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by Danny Rubin
Don’t fall asleep. You’re sitting in a lecture hall right now.
The Web has become a virtual classroom, and it’s brimming with places for young professionals to gain advanced skills. According to a recent study, online education isn’t just the future; it’s the kind of learning our generation prefers.
Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, and Internships.com, a massive internship jobs board, announced a joint study called “The Future of Education.” In the report, 50 percent of students polled said they don’t need a physical classroom setting to get an education.
That’s why, as young professionals, we can pick up new skills on a lunch break, lazy Sunday or even while our clothes finish in the dryer.
“In today’s economy, you have to (and should want to) be a lifelong learner because that’s the only way you are going to stay relevant to the marketplace,” said Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding and author of “Promote Yourself.”
“You have to acquire new skills and stay on top of industry trends so that you can advance,” said Schawbel. “If you don’t, then you can easily be replaced by someone who is taking the initiative.”
So where do we go to stay sharp?
Here’s a list of the 10 best online learning sites for Millennials (in no particular order).
“TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.”
Learn the art of ‘power posing’ with this video: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are
“Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Our technology enables our partners to teach millions of students rather than hundreds.”
If you can stomach a 6-week course, this one looks appetizing: The Science of Gastronomy.
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“Udemy helps students make moves. Whether you want to get promoted, break into a new industry, start a company, further a passion, or just accelerate your life, Udemy helps you learn from the amazing instructors in the world, so that you can get there and get there faster.”
Got $19? Check out this course: Social Media Marketing for Startups
“Nuvvo offers a revolutionary approach to teaching and learning online through networked communities which focus on a specific subject. Anyone can create a community, share a lesson, have a discussion, create a test, share an opinion and hold an online tutoring session at no cost.”
Here’s a quick lesson on the basics of C++ programming.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal, adult returning to the classroom after 20 years, or a friendly alien just trying to get a leg up in earthly biology. Khan Academy’s materials and resources are available to you completely free of charge.”
Need some help prepping for the GMAT? Try this lecture on problem solving.
“Through OCW, educators improve courses and curricula, making their schools more effective; students find additional resources to help them succeed; and independent learners enrich their lives and use the content to tackle some of our world’s most difficult challenges, including sustainable development, climate change, and cancer eradication.”
Want the basics of financial management? Drop into this course: Finance Theory I
“The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) is a grant-funded group at Carnegie Mellon University, offering innovative online courses to anyone who wants to learn or teach. Our aim is to create high-quality courses and contribute original research to improve learning and transform higher education.”
Looking to bone up on your foreign languages? CMU offers Elementary French I.
“Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come.”
This video will blow your mind: The world’s first flying waiter.
“We work with more than 150 organizations from the Aspen Institute to the Commonwealth Club to theNew Yorker to the 92nd St Y. Our curated collection of more than 10,000 free and pay-per-view videos and a full schedule of live events brings the talks, debates, and conversations changing the world right to your screen.”
Interview broken down by chapters with Eric Schlosser, author of “Fast Food Nation.”
“Academic Earth believes everyone deserves access to a world-class education, which is why we continue to offer a comprehensive collection of free online courses from the world’s top universities. And now, we take learning outside the classroom with our original series of thought-provoking videos, designed to spark your intellectual curiosity and start a conversation.”
Watch this video and decide if you’re “Born Republican? Born Democrat?”
Any other sites for online learning?
© 2013, Danny Rubin
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