Every day, people learn something new. Learning, whether in school or at home, is ultimately a personal decision. Of course, what we learn in school is critical because it serves as the foundation for our future. But learning should not stop when we finish our formal education; it should be a lifelong pursuit.
Individuals who engage in self-directed learning take the initiative and responsibility for their own learning. You are free to set goals and determine what is worthwhile to learn.
Self-learning is not limited by location or time, and all that is required to participate is access to a computer and a reliable internet connection. Online courses are available in every subject imaginable, from personal development and professional development to new hobbies and language skills.
Below we will explore the benefits of self-learning as well as some online learning platforms to consider.
Opportunities for career
Whatever your goal is (advancing in your career or simply learning so you can get your dream job soon), online self-education can help you meet those goals. Instead of spending months or years at a traditional university, you can select only the courses required for your career path. Some courses even include certifications that you can add to your resume.
Flexible learning schedule
It makes no difference if you already have a full-time job or you are busy during the weekdays; you will be able to access any self-learning platform.
Online self-learning is ideal because you can learn when and where you want. You also have complete control over your learning environment, whether it’s a nearby coffee shop or your home office. Most platforms allow you to view materials as many times as you need, allowing you to learn at your own pace and study when it is convenient for you.
Low-cost (or even free) learning
That’s correct! Even if you have to pay for in-depth courses on a specific subject, there is always great content for self-learning on YouTube, for example, which is totally free. Aside from free courses, there is a significant advantage to taking paid online courses because you will definitely save money compared to attending in-person classes.
You also save money on commuting because you don’t have to leave your living room couch. The world is literally at your fingertips if you have a computer (or smartphone) and an internet connection.
One of the most rewarding aspects of self-education is the personal growth you will experience as a result of what you learn.
Maybe you’re not interested in advancing your career at all. Perhaps you simply want to delve into a subject that interests you, learn a new skill, or begin a new hobby. These are all excellent objectives!
People who are self-educated are content, productive, and motivated. Their confidence grows as they learn more, which motivates them to learn even more. And who knows, your self-education may open up exciting new possibilities you hadn’t considered before.
You will gain confidence by self-learning. As an independent learner, you are capable of attempting and mastering new things on your own, which can be a significant benefit in your life.
Freedom to use various models of learning or any platform
There are numerous learning modes to choose from. It could be tutorials on YouTube, books, podcasts, webinars, discussions, polls, activity walls, or anything else you want. The majority of these are available in online learning software, including self-learning via quizzes, PDFs, assignments, and so on.
All you have to do is pick the one that best suits and is the most you the most interesting and go with it.
Some of the platforms we recommend for self-learning are:
- Udemy – that collaborates with professors and universities all over the world to provide over 150,000 courses The platform initially focused on technology and computer science, but it now offers courses in every subject imaginable. You’ll never run out of exciting things to learn at Udemy, from science to journaling to video editing, everything is there. Another feature that its 50 million students enjoy is the ability to create custom courses from the lessons they receive. Although not free, its courses are a good price for the level of education you receive.
- Coursera has partnered with over 200 universities and companies to offer continuing education to students and professionals. Courses focus mostly on business and computer science and are always updated to include the latest developments. There are courses in AI, IT, Python, graphic design, cloud engineering, and more.
- Open Culture is for those who want to take courses from respected professors at universities in Australia, UK, US and more. Open Culture provides thousands of courses, lectures, and podcasts from world-renowned professors. It also gives you access to the same study materials that are only available on these universities’ internal websites. This is the platform to try first if you’re looking for advanced self-education resources to master a specific subject.
- LinkedIn learning platform offers over 16,000 courses taught by real-world experts and a library that is constantly up to date. Their community of learners engage in courses across business, creative, technology and more, helping everyone to get closer to achieving their professional goals. You can learn the relevant skills you need to build the experiences that will help you reach your definition of success.
Sources: LinkedIn.com, Udemy.com, Coursera.org, OpenCulture.com, Uopeople.edu, ManagementStudyGuide.com, CreatrixCampus.com, Svein Loeng’s article „Self-Directed Learning: A Core Concept in Adult Education”.