Learning new things can be beneficial for us in many ways. It might be able to help us to improve our career and it might also be fun and just generally improve our outlook and knowledge. However, courses are often expensive but there are ways that you can learn things for free which could be worth looking in to.
Through your Company
The first thing to try is to see whether the company that you are working for will be willing to pay for you to do a course. Some companies regularly pay for their employees to do courses as long as it is relevant to their jobs. This means that you might be able to do something through your work. So, find out what you can do. Ask your team leader about it and see if anything is currently available or whether they might be willing to pay for courses that you select that you feel would be helpful for you. They might appreciate the fact that you are being keen and wanting to improve yourself as well and this might make them more likely to pay for a course for you.
Through Your Local College
Most local colleges will offer some courses for free. These will not necessarily be open to everyone, but they might to help people with certain skills. You may find, for example that there are classes to help with numeracy and literacy but also with certain career based skills such as social care or computing. It is worth checking out their website or giving them a call to see what they are offering. You may even be able to do the courses online, which could be more convenient for you, especially if you do not live that close to the college or have family commitments.
Every person is entitled to four years of higher education. This used to be offered free through the student grants system. Now you have to borrow the money through a student loan, but it could still be free. You can only apply for a student loan or any other type of quick finance, if you have not used one before or if you have not had a grant. You can choose from many different courses and you will only have to repay the loan if you earn enough to pay the graduate tax rate. This means the course may not be free, but it is affordable as you will not have to pay for it if you do not earn enough money. It is worth considering this though, as it can be really useful and could lead to a better paid job or a fun career change.
Through EdX and FutureLearn
There are two main sites online where you can do courses for free. These tend to be taster courses but they can be really useful. You will be able to use them to learn about things that perhaps you have always wanted to know about or things that will be useful for your hobby or job. The FutureLearn site is UK based, although it does have courses from universities all over the world and the EdX site is based in the USA. Both are starting to have some courses that you have to pay for, but many are still free. You will have the opportunity to pay for a certificate to show that you have completed the course. Whether you want one of these will depend on whether you feel you will need to prove you have the knowledge, perhaps to a potential employer. There is certainly no need to buy it, so it can be free if you want it to be.
Through Various Websites
There are also opportunities for learning through a lot of different websites. You will find that you will be able to find out all sorts of different information. The problem with looking at general websites is that you will find that you will not know if the information on them is actually correct as anyone can put anything on a website. This means that you need to be really careful about where you are getting the information from. You will also have no certificate or anything to prove that you have done the training. However, it all depends what you want to learn. If you want to know some things for a hobby or even practical skills, perhaps for fixing your car or home, then you will not need any proof that you can do it, as you will be just using it for yourself.