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These 5 Skills Are Actually Better Off Being Learned Online

These 5 Skills Are Actually Better Off Being Learned Online

Today, we use the Internet for pretty much everything: research, communicating, writing – so why should learning be any different? If you’re afraid that online education is inferior to face-to-face education, don’t be. In 2011, Babson found that online education is considered as good or better by more than 85% of US students.

The following 5 skills will add immeasurable value to your repertoire, all accessible from the comfort of your home.

1. Coding

In the lost interview with Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder was quoted saying “I think everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you to think.”

Coding is a lot like applied science and math because it teaches you a repetitious method to solving problems and testing out new ideas. Coding isn’t especially easy to learn but that’s what makes it such an invaluable skill.

There are plenty of ways to learn coding online, one of the more popular options is here. There are several different courses offered such as JavaScript, Web Fundamentals, PHP, Ruby,  jQuery, Python, and APIs. Within every lesson is an explanation of the fundamental code and instructions.

Another panel provides an opportunity for you to try your hand at coding while also confirming that you’re doing it correctly. With hints and warnings of potential errors, it feels as though you are being guided through the learning experience with a personal tutor.

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2. Piano

I know what you’re thinking: how can learning piano online be any better than sitting down and learning in front of an actual piano? Well, there are several benefits. First, it’s much cheaper. Typically, a 1-hour class ranges from $50 to $250 depending on the teacher, this can range between $2,400 to $12,000 per year! In contrast, compare this to an App or platform such as this one, which is only $59.95 per year.

In addition, online piano classes help teach students to play their favorite songs, learn to play by ear, improvise, and even create their own music – doesn’t that sound better than a piano teacher breathing down your neck telling you that you missed a beat? In fact, the piano online education market has doubled since 2006, according to Google Trends’ search query volume statistics.

3. Language

There are thousands of reasons why we should learn foreign languages. In addition to impressing that cute girl at the bar, learning a new language will boost your confidence, increase your brain power, improve your decision making skills, and open your mind to empathizing with and discovering new cultures. It also makes traveling easier and more enjoyable – imagine being able to ask a Parisian which way the Arc de Triomf is in a perfect French accent.

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If you learn it online instead of sitting in a classroom at nights, you’ll be able to pick up the language much quicker. There are several reasons for this. First, unfortunately, classes typically move at the speed of the slowest learner. There are more levels than just beginner, intermediate, and advanced, but most classes don’t cater to those in between the main three.

Second, language fluency and conversation cannot be taught in a classroom, or anywhere besides a one-on-one environment where you are forced to adapt to a normal conversational speed. In the meantime, download an app or watch some YouTube videos. It will enable you to learn on your own time, which will go quicker than you think.

4. Excel

Microsoft Excel is something everyone should learn. It’s not only for brilliant financial analysts – it’s also good for budgeting personal finance, organizing client lists, planning social gatherings, assessing students, and pretty much anything that requires numbers. In truth, any person, from a stay-at-home parent to a small business owner, can benefit from learning Excel. It’d help you save massive amounts of time automating complex formulas and organizing information.

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In seconds, you can calculate a quick budget, see which students are performing better than others, contemplate how many more miles you need to run this week to reach your dream weight, etc. It’s much more intuitive than most people give it credit for – a quick online course can teach you the basics and help you learn from there. I’m sure, you’ll be making spreadsheets in no time.

5. Photography

Photographs serve an important purpose in our lives. By taking photos we have the ability to preserve a memory for eternity and share our world and past with the people we love. Learning a little bit of photography is a skill that everyone can benefit from.

Photography is also a form of creative expression. They say a photo is worth one thousand words so the images you capture tell a story. By taking an online photography class, you have the opportunity to learn new skills from the comfort of your home than can be an asset to both your personal and professional life.

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Whether you’re interested in photojournalism, street photography or just capturing family photos, every moment is an opportunity to tell a story.

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Yoav Vilner

CEO at Ranky

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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