Check out these 6 Free and Cheap Ways to Keep Learning at Home

Use your down time to expand your knowledge and learn at home, whether for fun, to improve your resume, or check off a bucket list.

Check out these 6 Free and Cheap Ways to Keep Learning at Home

The current “normal” is anything but easy. Financial concerns and health concerns can make it hard to concentrate, and you may be looking for ways to best use your time while you’re stuck inside. Thankfully, we live in a world of streaming services and apps that make entertainment and education just a click away.

“Learning something new can enhance your resume, give you the satisfaction of a new skill, and provide routine when everything is uncertain.”

Here are some free and cheap ways to learn new skills at home.


Take a Free Ivy League Course at EdX

Offering over 2000 courses from 140 institutions worldwide, including Harvard and MIT, EdX is a free platform that allows users to take courses tailored to their interests. Some EdX courses are “self-paced” — meaning that you work on your own schedule — while others are instructor paced. Instructor paced courses have an official timeline, with assignments and exams at set due dates. Courses range from coding to contract law, and many offer a certificate of completion for a small fee. A certificate may be helpful in proving your knowledge of a subject to an employer.


Go to the Library (Without Leaving Your House)

From e-book lending to interactive story times for kids, your local library offers a wealth of digital options available to local residents. Some libraries offer school support, including tutoring and research help, for free or for a nominal fee. Libraries may offer audiobook access, links to recommended virtual entertainment options, such as opera and theater livestreams, and more. It’s worth exploring your local library offerings for entertainment and education options for the whole family.

No library card? No problem. Many libraries are offering an “e-card” option, with the only requirement being proof of residence, such as your address.


Become an Excel Wizard with Microsoft Training Center

Excel can be intimidating if you aren’t used to using it, but once you understand everything it can do, it can be a powerful tool in your personal and professional life. From quickly creating a budget to working with complicated financial formulas, Excel is a must-have skill in many offices.

That’s why we recommend taking the time to sharpen your skills with Office Training Center. From Excel 101 to training templates to skill guides, you can get up to speed and boost your familiarity and comfort with popular Office applications, giving you an edge in the workplace and allowing you to confidently say “yes” when a future employer asks if you know Excel.


Level up with Codecademy

You may have heard coding is a great skill to have for a variety of career paths, but the concept may seem intimidating. Codecademy breaks down learning to code into small, simple steps that are easy to learn, offering a basic plan for free that provides 180 hours of coursework, interactive lessons, and daily practice.

Codecademy also offers more advanced coursework for a fee. Beginners can take an initial quiz to help place them in the proper program. Coding skills are valuable for future careers and can also help you take your personal website or blog idea to the next level.


Master a New Language with Duolingo

Duolingo is a free app that helps you learn a new language. Using fun games and skills practice, Duolingo has over 300 million registered users and offers nearly 100 different language options. Learning a new language at home can help give you an edge in future employment, and it’s also a great way to challenge your brain.


Bring Your Skills to the Next Level with Udemy

Looking for a content program that feels like it was designed for you personally? Udemy lets you create a custom content plan, with pick-and-choose course options offered for a low fee per month. Month-long courses, with a certificate at the end, allow you to brush up on topics ranging from Instagram marketing to speed reading, giving you a leg up at work or just helping you fulfill your dream of having a thousand Instagram followers. Their month-long course programs allow you to dive deeply into the topic at hand.


Learn More About the World with TED

TED talks are 15 to 25 minute lectures where thought leaders give their take on their area of expertise. The TED Talks website offers their lectures and podcasts completely free, and delivers custom recommendations based on your interests. TED talks can help you understand the world around you and introduce you to society’s thought leaders. They can also be great springboards for conversations with family, friends, and future employers and can help you discover new interests.

The Bottom Line

If you’re feeling lost or overwhelmed right now and not sure how to make a change, first, know that you are not alone, and second, doing something productive that helps you grow and learn can be great not just for your resumé, but for your mental health and well-being.

Learning something new should be enjoyable, relatively easy to fit into your already packed day, and help provide additional insight into your skills, interests, and talent—and with these tools, it can be! Next thing on your to-do list: Updating your resume with all the new free skills you’ve honed at home.

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