The recession has left millions of hard working people worldwide without a job. And the rising costs of higher education have made returning to school a financial impossibility for many. Yes jobs are slowly coming back, but more and more of them require you learn new skills. Now you can get those much-needed skills from Ivy League Universities at no cost to you.
As you know I’m a huge fan of open-source programs. There is a new comer to the open-source community, Open University Education (OUE). I’m not talking about a five-minute overview, where the goal is to up-sell you into enrolling a fee based course. These are full college courses, taught by Ivy League college professors. Many of the courses are not only free but include course materials such as books at no costs.
Amongst the growing lists of top ranked universities currently participating in the OUE community are M.I.T., Stanford University, UC Berkley, UC Irvine, Oxford University, Harvard, Yale, and Notre Dome to name a few. That’s right and the cost to you is zero.
There are several ways you can get these courses, on is from iTunes. Apple has a new section in the iTunes store called iTunes U. You can download courses to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Or you can sign up for full courses online. At the end of this article I will give you a list of links where you can signup directly at the university of your choice. In researching this article I came across a new crop of OUE institutions. The Universities themselves do not run these, but the professors who left their tenured positions to offer the same courses, at no cost to you.
One such institution is Udacity. Udacity (http://www.udacity.com) offer courses in Computer Science. Their first course is on how to create a search engine. It is a course designed to teach people with no programming experience how to create a search engine from the ground up, using Python. Python is a programming language. They also offer courses in cryptography, programming a robotic car and programming. What is surprising is who is teaching these courses. Professor David Evans, University of Virginia, and Professor Sebastian Thrun, Sanford University teaches the building a search engine course. Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google Inc., teaches the Design of Computer Programming. Prior to working at Google Mr. Norvig headed the Computation Science Division at NASA Ames Research Center.
The best part of Udacity is the way the courses are presented. Each lecture is recorded and released one section per week. Each week’s lesson is fully interactive. You are given quizzes and turn in tests that are graded. These are full college level courses.
If you are interested in mathematics, Harvard is offering Abstract Algebra. Yale offers courses in Economics, Physics, and Biomedical Engineering to name a few. Stanford University is available from iTunes U and currently offer13 courses. If you want you want to further your knowledge in the area of business then UC Irvine maybe what you are looking for. UC Irvine offers nine (9) courses in Business Management. UC Irvine also offers courses in Law, Education, Physical Science and more. You can also study for your secondary teaching credentials in math and science. You can even watch videos lectures from UC Irvine Law School.
If you are interested in obtaining an undergraduate degree, the University of the People maybe for you. The University of the People is open to anyone worldwide, as are the other institutions I mentioned. The courses are free, but they charge an application fee. The fee is based on the country you live in, and ranges from $10.00 to $50.00. They offer Associate of Science (A.S.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees in Computer Science, A.S. and B.S. degrees in Business Administration. They also offer Masters of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree to their undergrad graduates. They are not accredited at this time. Course materials are free.
If you home school your children or want to give them a little extra help, then Khan Academy maybe for you. They offer over 3,000 video lecture courses. It covers K – 12 math, science, finance and history courses. If you can have trouble with the “Old Math” let Khan Academy help explain the “New Math” to your child. Its resources are completely free.
Now you can get top quality education for free. Even if you don’t get your degree you can still improve your Resume/CV. Face it, many of our old jobs will never come back. But you can be ready for what new jobs do emerge and at little to no cost to you. Knowledge is power and the top universities are giving it away for free.
Links to OUE sites:
Harvard University – http://www.extension.harvard.edu/open-learning-initiative
Yale – http://oyc.yale.edu/
Stanford University – http://itunes.stanford.edu/
UC Irvine – http://ocw.uci.edu/SpecialIndex.aspx
UdaCity – http://www.udacity.com
University of the People – http://www.uopeople.org/
Khan Academy – http://www.khanacademy.org/