Stop Paying for College and Learn

Everyone is so obsessed with how much college costs they are becoming blind to all the free resources available on the internet. If you still doubt me, check out the resources at Degreed and My Education Path. After graduating high school, students can now go online, learn almost any subject they can think of, and make an honest living.

LearningList-Portfolio Graphic

Continuous cycle between your learning list and portfolio.

What is so beautiful is how simple it is.

  1. Figure out what skills you want to learn and who you want to help
  2. Make a list of the the different courses you want to enjoy
  3. Prioritize your “learning list”
  4. Have a blast learning what you love and are curious about
  5. Update your portfolio and share your success with friends, family, and your dream company
  6. Repeat until you are tired, take a nap, and repeat again

Learning should be a simple lifelong journey that never ends. If you focus on how much it costs though and the debt you will have to pay back, it quickly becomes a burden that lasts the rest of your life.

Instead just focus on making it simple.

I am trying to become a “full-stack project manager” where I can not only lead the project and coordinate with stakeholders but also develop and deliver my client’s solution using multiple programming languages.

I identified what skills I wanted to learn:

  • JavaScript
  • Python
  • Ruby

…created and prioritized my “learning list”

  2. Ruby
  3. Python
  4. JavaScript

and began taking courses at Codecademy. Here is a snapshot of what I have learned so far.

I have now moved onto Codeschool where I am learning more about HTML 5, CSS3, Ruby, and Ruby on Rails. Here is my report card.

I am tracking all of this on Degreed with compiles all of the different ideas and theories I am learning from multiple sources. If you have not created a Degreed profile, I highly recommend you do so. I predict it will replace the modern day registrar office in 5 years. 

The one point I want to make is that your portfolio is made up of both what you have learned and what you have made. Look at your portfolio like an artist. She cannot just learn about color theory and how to paint. She must use her new skills and knowledge to create works of art that show the world how intelligent and amazing she is. That is what you must do to make this simple process work. When you share your success with the world, show them what you know by making something. It could be a blog post or a new web application, or a new circuit board that helps you automate your daily household tasks. Whatever it is, use your new skills to make cool things that will help as many people as possible.

Lastly and most importantly, when you are figuring out what skills you want to learn, set it in the context of who you can help. Share your knowledge and curiosity with other folks who are struggling to pay for college. Show them how you can use a simple process, beginning with a simple list that could be written on a napkin, to earn a free education that will last a lifetime.

Let’s keep learning simple and free.


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