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Tom Thoughts

5 Excellent & Free Learning Resources to Prepare You for the Future

Invest in yourself now so you are better prepared for whatever the future may hold

Photo by Devon Divine on Unsplash

Now, just hear me out for a second here. But what if you took your gluttonous Netflix consumption during this time of social distancing and isolation and cut it in half, and instead spent that time on learning new skills?

I know…it’s a crazy idea.

But let’s face it, for most of us and perhaps even all of us, economic uncertainty has never been higher than right now. No one knows what the future holds. A post-Corona world could be a few months to maybe even as far as s year and a half away.

And while it’s true no one knows what that world will look like, we can be pretty sure it will be radically different from our current one in many ways. Some subtle and some not so subtle. The future, as it so often does, will belong to those who are best prepared for it.

So, while the world as a whole hits a giant pause button on most activities, why not spend some of this time catching up or even getting ahead?

1. Marginal Revolution University

This free online-learning platform is my favorite new thing. I’d been wanting to gain a better understanding of the principles of economics for a while and this is the best resource I’ve been able to fine.

Founded in 2012 by George Mason University economics professors Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution University is building the world’s largest online library of free economics education videos — currently weighing in at more than 900 videos.

Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade, International Finance, Money Skills, Women in Economics…the list of available courses, videos, and material is almost endless. All from world-class teachers. All free.

2. Free Code Camp

Since 2014, more than 40,000 freeCodeCamp.org graduates have gotten jobs at tech companies including: Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Spotify.

I think we are reaching a point in time where almost everyone could derive immense benefits from simply understanding the basics of programming and how to write simple code.

You don’t need to be a rock star coder, but you can get pretty far with a solid understanding these fundamentals.

FreeCodeCamp.org has you covered.

They currently offer certifications in the following subjects, each one requires approximately 300 hours of self-guided study (possibly more, depending on your pace) to complete.

Certifications:

3. Farnam Street Blog & Knowledge Project Podcast

Shane Parrish and the team over at Farnam Street have captured my attention lately and I can’t say enough about how much useful information this blog and accompanying podcast have to offer.

You can find a list of their best articles here. And be sure to check out the Knowledge Project Podcast here. Shane’s guest list for this podcast is incredible and includes names like Naval Ravikant, Ray Dalio, Tyler Cowen, Balaji Srinivasan, and many more.

From their home page:

Farnam Street (FS) helps you master the best of what other people have already figured out.

Packed with timeless insights, our weekly newsletter offers the mental tools to deal with whatever life throws at you.

Our readers include students, teachers, CEOs, coaches, athletes, artists, leaders, followers, politicians and more. They’re not defined by gender, age, income, or politics but rather by a shared passion for living a meaningful life, doing good, and avoiding problems before they happen.

Their newsletter is only one of a handful I subscribe to and read regularly when it appears in my inbox. I cannot recommend enough.

4. Khan Academy

Their mission is simple: “provide a free, world‑class education for anyone, anywhere.”

Khan Academy offers a wide range of high-quality, free course including:

  • Math
  • Science & Engineering
  • Computing
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Economics & Finance

They also offer free tools for parents and teachers to help them “better understand what their children or students are up to and how best to help them.”

5. Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is an online library of over 60,000 free eBooks.

The site specializes in older, more classic works:

Project Gutenberg eBooks are mostly older literary works. Most were published before 1924.

Which makes it the perfect place to brush up on philosophy or ancient history or maybe study the Stoics like Seneca and Marcus Aurelius or perhaps Adam Smith is more your speed.

There’s so much more out there

These are just a handful of my favorites. There are plenty more high-quality resources that are free or very near-free that you can and should take advantage of.

There’s never been a better time to be a student. The desire to learn is scarce. Cultivate it. Nurture it. You are living in the Golden Age of learning, you just have to cut through the noise and know where to look.

Sign up for my newsletter and get a FREE book, The Tiny Book of Writing Reminders.

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