TONY ESPINAL | Opinion Editor
I am a glutton for knowledge.
I enjoy learning as much as I can about a different variety of topics, even ones that don’t have anything to do with my major or career choice. I was checking out my bookshelf yesterday and noticed that it was full of books on a variety of topics—investing, economics, philosophy, political theory, politics and history.
As I went through my books, I realized I probably spent hundreds of dollars on them in the pursuit of knowledge.
This prompted me to start digging to see what cheaper alternatives were available online.
I was amazed at what I found.
We have access to dozens of free online courses that can supplement our education and teach us a variety of new skills. I have found courses on journalism, business, computer coding, statistics and even foreign languages—for free.
A few of these courses are offered by some of the top schools in the country, including Columbia, Wharton, Harvard, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to Business Insider.
Have you ever wanted to learn computer code? How about biology or differential calculus?
You can join Khan Academy for free and take its classes on computer programming, differential calculus, biology, economics—even MCAT courses.
The amount of information that is at our fingertips is truly amazing and will only benefit our growth and knowledge.
However, this does not mean this is a substitute for a good, old-fashioned education.
A formal education gives us a more detailed approach to the knowledge we seek. I imagine we wouldn’t use a doctor who studied his organic chemistry on a free website.
But again, these online courses can be used to supplement our formal education. If we are just looking for a hobby or to take a course on a topic that interests us, we have a ton of different options to choose from.
I encourage all students to check out some of these free courses. The courses will only serve to help us grow and may even help progress our careers.
Imagine moving up in a job because of your basic knowledge of coding without having to pay hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars for a certificate or a degree on the subject.
We may even be able to get a head start on our future classes and improve our understanding of the material.
Whatever the reason, we should not let these free gifts go to waste.