Learning for less

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A multitude of websites offers low-cost online courses on just about every subject under the sun. (KFSN)

Do you want to learn a new skill, or maybe advance at your job, but you don't have a lot of time or money to spend earning a certification or degree? A multitude of websites offers low-cost online courses on just about every subject under the sun.

Myla Twillie has a busy life balancing work, blogging, and being a mom. She wanted to learn some new writing and publishing techniques but wasn't sure she had the time.

"For me to fit physical classes into my schedule would be very difficult. Both financially and with time."

So instead of enrolling in school, she turned to the web, signing up for a class through Udemy.com. The website is an online learning marketplace that offers over 40,000 different courses to students around the world.

"We focus, not on traditional academia, but more the things you wished you learned in school but maybe didn't have an opportunity," said Dennis Yang, Udemy.com CEO.

From programming to yoga, photography to personal finance, these online education companies offer courses that can be taken at a student's convenience-- any day, anytime. The prices are surprisingly low, sometimes even free.

"My first course, I believe it was on sale for $5. The next one might have been $10. It's invaluable and going to a traditional situation, I'd already be in debt," said Twillie.

Yang said it's all about finding good teachers and connecting them with potential students for education, career advice, and even networking opportunities.

"There are incredible teachers around the world, but they're not all standing in front of a traditional classroom. So we want them to come out to share their passion and expertise. Their practical skills."

Other sites, like EDX, curate courses from well-known universities allowing you to take free or low-cost classes taught by ivy league and other top professors. Lynda.com has been acquired by Linkedin to offer a subscription based service with unlimited classes for a low monthly fee.

"It gives you the flexibility to learn on your terms. When and where it's convenient to you," said Yang.

As for Twillie, she said the classes helped her publish her first book and she can't wait to keep learning. While some sites will give you a certification for completing courses, the goal is usually to learn new skills, rather than work toward a degree.
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