Best of Improvised Eduction

When you’re post-grad, life teaches lessons constantly, but sometimes we need a syllabus or lesson plan to make learning easier.  Learning new things as a professional has the potential to keep you sharp, creative, and wordily, all things that can help the finance woman, the social scientist, or the writer.  Problem—you might be working 40-hours-a-week, planning to move, or not willing to throw down while you pay off your loans.  Fear not, one of the lessons life has taught us is yes you can improvise education on your own, you just need to know where to look.

Constant Contact Seminars

The Constant Contact Seminar series may not be something you want to visit regularly, but it is a fresh way to learn about marketing, copy writing, and social media if you don’t have a degree in those fields.  Learning how to communicate on a mass digital scale, and build loyal communities for a brand can help in many situations where you need to think about campaigns, analytics, or email marketing.  On top of the skills you will be introduced to, you get the chance to network and hear from some of the local businesses on the panel and in the audience.  All in all a great place to kick start your imagination and bring fresh ideas to the office, cover letters, or start-up idea!

iTunes U

If you’re anything like us, you thought iTunesU was some kind of data mining personalization thing.  Little did we know it’s actually a catalog of academic lessons and they’re free! Some courses have video lectures, lecture notes, and assigned readings.  The topics range from finance, writing, astronomy, history, to happiness, death, and autism in courses from well known universities.  The downside is that it’s self-directed so there’s a chance you might end up taking a nap instead of doing your homework, but if you want it it’s a great and cheap resource for anyone at any age.

CodeAcademy

Yes, we get it, programming is important and more girls should code.  But man does it look intimidating when we accidentally hit “inspect element” and all those numbers, letters, and semi-colons show up on our screen.  Whether you are new to HTML or a a seasoned HTMLer looking to learn CSS, CodeAcademy is an informative and accessible way to learn.  It has self-guided lessons within which programmers have created interactive screens that tell you when you’ve done it right.  We don’t recommend applying to be a programmer after going through the lessons but you will definitely know your way around some code.

Google Analytics Certification

Getting your google analytics certificate, shows you can take initiative, understand trends, and are interested in monitoring your company’s place on the web.  Don’t think it’s as easy as becoming a pastor though, even social media specialists celebrate at the end of the provided curriculum.  Be sure to be able to give it a few good Saturdays and evenings before you take the test, in the end you will understand more about funnels, E-commerce, campaigns, and Adwords.  The 90-minute IQ Test is $50 but the curriculum is free to anyone.

National Geographic, Nova, 60 Minutes

Sometimes we might feel like kicking back and turning on Jerseylicious, sometimes we don’t.  For those times that we feel like enriching our unwind time, we recommend the National Geographic Netflix series, PBS’ Nova, and 60 Minutes.  These three programs are our favorite in long-form storytelling and reporting on current event topics and feature stories on things you had no idea you were a thing.  On the internet exist hundreds documentaries and webisodes but if you’re looking for time-tested journalism and images that would cost lots of money for your Nikon D500 to capture then these science, society, and interview programs are your best bet.

City Events

Every major city has a .gov page and most of them have a myriad of event listings.  No, they won’t be as hip as the listings that point you to the best happy hour of the summer, but hidden between the parades and children’s story-times are classes and lectures that can broaden your knowledge. From literature, finding business leads, online portfolios, yoga, or composting—it’s something new and productive and almost always free.

Have a tip on where you continue learning post-commencement? Let us know!

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