Business Cut Tuition Reimbursement? No Problem. 5 Educational Online Options
A few years ago, before the economy turned south, companies liberally offered employees tuition reimbursement programs. The goal was simple: an educated workforce is a better workforce. But times have changed, and many employers cut such programs to compete in a tougher economy. However, this doesn’t mean you have to abandon your dreams of becoming a more learned person.
Image via Flickr by greatdegree
1. Learn With YouTube Videos
Many skills which might be difficult to learn by reading are learned easily by watching. You can learn an array of skills from watching YouTube videos, such as how to use computer software, how to dress or conduct yourself in a job interview, how to prepare meals, and even how to change the oil in your car.
Once you find a helpful video on your preferred subject, see if the producer of the video has a YouTube channel where you can get more information on the topic. Often, people who produce a quality learning video don’t stop at one. Many produce a series of videos on the topic, and you can get tons of skills from the same qualified source.
2. Read Classic Literature for Free
Knowledge of classic literature is one of the pillars of a well-rounded education. What many people don’t know is, the copyrights to most of the classics have expired, meaning it’s completely free to download and share these books online.
You can even get a list of the classics experts consider to be most important, so you’ll know where to start and what to read. Some of the poetry and international novels can be difficult to understand without a teacher to guide you, but you can look for a synopsis of the book to get the gist of its plot and underlying meanings. Synopsis are helpful in understanding unfamiliar literature.
3. Get New Skills at Lynda.com
Whether you’re trying to get more education and skills in your own industry or want to branch out into something entirely new, services like Lynda are a great place to go. The membership is paid, but costs a nominal monthly fee, and there is a wonderfully large database of courses to choose from.
Some of these classes are work related, but many are just for fun. There are courses available for all skill levels, and the courses are in video format so you can see as well as hear the material. This is a great option for people who are “show me” learners.
4. Collaborate With Other Learners at Wikiversity
Wikiversity is an online collaboration of educators and students who wish to broaden the knowledge base for everyone. While still in its early stages, Wikipedia is a great way to get a basic understanding of an enormous variety of topics. However, when you’re depending on Wiki for information, it’s not always perfect. Be sure to check other sources, such as .gov or .edu sites, so you’ll know what you’re learning is accurate and up to date.
5. Earn a Degree Online
Do it yourself learning isn’t for everyone, but many students prefer sites that promote learning at your own pace and convenience. Fortunately, the U.S. government now allows online students to qualify for Pell grants and student loans, which used to be reserved only for students of brick and mortar institutions. You can also be a part of the education industry and earn a Masters of Education degree online.
Remember, your employer isn’t standing in your way of becoming a more educated, skilled person. All you have to do is get started.