If you’re looking to switch careers, get a promotion or learn a new skill, consider furthering your education with free online tools and resources. Here are five free ways to help you achieve your career goals:
- Free Online Education—Take advantage of online educational opportunities. Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, offer a wide range of topics and are flexible to meet your schedule. To get an idea of available courses, browse the programs at edX, Coursera and Udacity. All three programs offer students the opportunity to earn a certificate of achievement.
- Tax Breaks for Education—If you’re paying for an educational course, be sure to find out if you’re eligible to receive certain tax credits and deductions. Use this online tool to see if you’re eligible to get back some of the money you’ve invested.
- Tuition Reimbursement—Find out if your employer offers student loan repayment programs or tuition reimbursement. Just because you haven’t heard about the benefit doesn’t mean your employer doesn’t offer it. Ask your human resources department about possible financial assistance.
- Get Credit for Skills You Already Have—Programs such as DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (for military and veterans) and College Level Exam Program tests demonstrate your expertise and may help you get credit at some colleges. The tests typically cost less than $100 to take, much less than the price of a college course.
- Financial Aid for College—If you do not have a college degree, completing a college program can help accelerate your career. It is important to think carefully about how much debt you are taking on for your education, though. Use the other tips in this post to reduce the cost of college before pursuing a student loan. If you are considering a student loan, it’s important to review and understand the terms of your debt. You can get the facts from FAFSA.ed.gov.
New education opportunities can be exciting, but don’t get swept away by promises of student aid for fees. Follow these tips from the Federal Student Aid Department about protecting your information online.
Remember that education doesn’t have to be a straight line! You could try several free online education courses until you find a topic that interests you. Enjoy the process of learning, growing, and developing your skills!
While exploring education options, you can explore career fields and get help from a unique community of job seekers, career advancers and expert mentors on GoodProspects.