New Hampshire’s economy can be fickle at times, with some opportunities being cyclical or seasonal, often based solely on the rhythms of Mother Nature. This type of job could include logging, working at a ski resort, or working at local schools and colleges that have summer vacation. Seasonal employment is just a part of the New Hampshire landscape.
Regardless, if you find your work relies on the seasons, or if you find yourself between jobs or searching for something new, you can always make time to learn new skills or improve those that you already have. Especially technical skills. Not only will learning new skills improve your resume, but studies also show it has lasting, physical improvements on the way your brain works. Don’t believe us? Check out this Lifehacker article on how learning improves the inner mechanisms of your mind.
We recognize that with busy schedules, families, and financial restrictions, it is almost impossible to enroll in full-time programs. However, there are some terrific, low-cost options available to you to learn and grow at your own pace. In the days where internet connectivity has become commonplace, online education is closer to becoming the new normal. Below you will find some of our favorite resources for learning and improving your skills at home or wherever you are in your life.
The first resource that comes to mind is a site called Udemy (www.udemy.com) who offer a dizzying array of online video classes. Prices for some of these courses can be shockingly high, but if you sign up for their e-newsletter, the site regularly offers full classes for $10-15 which really softens the blow. With over 17,000 classes available, there is something for everyone. Photography, web development, health education, or even learning a new language are all found in Udemy’s catalog. Each course is rated by users to ensure only the best quality courses filter to the top, and courses are also available on mobile devices for offline or online use.
Lynda (www.lynda.com) is another online course repository, now owned by Linkedin; this site is a solid career resource for professionals of all levels. Lynda is aligned a bit more with career development, perfect for your situation of you are reading this blog. Lynda uses a different pricing model – charging a flat monthly fee for unlimited courses, which allows you the opportunity to try a course, and move on to another if the course or the subject matter isn’t to your liking. At around $35 a month, it’s quite a deal, and according to this article in Smallbusiness.com– you can potentially bypass the fees if you work with your local library. Give it a try! The company offers a free 10-day trial to get a good idea of the caliber of classes offered.
If money is tight and finances are of utmost concern, fear not. MIT has put some real life, college-level courses online, for absolutely free. These are real time college courses that exist for the greater good of education on a donation-only model. The downside of college level courseware is that there are more resources to juggle – curriculum, powerpoint, calendars, and textbooks, whereas the aforementioned self-contained resources, more video based, and designed to be consumed on ipads and laptops. But for the price this resource can’t be beaten!
Coursera (www.coursera.org) is our final recommendation. With over 1500 courses available, think of Coursera as the Netflix of online university learning, as the site partners with various colleges to bring various classes to the web from which you can actively choose. Financial Aid is available to those who qualify as courses can get somewhat expensive. Courses come from Duke, Stanford, and Rice University, for example, covering topics from ‘big data’ to calculus, meditation to robotics. Courses seem to fall about $300 if purchased all at once though prices vary.
So take some ‘me’ time in your personal off-season and work on improving your skills by taking advantage of some of these terrific education options. Then, consult with Masiello Employment recruiters to see how we can improve and enhance your resume and help you find a role that best utilizes your new found skills. You’ll be on your way to a better you in 2016 and beyond!
The Masiello Team