Free Online Courses That Can Give You A Head Start For Your Online Degree

Published on: February 07, 2022

It's never too early to think about your future, and earning an online degree is one of the best things you can do for your career. However, even if you are too young to attend college or university yet, there are still ways that you can give yourself a head start. Doing so will help you with honing invaluable skills and give you some clarity about what you want to do with your life.

What Causes Students To Drop Out of College?

According to the Education Data Initiative, the overall dropout rate for undergraduate college students in the United States is 40% (https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates). They also found that nearly one-third of first-year college students drop out before their sophomore year. Some students leave college because they are unprepared for the challenges they face. Others become illusioned because they only enrolled to meet the expectations of others.

What Are The Consequences Of Dropping Out of College?

In addition to losing money, if you drop out of college, it can also add up to a lot of time wasted. In addition, students who give up on their studies can struggle with employment and suffer from low self-esteem. Of course, there are famous examples of former dropouts who make it big after following their dreams instead of completing their studies. Unfortunately, people like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are the exceptions rather than the norm, and for many dropouts, the consequences are a lot more sobering. Most high-paying careers require a degree, and giving up on your studies can make it tougher to try again down the line.

What Can Be Done To Prepare Yourself For An Online Degree?

Thanks to the internet, there are now more options than ever before for earning a degree and more free resources to help prepare you. Completing free online courses in your spare time is a great way to get a head start for earning an online degree. These courses can give you a feel for online learning, teach you valuable skills, and can help you decide which degree program could be a good fit for your interests. In addition, since these courses are free, they don't put you under the same stress and pressure as paid courses. You will still need to be motivated and committed to get the most out of these courses, though, so they are not a shortcut to success.

On Which Free Online Courses Should You Focus?

When it comes to selecting a free online course to complete, there are a couple of factors to consider. Of course, choosing something that you think you will enjoy is a good starting point, but you'll also want to complete courses that are useful in general and can give you a head start for further studies.

Academic Writing

A popular course to prepare for college is academic writing, which helps students with their communication skills. This type of course can be beneficial for students who are used to communicating on social media or other apps as it teaches them to make their writing clearer and more cohesive. A firm understanding of the techniques and style of academic writing is excellent for any degree program. Academic writing also helps to improve critical thinking skills and teaches you to be more analytical, which is beneficial for both studies and work.

Computer Science

Virtually every career these days involve computers, and even learning online requires some proficiency with computers. Fortunately, there are plenty of free courses to help you brush up on your computer skills. There are also free computer science courses available if you want to progress beyond just the basics. Completing such a course is helpful if you are interested in a related degree or career path and can also help you improve your problem-solving and planning skills. In addition, free introductory courses in computer science make it easier to figure out which aspect of this subject you might want to focus on for your degree.

STEM

Students interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics can participate in free STEM courses to help prepare them for college or university degrees in this field. These types of courses are also helpful beyond careers in the field as they also teach students critical thinking and innovation while helping with their logical thought processes. Another benefit of STEM courses is that they can help develop project management skills, which, once again, are useful in all aspects of life.

Language

Along with plenty of courses to help you improve your home language, there are also a lot of resources for learning additional languages. Since the world is becoming increasingly interconnected, learning more than one language can be beneficial. You will be able to communicate with a broader range of people and also improve your cognitive abilities in the process. Everything from memory, concentration, multitasking, and listening skills can be enhanced by learning languages.

Creativity And Self-Improvement

Not all of the online courses you take have to be related to academics either. There are also plenty of free online courses that can help you with your creativity, life skills, and self-improvement. While these won't directly influence your academic abilities, they can help you improve your life quality. For example, music courses can help you learn how to play an instrument and relax; cooking courses can help you make nutritious meals and become more self-sufficient, while art courses can unlock your creative potential. Best of all, these courses can help make learning fun and get you into a positive mindset regarding your studies.

Where To Find Free Courses Online

There are plenty of courses in a variety of subjects available online with new ones appearing all the time. A quick online search will reveal plenty of free options from which to choose. Of course, as with anything free, the quality of these courses can vary greatly, so make sure to look at feedback and reviews from students who took part in these courses. If you are interested in enrolling at a particular college or university, you can also visit their website to see if they have any free or introductory courses available.

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