How to get a world-class education for free on the internet

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As crucial as a university degree has become for working in the modern economy, it is not the only route forward into a wildly lucrative and satisfying career—just ask famous dropouts Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg.

In the future, a single bachelor’s degree in a particular subject will no longer suffice for many of us anyway. As robots and automation sweep the global workforce, hundreds of millions of people—the majority of whom do not have the time or money to go pick up a brand-new four-year degree—will have to “re-skill” in order to land new jobs. The question that employees and employers alike face is how to get that done quickly, efficiently, and, most importantly to many, cheaply.

The internet, luckily, is already a booming resource. Whether you find yourself seeking new employment mid-career, curious about alternatives to a college education, or simply are interested in learning for learning’s sake, Quartz At Work has compiled some of the most dependable, high-quality materials you can access to learn anything on the internet.

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The 10 toughest majors for finding jobs after college for 2018

 

First_Resume_Graduation_060418-800x450Social sciences and interdisciplinary studies on our majors list is no surprise, as these degrees are notorious for being difficult in the job market.

So you are trying to decide which degree to pursue in college, but you are unsure which degrees actually land jobs. Don’t worry, many students are asking the same question.

When you finally get to choose your own education, it can be daunting by the hundreds of choices available at most colleges and universities. Should you pursue architecture, engineering, secondary education, art and dance, political science, pre-med, or business? What about the lesser-known degrees like forestry preservation and art restoration?

No matter what your interests are, you are probably wondering if your passions can also lead to a job that won’t make you struggling to pay bills for the rest of your life.

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No cash needed at this cafe. Students pay the tab with their personal data

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At Shiru Cafe in Providence, R.I., students “pay” for coffee, but not with money.

Shiru Cafe looks like a regular coffee shop. Inside, machines whir, baristas dispense caffeine and customers hammer away on laptops. But all of the customers are students, and there’s a reason for that. At Shiru Cafe, no college ID means no caffeine.

“We definitely have some people that walk in off the street that are a little confused and a little taken aback when we can’t sell them any coffee,” said Sarah Ferris, assistant manager at the Shiru Cafe branch in Providence, R.I., located near Brown University.

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Survey: These college majors were just named most and least valuable

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New Bankrate research shows that Actuarial Science is “the most valuable” major you can study in college out of 162 total, with a whopping average income of $108,658 to go along with an unemployment rate of only 2.3%.

Wondering how the site arrived at these results? The methodology was multi-layered, but the company evaluated the latest information featured in the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, among other points. The majors had “labor forces of at least 15,000 people,” and the number of grads with “a higher degree” was also considered.

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Harvard Business School professor: Half of American colleges will be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years

This fall, 19.9 million college students will be traveling to college campuses across the United States to start a new school year. There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, but Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen says that half are bound for bankruptcy in the next few decades.

Christensen is known for coining the theory of disruptive innovation in his 1997 book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma.” Since then, he has applied his theory of disruption to a wide range of industries, including education.

In his recent book, “The Innovative University,” Christensen and co-author Henry Eyring analyze the future of traditional universities, and conclude that online education will become a more cost-effective way for students to receive an education, effectively undermining the business models of traditional institutions and running them out of business.

Also, check out Futurist Thomas Frey’s prediction about emerging new edtech.

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Want a future-proof degree? Head to Colorado for asteroid mining

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Are you a high schooler wondering what career to pursue that won’t be gobbled up by robots in the next few years? Are you an engineering grad, economist, physicist, or policy analyst looking to become an expert in a new, but fast-developing discipline? If so, the Colorado School of Mines has the perfect answer for you: You should totally take up space mining.

No, we’re not kidding. While the idea of extracting water, minerals or even metals from an asteroid sounds like the stuff of far-future science-fiction, it’s likely to actually happen in the coming decades — and Colorado School of Mines’ newly launched “Space Resources” course will help you get in on the ground floor.

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News flash:It’s about the skill set, not the suit or the degree

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High School failed me. As a high school dropout, I knew I was taking a risk by rejecting the ‘normal route’ and knew I always wanted to be in the business world. During one assignment in my computer class, I did not show up in a suit and tie for the presentation. The teacher docked me for not ‘dressing proper’, which I found puzzling. After all, this class was about desktop publishing – why should this be an issue? It should be about the substance of my work and not some preconceived, superficial notion about how I looked. For me, it has always been about the substance and not the suit.

The good news is that federal aid for colleges has reached its high-water mark. The bad news is that millions of young adults feel they have no choice but to enroll in a four-year University, something that brings with it an inordinate amount of debt for many students.

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A Chinese university suspended a student’s enrollment because of his dad’s bad social credit score

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A Chinese student had his enrollment at a university suspended because of his father’s bad social credit score. The father, surnamed Rao, had failed to repay a $29,900 loan and was added to a debtor blacklist that prevented a university from accepting his son. State media reported that the incident also caused Rao’s social credit score to drop.

China is expected to roll out a national social credit system in 2020, but it remains to be seen if citizens will actually be given a “trustworthiness” score or if they’ll just be subjected to more blacklists.

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Here’s how higher education dies

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A futurist says the industry may have nowhere to go but down. What does the slide look like?

Maybe higher education has reached its peak. Not the Harvards and Yales of the world, but the institutions that make up the rest of the industry—the regional public schools who saw decades of growth and are now facing major budget cuts and the smaller, less-selective private colleges that have exorbitant sticker prices while the number of students enrolling in them declines.

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This generation has a huge and growing student debt burden. It’s not who you think

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A recent analysis of American debt revealed a startling shift: Borrowers between the ages of 45 and 74 now owe more money in education-related debt, on average, than do younger college graduates.

People under age 35 with student debt owe $32,900 on average, according to data from the Fed’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances. That debt number is higher for every other 10-year age bracket up to age 75: It peaks at $37,000 for 45- to 54-year-olds, but even 65- to 74-year-old borrowers owe an average $35,400.

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Education: getting a degree might not be everything

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A lot of kids at age 17 or 18 are often not clear, about what career would fit them best. Add to that is a changing world, that would make things even more confusing. The job opportunities that exist now were absent ten years ago and so it is quite likely that what you train for now might not be enough sooner or later.

At one point degrees were the sole motivating factor for higher education. There was prestige in the number of degrees you ‘gathered’ or what degree, for that matter, you attained. Although degrees continue to be relevant, somehow they no longer are a defining factor for some jobs at the entry level.

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Record Numbers of College Students Are Seeking Treatment for Depression and Anxiety — But Schools Can’t Keep Up

 

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Not long after Nelly Spigner arrived at the University of Richmond in 2014 as a Division I soccer player and aspiring surgeon, college began to feel like a pressure cooker. Overwhelmed by her busy soccer schedule and heavy course load, she found herself fixating on how each grade would bring her closer to medical school. “I was running myself so thin trying to be the best college student,” she says. “It almost seems like they’re setting you up to fail because of the sheer amount of work and amount of classes you have to take at the same time, and how you’re also expected to do so much.”

 

At first, Spigner hesitated to seek help at the university’s counseling center, which was conspicuously located in the psychology building, separate from the health center. “No one wanted to be seen going up to that office,” she says. But she began to experience intense mood swings. At times, she found herself crying uncontrollably, unable to leave her room, only to feel normal again in 30 minutes. She started skipping classes and meals, avoiding friends and professors, and holing up in her dorm. In the spring of her freshman year, she saw a psychiatrist on campus, who diagnosed her with bipolar disorder, and her symptoms worsened. The soccer team wouldn’t allow her to play after she missed too many practices, so she left the team. In October of her sophomore year, she withdrew from school on medical leave, feeling defeated. “When you’re going through that and you’re looking around on campus, it doesn’t seem like anyone else is going through what you’re going through,” she says. “It was probably the loneliest experience.”

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