Help Getting Started With Online Learning, How-tos And Guides.

We live in a time of infinite knowledge. We learn more now than ever before.

Whether you are looking to launch a side project, stretch your financial limit, or just create a valuable skill, there are many benefits that can come from trying the opportunities of online learning. Here are a few steps to help get you started.

How can I get started?

If you are not familiar with online courses, they are great platforms for teaching an array of skills. A good introduction to the field is the 70,000 published online courses on Coursera. Another good place to learn is on edX, an open access course and education site, founded by Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

If you do not have access to Coursera or other platforms where you can take classes, there are other options such as Khan Academy. Its free services are highly recommended. The site is non-partisan and covered a wide range of topics from physics to fashion photography. Even more accessible options include www.makingfree.net, which gives you access to free courses that were created for employers and institutions to give to their employees.

Also, whether you work at a company like Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, or Verizon, learning online is a great way to learn new skills. With my 9-5 and 4-day-a-week work schedule, I needed something to help me fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a garage door company. Learning on a regular basis, and having tools to successfully use, is what allowed me to grow the business and run it with the flexibility I needed.

When and How can I use online courses?

While the systems that provide classes are excellent, it can be a bit intimidating to start out. I recommend the following to find out if an online course is the right fit.

Give it a try

If you are intimidated, giving it a try is a great way to figure out if an online course is right for you. Go to the Coursera website, search for one of the courses you would like to take. I recommend you narrow it down and test it out. If you are not completely confident, give it a try and it will do most of the testing for you.

Use a tutorial that you like

Some online courses are really basic and right for beginners. To test out these classes, try a course that you like. You can find amazing seminars, and meet new people by following the courses you like. If you are a tech lover, give a look at Jules Krieger’s Digital Downloads at the GeekEducation page.

Find what suits you

The options that are available through online courses are huge. As a beginner, your focus should be on learning on your own time, and not getting heavily challenged. If you have access to work remotely, take advantage of it. How often you need to be in an office is flexible, and has less pressure for you.

Once you are comfortable, there is a plethora of classes on some of the bigger platforms to get you started.

Paid or free?

Many people choose to take online courses for a pay-out. I believe that is a poor decision for people to make. Many people who just get into it with a money incentive may fall back on it after realizing that the course was completely ineffective. If you do take courses for a pay-out, be sure to get it reviewed by a few people before signing off. There is no telling what these course offerings could be used for. You might make the wrong decisions based on your desire to receive payment for the study.

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