The cost of traditional education has skyrocketed in recent years. Although the jump in those expenses went unnoticed for a long time, the global recession’s dampening effect on wages highlighted the contrast between general income and the cost of formal education.

As a result, the education industry is changing quickly in both the online and offline worlds. Here are our three favorite ways to get a solid education online and offline, by the most affordable methods currently available.

1. Focus on your goals and the path

The first step is to ask yourself two questions:

– What type of work do I want to do?

– Is there a market for this work, and does it exceed the cost of my education?

If you can answer these questions, your route will become more clear. If you’d like to be a physician, for instance, you might find job postings for a $300,000 salary, and the only way to qualify for such a position might be to attend formal schooling for seven years at a cost of $250,000 or more. If that’s an attractive career path, then your course is clear.

Unfortunately, it’s debatable whether many salaries will justify the high cost of traditional education.

If your intent is trade-related, the options are more varied. Say you’d like to teach another language and gain a CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification, or to be a computer programmer; then you’ll find much easier and faster routes, both online and offline. We’ll return to trades in a moment.

2. Research on YouTube

Seriously, YouTube is a good way to educate yourself on the basics of almost any type of job. This video forum has become the world’s second largest search engine; it trails only its parent company, Google.

Thus, you can find nearly anything on YouTube, which will give you a taste of what you’ll need in order to become certified and employable for a particular line of work. For instance, if you’re considering CELTA certification to teach English, search “teaching English” on YouTube, and get a feel for what the position and skill set entail.

3. Offline certifications that have online elements

Online education has come a long way when it comes to technology and effectiveness, but there’s nothing quite like the interaction that takes place in face-to-face education and collaborative environments.

A great example of this is the CELTA certification course, where you can go online to register for offline training, and even get some help finding a job placement. If you’re looking to teach English, it’s an inexpensive and fast way to get yourself certified.

And in today’s economy, time and money are more precious commodities than ever.


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