One of the best ways to build the courage to change careers is to always be pushing yourself to learn. Education should never be a fad that passes upon graduation. It’s a life long endeavour.
An excuse that we often hear for spending a lifetime in an unloved job is that the sufferer simply doesn’t have the skills to do anything else. “This is my calling,” sighs the lost soul, doing anything to convince himself. “I’m too old to change jobs.”
That’s bullshit. Even the oldest dog can be taught new tricks. It simply requires the motivation and a desire to learn.
The Internet has flattened the notion that any of us are stuck with the skills we left college with. And it’s thanks to services like MIT OpenCourseWare that literally anybody can train for a new career, starting today.
MIT OpenCourseWare: Over 2100 Free Courses
Run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) since 2002, OpenCourseWare makes available over 2100 graduate and under-graduate courses that can be followed online for free. There are no application fees, no tuition fees, and no delays.
What types of courses can you study on MIT OpenCourseWare?
Well, let’s see:
- Aeronautics and Astronautics
- Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation
- Biological Engineering
- Brain and Cognitive Sciences
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil and Environmental Engineering
- Comparative Media Studies
- Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences
- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
- Engineering Systems Division
- Experimental Study Group
- Foreign Languages and Literatures
- Health Sciences and Technology
- Linguistics and Philosophy
- Materials Science and Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Media Arts and Sciences
- Music and Theater Arts
- Nuclear Science and Engineering
- Political Science
- Science, Technology, and Society
- Sloan School of Management
- Special Programs
- Supplemental Resources
- Urban Studies and Planning
- Women’s and Gender Studies
- Writing and Humanistic Studies
Whatever career you wish to pursue, you can trust that somewhere in the sprawling archives of OpenCourseWare, there is a course designed to help you.
It might not present a degree on a plate. But the days where a degree controlled your prospects are long gone for all but the select few chasing careers in areas like rocket science or vital organ surgery.
You can blast your way in to most professions via the back door. The challenge isn’t finding the skills, it’s wanting the change enough to actually demand it from yourself.
We here at Change of Jobs are huge supporters of MIT OpenCourseWare.
Any movement to make quality education available for free is one that we support.
However, it has to be said that the standard of each module on OpenCourseWare does vary. Some courses are now close to a decade old, and some rely heavily on textbooks that you will need to buy for yourself.
On the flipside, the good courses are awesome.
I recently studied a popular course on Microeconomics that came complete with full online textbooks, video lectures, exam notes and assignments.
It was kind of like squatting on the campus and leeching the knowledge I desired, but without paying the extortionate fees. And without getting plastered on cheap booze as soon as ‘class’ was over.
While I’m not looking to change careers anytime soon (I learn to improve the workings of my own business), I can see why so many swear by OpenCourseWare as a launch pad in to jobs they might someday give a damn about.
So, congratulations go to MIT as it celebrates 10 years of OpenCourseWare.
We’re especially looking forward to seeing how their new partnership with Harvard develops. The two flagship universities are teaming up to deliver edX, an exciting distance learning programme that will show us where online learning is heading in the future.
There’s truly no excuse to stop learning.
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