College is an integral part of the American life. According to USA Today, the pay gap between high school grads and college grads is around record highs at 56%.
A four year education can cost anywhere between $25,000 and $240,000 leaving students in debt at an average of around $29,000 (ticas.org). That being said, college is a great place to go to get an education AND create the best connections for your working life.
That being said, for someone who is interested in education, and not interested in the connections (and the price tag) that come along with it, there are a few websites that offer education FOR FREE.
Coursera.com and lynda.com are two of the most popular of these websites. There is only one string attached. While you can take these courses for free, you need to pay if you want to receive credit for them.
While this might sound like a buzzkill, the price for this can be as low as $50 and as high as $3,000 (much cheaper then going to college).
These aren’t courses provided by ‘garage professors.’ Professors on the site come from schools like Yale, Penn, UC Davis, Stanford, etc… the list is endless. From the top schools in America to Hong Kong.
I recently started a finance course on Coursera to see what it was about. I didn’t read where the professor was from and only realized that I was sitting in on a Yale lecture once the video started.
I decided that I wanted to do this class because I wrote out my 5 year plan and realized that instead of being bored over the break I could be learning something about my craft. I have written about the five year plan before, but I will reiterate once again that if you have a goal and a plan of how to get there, it becomes a lot easier for you to stay productive.
Coursera has over 2000 classes on a multitude of topics. If you know what you want to do with your life but need more education to get there, this is the perfect place to start.