Traditional education has several serious drawbacks for the adult learner. It’s expensive, especially if you already have a degree. It’s also a huge time commitment that rarely works well around a full-time job. Fortunately, there are ways to get an education about a topic or skill that works at your pace, rather than the pace of college.
Massive open online courses represent the Internet’s version of self-education. In essence, you get access to the exact same resources and coursework as students attending classes at a specific university. The best-known source of MOOCs is probably edX, which offers courses from Harvard, MIT, and Princeton, to name a few.
You can learn about an extraordinarily wide range of topics, such as architecture, law, and physics. You work on the courses at a speed you find comfortable. If you plan on taking MOOCs, however, you’ll need to sign up with a good wireless internet provider. That’ll let you work comfortably from home. This is a popular option for those in rural areas as it gives them access to colleges across the country.
These courses do require consistent and reliable internet access, however, so you may need to search for options if you aren’t close to a service provider. It can be as easy as searching with terms like “Phoenix, AZ wireless internet” in a search engine and comparing any results you get.
Self-paced online training is a slightly different animal. Where MOOCs aim primarily at self-enrichment, self-paced online training typically focuses on learning a skill. One of the most common types of self-paced online training is for learning programming skills.
You can turn to FreeCodeCamp to learn about front-end and back-end development. Other options include Coursera, Khan Academy, and Codecademy. As a general rule, you work through the course or training as quickly as is practical for you. With luck, you end up with a marketable skill.
As with the MOOCs, an internet connection is vital. In areas that have few internet options, you may need to search with terms like “Phoenix colocation services” to see if there are internet providers that serve businesses that may be able to help you get connected.
If you’re interested in a very specific or obscure skill, you must often cobble together education from a variety of sources. For example, you might take a workshop on making chainmaille that lasts for a day. You learn the basics and practice.
After that, you might read books about the subject. You can turn to online video tutorials on YouTube or other streaming video sites. You might even download audio lectures or designs that apply to your topic of interest. Again, you control the pace of your learning to a large degree.
Getting an education doesn’t require you sacrifice every waking second of your free time trying to work college around being an adult. If you’re just interested in information, you can jump into MOOCs. If you’re interested in learning specific skills, you often find self-paced online training. You can also turn to workshops and combine them with reading and other media sources.