Learning Outside of Class

According to Malcolm Gladwell and reiterated by Macklemore, you need to do something for 10,000 hours before you’re an expert. With an incredibly competitive job market, it is a good idea to work on gathering skills (expert level or not) outside of the classroom for professional and personal gains.

As tempting as it may be to waste five hours in a row watching Netflix, take advantage of some of the unstructured downtime in college and familiarize yourself with an area of expertise outside of your major. Fortunately, in the age of the Internet this can be done inexpensively and pretty painlessly.

I scoured the Interweb and compiled a list of some awesome classes, platforms and resources perfect for taking your resume to the next level.

Learning Outside of Class

 


Skillshare

Ah, one of my favorites. This was my gate-way website to online classes two years ago. There is a course for just about anything you may have the slightest desire to learn about. A few great classes to check out:

• How to do Typography for Logo Design.

• Feeling entrepreneurial? The Art and Science of Brand Strategy.

• How to be better at iPhone Photography and Instagram.


Coding

Coding is not just for programmers anymore. Without a doubt, every graduating college student should have a general understanding of coding. Luckily, Harvard offers its Intro to Computer Science class online for free.

When (not if) you’re ready to take it to the next level, General Assembly and Code Academy are not to be overlooked resources, offering classes on Ruby, mobile development, front-end design online. Plus, General Assembly offers on-campus classes in major cities (Boston is one of them!) for intensive workshops to full-fledged semester long courses.

Trying to hone a specific skill like WordPress? Get to the point in 15 minutes.


Language 

Looking for skills to live abroad or gain employment at an international company? Learning a second language is a wise move. The British Broadcasting Company offers free language lessons online. Another great alternative is Duolingo, which is also free.


Money, Honey

Are you feeling lost when it comes to topics about the economy? Planet Money is a podcast all about the global economy in layman terms.

Do you want to get into investing? Great. What about just personal finance? Mint will guide you towards better personal finance. (Full discloser: receiving a daily Mint email updating you on you budget’s well-being is a bit painful some days, but definitely less painful than trying to remember where all of your savings went.)


General Knowledge

No idea what is happening in the world and why it matters? Download the NPR app on your smartphone and make time to listen to 20 minutes of national and global news every day. No Android/iPhone? NPR’s desktop website also has live steaming and a podcast functionality. And/or sign up for the Skimm for abbreviated news delivered to your inbox every AM to read over your coffee. Do you want to learn about things you never have even heard of before? Jump on the TED Talks bandwagon stat. Less than 30 minutes every day and you’ll be able to hold your own with your politically opinionated extended family members. You’ll thank me later.


Assorted Skills

How to tie a necktie.

Berklee College of Music offers Intro to Songwriting online for free.

How to do food photography.

How to pickle like a pro.

How to do Photoshop, and here.

How to shoot and edit a music video.

How to paint paper fashion.

How to learn painless piano playing (in under an hour!).

How to build a game with no coding.

Need more hours in the day? Me too. Luckily, there’s a class for that.