
Are there any websites that I haven’t included, that you might be using to learn new skills? Feel free to comment below!