Growing up, I was always someone who loved getting an education. I wasn’t a huge fan of the hours I had to put in so early in the morning or the social climates of middle and high school, but I love to learn. I thrived in college because of setting your own schedule and topics for learning. It meant I could focus on the things I wanted when I wanted to. As a recent graduate, I don’t want that to go away just because I’m entering the workforce.
I have every intent to continue my education, just with some different resources than a university. So, I’ve compiled this big list of all the places you can go to keep learning, and I figured I’d post it here for you all to see! I’ll let you know as well what’s free and how much it costs if it requires payment, but everything I add here has some sort of free option that I feel is worth checking out. Here goes!
1) Khan Academy: has lessons on all sorts of topics; math, science, English, etc. Completely free.
2) Coursera: another website with lots of different kinds of lessons on things you’d normally find in a university classroom. Full access costs $49/mo, but there’s a page of completely free courses here.
3) Skillshare: lots of courses for furthering education, but I’ve found the topics in here have a wider range of things you’d find outside of a class e.g. how to run a home business, an online class on watercolor techniques, etc. Full access costs $10-15/mo depending on the plan you select, but there’s a page of free courses here
4) Udemy: many kinds of courses like the previous sites on this list. However, instead of a monthly payment plan, you pay for each course. There are loads of $10 ones, but I’ve seen some as expensive as $200. If you want free courses from here though, here is a page of them.
5) Get a library card and storm the place for all kinds of learning-related books!
6) Youtube has SO many resources it’s nuts, and it’s all free! Just type in “how to xyz” or “learning xyz” and you’ll find a lot of great stuff.
7) Like Youtube, Pinterest is also great for visual tutorials (everyone knows it’s DIY heaven). I specifically like to use it for discovering new painting techniques!
8) Code Academy: a completely free site for learning how to code. Great for bloggers, web and software developers of all kinds!
9) Udacity: a courseware catalog for tech-related education. Lots of free resources on here, just tick the “free courses” box when you go to the catalog page. Aside from its free stuff you pay-per-course; some can run you a few hundred dollars.
10) Reddit: there are so many subreddits devoted to self-improvement as a person or with certain skills. Think about all your interests and just search for the forums that resonate with you!
11) Duolingo: learn a language completely free.
12) Memrise: another language-learning app; free, with an option to go pro.
13) Open Yale Courses: some introductory classes are filmed and posted here for the public to look at.
14) Instructables: open website to post all kinds of DIYs to. Totally free!
15) Snapguide: same concept as Instructables, but it also has a handy dandy (and very aesthetically pleasing) app for use.
16) DIY: if I had children, this is how I’d entertain them. DIY is a community for kids to learn new skills and earn “badges” for the things they do (think Girl/Boy Scouts). There are patches for all kinds of skills, from beekeeping to forestry to design. Such a cool concept, wish there was an adult version of this site! Site is completely free, with a super rad merch store where you can buy real patches of the online ones your kiddos earn.
17) Wikihow: as silly as the illustrations are notorious for being, this place is a gold mine for how to learn pretty much any practical skill under the sun. Totally free!
18) DocumentaryAddict: a database full of free docs to watch of all topics.
19) Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime: speaking of documentaries, if you subscribe to any of these services they have documentaries galore as well.
20) Project Gutenberg: database of over 50,000 free books to read.
21) MIT Open Courseware: a site where MIT posts quite a bit of its course materials free online.
22) Harvard Open Courseware: same as MIT… but Harvard.
23) Open Education Consortium: A large network of institutions banding together to provide a database of knowledge on a global scale. Totally free!
24) Academic Earth: another courseware database with seminars on business, social work, healthcare, finance and more.
25) Class Central: sort of like a knowledge base of knowledge bases. Enter your interests, and it’ll refer you to free courses from all sorts of sites.
26) iTunes U: a neat little Apple-spawned app that contains an array of (always) free courses from various universities and institutions.
27) Futurelearn: another courseware site with lots of different topics. Most courses are free, but you have the option to pay for an upgrade to have access to the course forever (otherwise access expires two weeks after the class is done), obtain a certificate of achievement, and for some gain access to tests.
28) How Stuff Works: a free site full of articles on exactly what the title says.
29) TED: most of you know TED by now I’m assuming; there are lots of great, educational, eye-opening talks on here (all for free!).
30) 99u: talks and seminars directed at creative entrepreneurs.
31) Wikiversity: A Wikipedia-born project to provide free learning sources for all ages.
32) Loyal Books: free audiobooks from all genres.
33) Google Scholar: a search engine specifically for academic articles.
34) Google Arts & Culture: a compilation of articles on different cultures from all around the world.
35) Ignite: a website where people post videos meant to educate you in 5 minutes. Great if you want to give yourself a little daily dose of wisdom in a busy schedule.
UPDATE: 12/21/17 – this is probably one of my favorite posts I’ve ever done; because of that, I want to keep its content fresh! Here are a few more rad resources you can turn to:
36) Stack Exchange: this site to me is like a more “intelligent” Yahoo answers. People ask questions on different Stack Exchange sites, which can range from technology to english to how to catch the best Pokemon. Then the community answers. The more questions you answer well, the better your “reputation” gets on the site.
37) Inspiration Hut: an awesome place for artists and designers to get inspired, with tons of resources you can download- both free and paid- for your future projects.
38) Cheatography: a database of cheat sheets for an endless array of topics. Great for when you want to have something quick to refer to for school, work, etc!