We live in a very competitive age. From resources to jobs — and jobs to money — everyone is competing for it in one way or another. Once we grasp a career, most of the money we earn is dependent on what kind of education we gathered throughout our academic career (that piece of paper, i.e: degree, diploma, certificate etc).
Not everyone gets to afford or attain all levels of education or knowledge – so the question arises – is there a possibility for such individuals, or the society in general, to obtain similar information at ease — and for free?
Thanks to technology and multiple levels of investment from academic institutions — the answer is yes, and… no.
The good news is: you can now learn all content taught in a (for example) Liberal Arts Degree online; for free – but, by learning the content yourself. Detailed lessons, powerpoint presentations, assignments, syllabus, book references, and tests are posted on participating university’s website – you can download them as one pre-packaged course and learn it yourself. Some universities are better than others with video demonstrations – but this approach is more of a ‘free viewership of an archived class’ – available to everyone.
The bad news is: you can’t really “earn” an official degree/diploma/certificate by learning these courses yourself. You can learn the content and probably can do a better job than the prof who designed the course, but you can’t really get that ‘paper’ without paying the university. The main point of this approach is to have content available – so that at least information is accessible by all; meanwhile, regulation and recognition of the content will be the university’s responsibility. Universities will provide official paperwork to those who successfully go through their exclusive system — that’s how they get paid.
If your company doesn’t care about a piece of paper and appreciates application of knowledge through exposure of information – you might as well get down to studying these courses. The courses span from engineering to biology and other desired fields.
Curiosity leads to another question — should one even bother attaining free education content provided with assignment and tests – prepared by professionals?
— I say, what’s stopping you? Information is knowledge – knowledge is power, and power is change — and change is always good. Go for it, I know I am.