Like many people, I attended college having to pay mostly out of pocket. Unfortunately, because of this, Sallie Mae was one of my most leading options. However, since graduating from college, Sallie Mae has been around, popping in and out of my life like a stalker ex that won’t leave me alone.
When I get ready to shop online, she shows up.
When I’m getting ready to pay for a trip, she shows up.
When I check my bank account, she’s there.
My relationship with Sallie Mae wasn’t mutual in the beginning. She wanted me, but I didn’t know if I wanted her. It was too much of a commitment for my liking and she was too damn expensive as well.
If you are looking to further your education and skills, but are needing a budget-friendly option, here are 5 ways you can make yourself more marketable and expand your knowledge.
1. Attend a lecture
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be enrolled at a university to sit in during a lecture. Although it is not advertised, many universities and colleges offer learners to sit in on *some* lectures for free.
Good news = You are getting access to free education
Bad news = You won’t get college credit for it
Depending on your goal or purpose for taking the class, the “bad” news may outweigh the good. If you are wanting to attend a lecture to just learn a new skill or topic and the credit doesn’t matter, then this learning option may be good for you.
2. Take free/discount Ivy League classes online
Many Ivy League schools like Harvard, Berkeley, Duke, Yale, MIT, and Stanford offer opportunities to take classes to receive online certificates in certain areas of interest. For these same universities, sometimes the courses are either discounted or even free. You can qualify for free courses based off of need and the course availability. To enroll in some of these courses and start learning, search for the school’s name online and use a search term like “free/discount courses” along with it.
3. Don’t discredit YouTube
There are so many courses that you can learn just from YouTube. If you don’t want to attend a lecture in person, you can find lectures from your favorite universities through video. Also on YouTube, you can watch videos from influencers and experts in your industry, as well as view several how-to videos and learn how to do impressive things like how to build your own website, how to set up an eCommerce store, or learn how to code. Depending on the industry that you want to work in or climb up the corporate ladder in, you may not need a degree or certificate – just knowing the skill and being able to demonstrate the skill may be enough.
4. Use your iPhone
A little over one year ago I discovered iTunes U. This app for iOS users allows you access to courses from schools and gives you access to a digital catalog of free educational content – directly on your Apple device. I love this app because it is very user friendly and since I have an iPhone, I can literally learn wherever I am.
5. Sign up for online courses
There are several companies that offer online courses for free or for discounted prices. The courses range from career development, finance, marketing, tech, and even entrepreneurship just to name a few.
At Mogul Millennial, we are preparing to launch our own e-learning platform that will have courses taught by industry experts, entrepreneurs, and corporate leaders. Click here to get exclusive access.
What are some creative ways that you expand your knowledge without emptying your bank account? Drop a comment below and share!