Is there anything that can substitute a college degree? Probably not – if we’re talking about that sought-after piece of paper that some employers still value a lot. But if you mean knowledge and skills, there are some other ways of attaining them.
Perhaps, even right now, as you’re reading this, you’re struggling with another academic assignment and looking for excuses to skip college. As for that task, you simply need to pay for an essay to get affordable professional help. And as for not going to college, we might as well give you the excuses you’ve been looking for.
Let’s get it straight, however: we’re not encouraging you to skip college. If you can afford it, and feel the need to get a traditional degree, then – it is most probably the best choice for you. Yet, there are still reasons to choose otherwise.
So, Why Not Go To College?
The world is constantly changing, and so are the education systems worldwide. The spring of 2021 demonstrated the “largest college enrollment decline in a decade,” figures from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center indicate.
Now, you may be tempted to blame it on the pandemic, but this is not the first time data has shown college enrollment decline. The overall enrollment for tertiary institutions has been going down since 2012.
Why is this happening? Experts name, among other reasons, the following:
- rising tuition costs;
- long-term effects of student debt loan;
- more employment opportunities in recent years.
Some people also choose not to go to college for personal reasons like being busy running their own company. Some don’t even have time to write their own speeches! Luckily, they can order them online at https://essayservice.com/buy-speech from experienced writers. It’s fast and convenient, and it spares time for other important things. For example, for taking a college-level course at an online learning platform. We’ve told you there are alternatives to college education, remember? Well, here they are.
5 Online Alternatives To College
Below, you’ll find a list of online educational platforms which can substitute college education for everyone willing and apt enough to learn.
Founded in 2012 by Stanford University, Coursera is currently the largest and most popular massive online open course provider in the world. The platform hosts a vast number of courses from the world’s best colleges and universities as well as from top companies such as Google, IBM, and more.
The range of feature disciplines is also huge – from information technology and data science to languages and personal development. The courses come in different variations, such as short courses and degree programs.
Some programs are comprehensive enough to substitute a college course or degree program. Most of them are free; but if you want to get a certificate, you will still have to pay. The sum, however, stands no comparison to a traditional college degree.
One of Coursera’s closest competitors is edX, a MOOC platform founded in that same year of 2012 by Harvard and MIT universities. The platform features over 180,000 courses for all levels, from Beginner to Professional. Apart from courses provided by Harvard and MIT, other colleges and universities as well as the world’s top companies are featured.
On edX, you can also learn practically anything you could wish for, from art to architecture, from design to nutrition. However, some topics are represented better than others. Therefore, edX is best for studying:
- business communications;
- computer programming;
- data analysis;
- environmental science;
- other business, tech, and science-oriented topics.
You can take some courses for free, but edX also offers paid certificate and degree programs as well as “micro-degree” programs. Costs vary, and some programs can be rather expensive but still not comparable with traditional college degree programs.
University of the People
This online college is better known as UoPeople, and though it is way less popular than the platform listed above, it offers exciting online learning opportunities. Founded in 2009 by an Israeli businessperson Shai Reshef, the company currently has its headquarters in Pasadena, CA.
UoPeople is being advertised as “the world’s first tuition-free, accredited, American university” that has gained recognition and media coverage in top publications across the world. The platform currently offers graduate and undergraduate programs in Business Administration, Computer Science, Health Science, and Education in addition to certificate courses.
It is indeed based on a tuition-free model, but there are still some small application and assessment fees left to support the business. To cover those, you can apply for a scholarship from the university’s numerous donors.
This platform was around long before big fish like Coursera and edX joined the market: Udemy was established in 2010 by a group of entrepreneurs from Turkey. Currently, Udemy has its headquarters in San Francisco, US, and hosts more than 180,000 courses provided by instructors from all over the world.
However, the majority of Udemy’s instructors are individual entrepreneurs and experts. They may have some ties to colleges and universities, but more often than not, they don’t. Also, unlike Coursera and edX, this platform doesn’t feature any courses or degree programs from established educational institutions.
This makes Udemy a questionable choice for those who want to get college-level education online. The bright side is, there are plenty of affordable courses for personal development, and it’s also a great choice for those who want to learn a certain trade or skill or gain new competencies within an existing qualification at minimum expense.
College gives us perspective and makes us well-rounded, but sometimes, it’s enough to learn a certain skill to advance your career. For example, such a skill as coding. If you think you’ve got what it takes to become a computer programmer and you’re willing to try, Codeacademy is a place to go.
The platform is focused on only one skill – coding. Yet it is way more popular than many other online learning platforms that offer a wider range of disciplines: as of April 2020, there were around 45 million users on Codeacademy. Now, this number is closer to 50 million.
The basic account is free, but there are also paid pro plans that offer more options such as access to members-only content, step-by-step guidance, and real-world projects. Certificates of completion are also included in the pro plan.
College degrees are still valued by most employers and are, therefore, totally worth getting. Yet, enrollment rates are declining every year due to various reasons, including rising tuition costs. Fortunately, there are many alternatives to traditional education nowadays.
Top educational online platforms offer great opportunities for free or at much lower costs than colleges and universities. However, you have to study diligently to complete the courses on your own. If you can do that, you’ll save lots of money and time and get all the knowledge and skills you need even without ever going to college.