Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Free Online Courses - or the 'U of' as I like to call it (

I have debated about ever going back to school for continuing my education, but every time I look into getting my masters I do a cost benefit analysis of the amount of time and cost of grad school and how it relates to a raise in pay then putting that up against how much I could make and advance through using that time to work hard and earn my way up. The reality is in many cases I see it taking 10 years before I see a true monetary return on getting my masters.

I'm not saying grad school is something people shouldn't do. In most cases people go to grad school because in order to do the job they truly want to do they must get their masters or PhD. For instance, if you want to be a doctor, you have to go to grad school. In which case it obviously makes sense. But if you are doing it soley for the raise in pay you really have to sit down and think about it.

At any rate, being in the IT field I always rationalize almost anything IT can be learned on your own. There are thousands of websites that will teach you all the programming languages and computer systems you will need to know. Today I stumbled across a simple yet seemingly effective website that can help anyone that is just interested in learning and not necessarily worried about the paper evidence- or more importantly cost of a class at a college.

The website is This website takes hundreds or websites from real online college courses as well as pre-structured courses from college textbook publishers websites and organizes them into courses and 'colleges'. Below are the spoof 'colleges' they have which each contain a subset of 'majors' of which then have a list of 'courses' which are links to the various course websites.

Here are some of the 'colleges' has to offer:
    College of Arts and Humanities
    College of Business, Marketing, and Economics
    Building & Construction
    Computers & Information Technology
    High Technologies
    GED & College Prep
    College of Medicine and Allied Health
    Industrial Trades and Technologies
    College of Science
    College of Social Sciences
    Hospitality & Human Services

Personally I am going to try to complete some of these courses for my own personal gain. Many of the courses found in the 'College Computers & Information Technology' would be beneficial know or review. In my opinion, at this point in my life having got a bachelor's degree and not going for my MBA there is little difference on a resume between putting 'took a Java and Web Design class at the University of Phoenix' and 'have learned to effectively use Java and am skilled in web design'

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