Just because you’ve earned your college degree doesn’t meant the learning needs to end. All that needs to end is taking out student loans for more learning. There are many ways you can continue your education for little or no cost. While non of these will earn you a degree, they will allow you to learn new skills and/or hobbies. Below I point out three such options.
Your local community college offers many non-credit courses that are either free or cost very little. Every semester in the mail where I live, I get a booklet from the local community college that lists all of the courses they are offering. While many are for traditional students trying to obtain their Associates Degree or preparing for a traditional four-year college, there is a nice sized list of courses for everyone else. They range from computer programming to photography, with everything else in between. It’s a great option to look into to learn a new skill or find out if a new hobby is for you.
I personally have used my local community college for the advancement of my career. At one of my past jobs, we were looking to create macro’s through MS Excel. No one had a good grasp on how to do this. I ended up taking a class for free at my local community college and was able to lead the project at work. The initiative I took made me stand out to my employer and got me a nice sized raise.
Along the lines of the community college route is your local YMCA. While being a paid member of the YMCA will allow you to take many of the courses for free, non-members can also sit in on classes and only pay a small fee, usually less than $100. The courses offered at the YMCA are geared more towards hobbyists, with courses in painting, drawing, basket-weaving, photography, etc. However, depending on you skill set, they too offer classes in MS Word and Excel, among other programs. I get this booklet mailed to me all of the time as well. If you don’t, you can either visit your local YMCA or their website to get an idea of the courses that are offered.
Non-Credit College Courses
Many colleges and universities offer non-credit courses for little or no cost as well. The best part is that you don’t have to re-take your SAT’s and write an essay to get in!
Many colleges offer free courses, including MIT, Harvard and Stanford. A quick look at some available courses includes Shakespeare, China, World War II, Probability, and more. All of the courses offered are online, so it doesn’t matter if the college is local to you or not. You can even find free courses on iTunes too.
These are just a few examples of ways of continuing your education for free or low cost. They are great options to look into if you want to explore a new hobby, brush up on an old skill, or learn something simply for the sake of learning.
Readers, have you ever taken advantage of a free course at any of the above? Can you think of other ways to continue your education for free or low cost?