One of the biggest hurdles in choosing the right career is not knowing what a career is really like, but having to commit to it anyway. What if you find out that it's not for you? What if the idea of the career is appealing, but the daily to-do's just aren't really what you were hoping for?
One way is to take a test run, but since there is no such thing as a "Take Your Kid To Work Day (for Adults)," we have to be a bit more creative in testing out some careers. We've compiled a list of 11 websites that offer coursework and classes, totally free, so that you can see if the subjects of your career is worth pursuing. Start whenever you like, finish if you want. Your progress is totally up to you.
Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide to offer courses online for anyone to take. Students can choose from 400+ courses created by educational institutions. It seems that they offer courses free for anyone, though there is a fee to gain a “verified certificate.” The fee for completing the certificate is around $50.
Khan Academy is a not-for-profit education platform with the mission of providing world-class education for anyone, anywhere, absolutely free forever. Their content covers math, science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even reaches into the humanities with playlists on finance and history. Each lesson is taught by Sal, the founder, in a very conversational way. Khan Academy remembers your progress every time you come back to the site so you can pick up where you left off. Khan Academy is also used as a resource for teachers and coaches, who can access all their students’ data so they can see how they’re progressing through the material.
"I teach the way that I wish I was taught. The lectures are coming from me, an actual human being who is fascinated by the world around him." —Sal
EdX offers interactive online classes and MOOCs from the world’s best universities. Online courses from MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX, UTx and many other universities. Topics include biology, business, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, electronics, engineering, food and nutrition, history, humanities, law, literature, math, medicine, music, philosophy, physics, science, statistics and more. EdX is a non-profit online initiative created by founding partners Harvard and MIT.
Udacity was born out of a Stanford University experiment in which Sebastian Thrun and Peter Norvig offered their "Introduction to Artificial Intelligence" course online to anyone, for free. Over 160,000 students in more than 190 countries enrolled and not much later, Udacity was born. Most of their courses are tech-based - some of their categories include Data Science, Web Development, Software Engineering, and Android. Their free trials offer access to course materials and allow students to view and manage their progress and pace. For $150/month fee, students will gain access to more materials like in-class projects, feedback, personal guidance from a coach, and a verified certificate.
Peer 2 Peer University (they mostly just say P2PU) is a grassroots open education project that organizes learning outside of institutional walls and gives learners recognition for their achievements. P2P2 is a platform for people from other people. Their platform is completely open and free so that anyone can join.
Canvas offers free courses from teachers and institutions. Canvas Network seems more like a resource for teachers and instructors to create courses, though they have a long list of classes that are currently running or have upcoming start dates for anyone to join.
Udemy.com is a platform or marketplace for online learning. No Udemy courses are currently credentialed for college credit; Its students take courses largely as a means of improving job-related skills. Some courses generate credit toward technical certification. It is reported that Udemy has served more than 3 million students, and offers 16,000 course alternatives. Courses are offered across a breadth of categories, including business and entrepreneurship, academics, the arts, health and fitness, language, music, and technology. Udemy offers paid and free courses, depending on the instructor. Most courses are priced between $29 – $99.
World Mentoring Academy
WorldMentoringAcademy.com allows the public to enroll for free in online college courses. Michael Williams is the founder and is doing everything on his own. He scours the internet for free courses from prestigious schools like UCLA and Stanford and from educational non-profits like Khan Academy. He then manually programs each course into his site. His course list now tops 700.
Academicearth.com is a company founded with the goal of using the internet to provide high quality educational opportunities to people around the world. The site offers free online video courses from top universities such as Berkeley, Princeton, Harvard, Yale, Stanford and MIT. The videos can be embedded anywhere or downloaded and enjoyed wherever and whenever. This is a great site for people who would like the convenience of online learning. It's very easy to use, has great content, and doesn't cost a thing.
FutureLearn.com is the first UK-led massive open online course learning platform, and as of June 2014 had 36 UK and international University partners and - unlike similar platforms - includes four non-university partners: the British Museum, the British Council, the British Library and the National Film and Television School. FutureLearn's courses span a broad range of topics.
"At FutureLearn, we want to inspire learning for life. We Offer a diverse selection of free, high quality online courses and content from some of the world's leading universities and other outstanding cultural institutions. Courses are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life, rather than your life around learning."
Saylor.org offers 294 free college-level courses, representing 10 of the highest enrollment majors in the US. The foundation's course catalog is designed to be as open as possible, with all content accessible without needing to register or log in to the website. Their system has been described as "easy to use and straightforward" making use of a simple interface, clear directions and a visual representation of how complete course materials are. Each course is also accompanied by an assessment that learners can use both to test their knowledge and to officially demonstrate the knowledge they have gained. In the future, the foundation will begin issuing badges as a form of alternate credentialing.
If you're still looking for your calling in life, come on over to Sokanu.com and take our free career test. We want to help you find a career that's right for you!
About the Author
Renee Masur is the Community Manager for Sokanu and Island girl living in Vancouver. She loves people and their stories.Follow on Google Plus Follow on Twitter More Content by Renee Masur