Economist Ludwig von Mises famously said, “Innovators and geniuses cannot be reared in schools. They are precisely the men who defy what school has taught them.”
What we learn in school is important, of course, as it lays the foundation for our future. But learning shouldn’t end after we graduate from formal studies—it should be a lifelong endeavour.
In our modern world, self-education options abound. There are online courses in every subject imaginable, from personal growth and professional development to new hobbies or language skills.
With restrictions and lockdowns coming and going across Australia, we’re all spending more time at home. Is 2020 the perfect time for you to finally sign up for that self-education course?
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of self-education in Australia, as well as the best online learning platforms to consider. Keep reading to begin your educational journey!
What Will You Gain From Self-Education?
Maybe you’re a parent watching your kids master online schooling. Maybe you’re hoping to expand your skill set and work your way up from an entry-level position. Or maybe you’ve always had a fascination with astronomy or art history and you’re finally ready to explore your passion.
Whatever your motivation for self-education, it’s a decision you’ll never regret. Here are some of the many benefits you’ll enjoy from your self-guided education.
Career Advancement Opportunities
Are you ready to start climbing the corporate ladder? Are you graduating soon and need a few certifications before you enter the working world?
Whatever the case, online self-education can bridge the gap and help you meet those goals. Rather than spending months or years at a traditional university, you can choose only the courses you need for your career path.
Flexible Learning Schedule
Do you already work a full-time job and you only have time to learn in the evenings? Are you a busy mother with a few hours to study while the kids are at school?
Self-learning online is ideal because you can decide when and where you’ll learn. You have full control over your learning environment too, whether it’s a nearby coffee shop or your home office. Most platforms allow you to view materials as often as you need to, meaning you can learn at your own pace and study when it’s convenient for you.
Low-Cost (Or Even Free) Learning
Did you know that many of the best learning platforms are completely free? We’ll touch on that more later, but consider how much you can save learning online versus attending in-person classes.
You also save on commuting costs, as you don’t have to go any farther than your living room couch. As long as you have a computer (or smartphone) and an internet connection, the world is literally at your fingertips.
Bonus: Self-education in Australia is tax-deductible! If what you’re learning relates to your current work or you’ve received a bonded scholarship, you might qualify for a deduction for self-education expenses.
Increased Happiness & Satisfaction
Let’s not overlook one of the best aspects of self-education, which is the personal growth you’ll enjoy from what you learn.
Maybe you’re not interested in career advancement at all. Maybe you just want to dive into a subject you’re passionate about, learn a new skill, or start a new hobby. These are all wonderful goals!
Self-educated people are happy, productive, and driven. Their confidence grows as they acquire more knowledge, which spurns them on to learn even more. And who knows—your self-education could open exciting new possibilities you may never have considered before!
Online Learning Platforms & Educational Websites
Are you ready to experience some of these amazing benefits for yourself?
Your next step is finding the best learning platform for your interests. Here are our recommendations for stellar educational websites in 2020.
Khan Academy offers everything under the sun, thanks to its partnerships with different universities. You can find everything from basic math and world history to physics, calculus, and civics.
Over 18 million users log in every month, making Khan Academy one of the most popular choices for online self-education. Their goal is to provide high-quality education to everyone, meaning it’s 100% free to sign up and learn.
Udemy partners with professors and universities around the world to offer more than 150,000 courses. The platform began with a focus on technology and computer science, but now you’ll find an array of offerings in every subject imaginable.
From equine science to journaling to video editing, you won’t run out of interesting things to learn at Udemy. You can also create custom courses from the lessons you receive, which is another feature that its 50 million students love. Although not free to use, its courses are a bargain for the quality of education you receive.
Coursera has partnered with over 200 universities and companies to offer continuing education to students and professionals. If you need a specific certificate to advance your career, chances are you can find it on Coursera.
The courses focus mostly on business and computer science and are always being updated to include the latest developments. Whether it’s AI, IT, Python, graphic design, or cloud engineering, you can find what you need to expand your skillset. In fact, many businesses use Coursera as a convenient and affordable way to educate their employees.
Would you like to take free classes from respected universities in Australia, the UK, and the US? Open Culture offers thousands of courses, lectures, and podcasts from respected professors around the globe.
Bonus: It gives you access to the same study materials that are available only on the internal websites of these universities. If you’re looking for advanced self-education resources to master a particular subject, this is the platform to try first.
Where Will Your Self-Education Journey Take You?
Whether you’re a young person or you’re young at heart, learning something new is never a waste of time.
If you’ve been thinking of continuing your self-education online, use the advice listed above in your journey. Explore the recommended websites and platforms to find the best learning options for you.
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