According to a recent survey from the market research company GroupSolver, 70 percent of respondents think of themselves as “lifelong learners.” Moreover, 45 percent are likely to enroll in a course within the next five years to increase their personal or professional skills. But while you could opt for the higher education route and look for a university program, there are many other online alternatives to consider as well.
These e-learning platforms can teach you the same valuable information as a college classroom would but at a fraction of the cost and in a more convenient, accessible format. You can learn at your own pace in the comfort of home (even wearing pajamas, if that’s your preference!). Not to mention, you can choose from just about any curriculum material or certification program that speaks to you. Here is a list of online education platforms to quench your thirst for knowledge and self-development in the new year.
If you want to learn how to write for television from Shonda Rhimes, play the guitar from Carlos Santana, cook a restaurant meal from Gordon Ramsay, or launch a justice movement from Malala Yousafzai, MasterClass has you covered. For a $15 monthly subscription, you’ll receive unlimited access to the entire course library from more than 100 instructors who are undeniable experts in their fields. Once enrolling in a course, you can stream it anytime on a mobile or desktop screen, and you can download an instructor guide after each MasterClass session for later reference. Plus, the average lesson is around 10 minutes long, so it won’t require too much of a time commitment from you either.
For frontline workers in the healthcare, tactical or first response sectors who need to satisfy training requirements for pre-hospital trauma intervention, treatment and equipment usage, look no further than TMS University. This e-learning and information sharing platform was created by TacMed Solutions, a company that manufactures the latest in first response technology, and the curriculum is relevant for numerous emergency situations. From tutorials on how to handle a certain piece of equipment to instructions on dealing with K9-unit trauma, TMS University’s training content runs the whole gamut. There’s also a virtual discussion forum where you can chat with and learn from other students.
If you turned to fitness as a healthy outlet to cope with all the stress of these last two years, grow your passion for exercise into an income stream with a personal trainer certification. The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) offers fully accredited online programs that will help you ace the final exam to become a licensed fitness or nutrition professional in four to 12 weeks. The personal trainer course fee starts at $69 a month, the nutritionist course fee starts at $39 a month, and the bundle for both of these certifications costs $1,199. That’s an enormous savings when you compare it to college tuition. Not to mention, ISSA will refund the course cost if you do not land a job after being certified.
When it comes to online education that not only fills your head with information, but also helps you translate that knowledge into measurable career success, it’s hard to beat Google. For just $39 a month, you can enroll in a Grow with Google course to be certified in various sought-after disciplines such as IT support, data analytics, UX design or project management. The flexible, self-paced curriculum requires less than 10 hours of study per week, and as Google’s own metrics reveal, 82 percent of professionals who do this training see a positive ROI in their careers within six months. Grow with Google also provides resources like coaching sessions, mock interviews and resume builder tools.
For the learner who doesn’t necessarily need to gain a specific skill but wants to keep their brain curious and sharp, TED-Ed can be the solution. This free archive is full of thousands of lessons from thought leaders in numerous industries who have spoken at TED conferences across the globe. Some videos are only a few minutes in length, while others clock in at almost 20 minutes, but all of these TED-Ed lessons will make you feel smarter and more socially aware as a citizen. You can learn just about anything such as how to read in Chinese, manage time effectively, understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, become more racially literate, or even make sense out of quantum mechanics.
You don’t have to sit in a college lecture hall to further your educational goals this year. There are tons of e-learning options available at your fingertips, no matter the subject you’re interested in or the certification you want to pursue. Make 2022 the year to invest in online education—it can lead to major steps in your personal and professional growth.