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Saturday, August 04, 2018

How to get a world-class education for free on the internet | Quartz at Work - Quartz

Amy X. Wang, reporter at Quartz writes, "As crucial as a university degree has become for working in the modern economy, it is not the only route forward into a wildly lucrative and satisfying career—just ask famous dropouts Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg."

First, apply yourself.

In the future, a single bachelor’s degree in a particular subject will no longer suffice for many of us anyway. As robots and automation sweep the global workforce, hundreds of millions of people—the majority of whom do not have the time or money to go pick up a brand-new four-year degree—will have to “re-skill” in order to land new jobs. The question that employees and employers alike face is how to get that done quickly, efficiently, and, most importantly to many, cheaply.

The internet, luckily, is already a booming resource. Whether you find yourself seeking new employment mid-career, curious about alternatives to a college education, or simply are interested in learning for learning’s sake, Quartz At Work has compiled some of the most dependable, high-quality materials you can access to learn anything on the internet.

For a free liberal arts education:
The first name in online course catalogs is Coursera, a juggernaut because of its pioneering of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Started in 2012, Coursera now has over 28 million users and over 2,000 courses—which can either be taken for free or for a small fee to earn an official certificate—from leading institutions like Harvard and Stanford.

In recent years, the catalog has expanded far beyond traditional subjects like history and mathematics. “There’s been a lot of interest in courses that are more about personal and professional development—you’ll see courses on how to learn, how to reason, how to find happiness and fulfillment, as well as courses that are more skills-oriented,” Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller told Quartz in 2016.

The platform’s most popular classes include:
There are several other MOOC providers, including Udacity and edX. Udacity tends to be a better resource for professionals looking to develop certain vocational skills, and edX—created by MIT and Harvard—is more of a zany academic platform with a special focus on science, but both have large, comprehensive catalogs and easily searchable databases...

For the nitty-gritty of coding:
Coding is one of the best skills to learn online—the work itself takes place entirely on a computer—but the quality of free teaching available ranges from expert-level to deeply flawed. Programmers tend to agree, though, that Codecademy, Free Code Camp, and HackerRank are all consistently well-designed and useful resources.

Codecademy gently coaches novice coders through the basics of HTML and CSS, and into JavaScript and more complicated languages; Free Code Camp does the same with an added emphasis on building real-world projects for nonprofits. HackerRank offers code “challenges”—mini puzzles that are attention-engaging and educational without being explicitly instructive, providing a “learn by doing” approach that is ideal for people who prefer projects to lectures. If none of these three appeal, try this list of 49 vetted resources.
Read more... 

Source: Quartz