5 Free Ways to Further Your Education

Guest post by Shirish Nadkarni, CEO of LiveMocha

Between the economic downturn and the ever-rising cost of tuition, most people have less extra cash to spend these days on education and personal development. But whether you are interested in increasing your expertise in a particular subject for your career or just have a life-long desire for knowledge, there are many options for furthering your education without breaking the bank. Here are five free things you can do right away.

  1. Make use of your local museums. Most museums offer at least one day a month where admission is free. Check the website of your local museum to find out which day(s) they offer no or even low-cost admission. A museum is a great place to learn about history, art, fashion, technology, and more. Many museums also offer free lecture tours, lecture series, or supplementary educational materials.
  2. Learn a new language on the Internet. Livemocha, an online language learning community with over 1 million members worldwide, provides instructional content and the opportunity to practice language with native speakers through chat and video. The site includes lessons in 12 popular foreign languages, including Spanish, French, German, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Arabic, Icelandic, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese and Korean. Best of all, it’s free to join!
  3. Get a library card. Most libraries offer free or low-cost, one time membership. After you get a membership, you can check out as many books as you want for free. If you’re interested in a particular subject areas, most libraries have computer catalogs that allow you to search titles for specific to your interest area. The library can also be a great place to get involved with a book club or study group on a particular topic of interest.
  4. Enroll in free community college courses. A number of community colleges offer non-credit courses at no cost. Chances are there may be courses available in your subject area. Check with your local community college to see what they offer.
  5. Find free online resources for computer training. Various vendors offer free online tutorials for their software. Whether you’re interested in photo restoration or programming, you can probably find a free course online. You can follow the link to check out current offerings from HP.

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Susan Gunelius

Susan Gunelius is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Women on Business. She is a 20-year veteran of the marketing field and has authored ten books about marketing, branding, and social media, including the highly popular 30-Minute Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing for Dummies, Blogging All-in-One for Dummies and Kick-ass Copywriting in 10 Easy Steps. Susan’s marketing-related content can be found on Entrepreneur.com, Forbes.com, MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, and more. Susan is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She has worked in corporate marketing roles and through client relationships with AT&T, HSBC, Citibank, Intuit, The New York Times, Cox Communications, and many more large and small companies around the world. Susan also speaks about marketing, branding and social media at events around the world and is frequently interviewed by television, online, radio, and print media organizations about these topics. She holds an MBA in Management and Strategy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing.

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