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Never Stop Educating Yourself: Top 5 Sites For E-Learning

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So you have a degree already, but it's not taking you in the right directions. Or perhaps you just want to learn something new? Either way, you should never stop pushing yourself to learn new things. Find out how to do it easily with these top 5 sites...

As much as the pressure of deadlines and exams made your education history seem dire, you know deep down that you enjoyed learning new and interesting things. But why should you keep learning? To fill in your CV, maybe to keep busy or because you want to change career paths? Where you lack work experience, you can fill in missing spots with new and highly sought-after qualifications; this shows that you aren't just sitting 'dormant' whilst job-hunting. Those other candidates with relevant experience may not have the time to keep up to date with new software or programming platforms, so here you can set yourself apart. Plus, by using any of the recommended sites, you can work from anywhere:home, a café, the library or even your nan's house. Now is the time to take back control, because going back to university is out of the question; you want to step forwards, not back. Below we've outlined the top five routes to easy and accessible online-learning.

1. Coursera

https://www.coursera.org/ Cousera have teamed up with some of the best universities to provide some of the best education out there - and it's all online and free to access. There's even an app, making this platform even more portable.
  • What do they teach?
They have over one thousand courses available to all. Some of the most popular include Social Psychology (Wesleyan University), Introduction to Finance (University of Michigan) and Fundamentals of Music Theory (University of Edinburgh).
  • How long?
There are two types of course available: On-demand and Session-based. Courses can be completed as and when you have the time, or if you prefer structured learning, you can choose a time-sensitive course.
  • How much?
Free!


2. W3schools

http://www.w3schools.com/ W3schools is 'the world's largest web developer site' and offers free interactive tutorials online. There are no time constraints, you just learn and complete lessons as and when you want. To 'graduate', you just need to study up and apply for a final exam (around $95/£60). If you pass: voila! You have a snazzy certificate to prove your worth as an E-Learner, not to mention the invaluable skills gained along the way.
  • What do they teach?
Any web development-based subject you can think of: from HTML to jQuery and SQL.
  • How long?
Each chapter offers in-depth tutorials, however no rough times are stated. But there are no time-constraints to your learning, but the more you study, the higher your grade in the final exam.
  • How much?
All the lessons are free, but you need to pay around £60 for your final exam, which will get you a W3schools Certificate.

3. Code Academy

http://www.codecademy.com/ Their mission statement argues that the educational system is too outdated for our internet-dependent lives. Therefore, Code Academy have aimed to make learning a lot more interactive and engaging, taking inspiration from social media titans, rather than classrooms themselves.
  • What do they teach?
Their current roster includes 4 courses, from basic coding to app-building. These are: Make a Website, Make an Interactive Website, Learn Ruby on Rails and Learn AngularJS.
  • How long?
The four courses suggest a 3-5 hours expected completion time, however they can be completed on your own schedule.
  • How much?
Free!


4. Open University

http://www.open.ac.uk/ The Open University has been around since the late 60s and is now one of the largest universities for UK undergraduate students. The University offer face-to-face or remote methods of learning, adapted to you and your needs.
  • What do they teach?
Most of the degree disciplines that you would find in any university prospectus. They also offer different degree types: honours degrees, foundations degrees and integrated masters degrees, as well as diplomas and certificates.
  • How long?
70% of Open University students are in full-time employment, however with 16-18 hours of study a week, your part-time degree can take just 6 years. However, you can study full-time (and have a part-time job) and be done in 3 years.
  • How much?
As opposed to other universities, you pay per module that you take. These range between £1350 (30 credits) and £2700 (60 credits). They state that most students study one 60 credit module per year, for six years and that: 'the cost of full time OU study (120 credits) works out at £5400 per year'.

5. Udacity - Nanodegrees

https://www.udacity.com/nanodegree Due to their connections with large companies in search of the tech-savvy, Udacity boast their career-tailored nanodegree programmes to the world.
  • What do they teach?
Currently the programs include: Data Analyst, iOS Developer, Introduction to Programming, Full-Stack Developer and Front-End Web Developer.
  • How long?
Each course is 'designed for busy people' and takes roughly 6-12 months.
  • How much?
Each nanodagree cost $200 per month, but they also offer free courses.
lizzi hart grb author

Lizzi Hart is the Social Media & Content Manager at the Graduate Recruitment Bureau (GRB). Outside of work, she enjoys reading, music, binge-watching TV and dreaming about the dog she'll one day own.

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