It seems like 2015 is going to be the year of revolutionary educational models. Every few days, a new startup seems to appear with a new vision for how people can learn, grow, or even teach, all on their own.
But even as the long-smoldering debate over whether and how (and how much) to disrupt the university model starts to produce some actual flames, it seems like the demand for new learning methods isn’t coming from a lack of faith in the old, but rather from someplace unexpected: Career development.
Personal development is a big part of it, too—learning to play guitar on YouTube is only the tip of that iceberg—but the thing that really seems to be driving these new sites, systems and software is the idea that what you learned in college isn’t going to be enough to carry you through your career anymore.
In the past 10 years, some things became obvious: Marketers needed to learn HTML. Product designers needed to learn programming code. Programmers needed to learn design. And so on.
Our career silos are breaking down, and in response we need to keep up. And a 15-year-old college degree isn’t going to help with that. That’s why the self-education industry is booming, and sites that make self-guided education easy (like Skillset.com) are prospering.
Here are five types of self-education models that have become extremely popular in recent years, and the best E-learning sites within each category:
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Just a few years ago, Massive Open Online Courses made the biggest splash of any category here, because they were a complete disruption of the university model by universities. They rose to prominence when esteemed professors from Stanford University decided to offer free courses online (via telecommute) to anyone who wanted to attend—whether that be several hundred or more than a million.
Since then, universities have experimented in these courses so commonly that they it’s barely notable when a new one launches, but they have the advantage over other self-education methods of (often) being live presentations, and giving students access to legitimate, university-level content for free, from anywhere.
Here are the best sources for MOOCs: