“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela
The debate over the value of education as it applies to success in the entrepreneurial world is as varied as it is passionate. Some say that classroom learning is an integral part of real-world application. Others say that you learn nothing studying theory, and that the only education worth acquiring is from the school of hard knocks.
New opportunities, however, may make the debate obsolete. With the advent of free online courses from some of the country’s top universities available online, you can quench your thirst for greater knowledge, without committing to full time schooling or lifetime debt.
Can’t get an MBA from MIT or Stanford? Don’t worry — you don’t really need one of those anyway. Now you can study the same great content from big-time biz schools on your own schedule, and stay focused on building the world’s next great tech company.
Here are 10 places to get a free education:
Get access to nearly every class taught at America’s best math institution, not to mention one of the nation’s top MBA programs. Tests, readings, and lecture notes are available for classes like Managerial Psychology and Law for Entrepreneurs.
Berkely is America’s top-rated public school, with a long tradition of activism and kicking ass. Their webcast system is similarly rocking, providing video and podcast versions of many of their classes (such as Computer Science 102).
Though Yale has some great content, only introductory material is offered here. That means you may spend less time delving into depthful matters of management, and more time brushing up on Dante or Pompeiian Villas.
More video — but less materials and selection — make Harvard’s open education offerings (such as Intensive Introduction to Computer Science) better for browsing than targeted learning.
Some good content offered, such as Producing Films for Social Change orIntellectual Development. The only downside is that you’ll probably quickly run out of courses unless, oddly enough, you have a driving interest in veterinary sciences (and, I mean, who doesn’t?)
Information from the proclaimed ‘best business school in America.’ There are articles, podcasts, and special reports available… plus their ownKnowledge@Wharton iTunes section.
Podcasts and class information from one of the US’s best universities. Listen to lectures is classes like “Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders” and “Social Entrepreneurship” without leaving iTunes.
Classes in Visual Communication Design (sweet!) and Empirical Research Methods highlight these offerings. Best of all, the system is designed to guide learners through real courses, rather than just providing information.
9. Utah State
A less-prestigious university, but a more-robust list of online free education resources. Courses like Learn and Apply HTML and Blogs, Wiki, New Media for Learning are available.
10. UC Irvine
UC Irvine can get a little ‘crunchy,’ but there’s good content here, including courses on Fundamentals of Business Analysis and Introduction to Project Management.