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Last Updated on January 17, 2018

24 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer

24 Killer Websites that Make You Cleverer

It’s easy to forget that we have access to a virtually limitless resource of information, i.e. the Internet. For a lot of us, this is even true at our fingertips, thanks to the ubiquity of smartphones and an ever-increasing push for online greatness by tech engineers all over the world.

As a result, there are countless websites out there that are geared to make you smarter and more brilliant for either a low or no cost. Here are just 25 killer websites that may just make you more clever than ever before.

1. Duolingo

This isn’t the first time I’ve recommended this language-teaching website (and app), and it certainly won’t be the last. Duolingo is a free version of Rosetta-Stone that delivers the same results: teaching you another language. Regular use of the site can have you speaking and writing Spanish, English, German, French, Portuguese and Italian in a matter of months depending on the diligence you put into it. Hopefully, even more languages will become available soon.

Duolingo

    2. Khan Academy

    Have you ever wanted to pick up a subject you’re not well-versed in, but you didn’t have the money to invest in a college course? Khan Academy aims to provide education at the collegiate level for anyone who wants it. They provide resources for learning pretty much every subject out there, including math, science, history and more. As you learn, the platform will even assess your progress and help you gauge what you’ve learned.

    Academy

      3. Justin Guitar

      Guitar is one of the few instruments out there that’s actually pretty easy to learn if you’re a little older, making it one of the most accessible instruments. Still, learning how to play still takes some direction, at least for most people, so a guy named Justin decided he was going to help out. His website provides hundreds of free guitar lessons that range in different styles, depending on how you want to play. His schedule for learning is pretty easy to follow, and the site is a great stepping stone for people wanting to pick the instrument up.

      Justin Guitar

        4. Cooking for Engineers

        Founded by Michael Chu, Cooking for Engineers goes further than just providing recipes. The site is a blog that is geared toward making your food taste good. Additionally, his analytical take on ingredients and cooking recipes is interesting and will likely change the way you approach cuisine.

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        Cooking for Engineers

          5. The Dating Specialist

          Or Nick the Dating Specialist is a website that wants to help guys be better dates. The site is full of advice on how to approach social situations and flirt successfully with different types of people. Nick even offers personal coaching at your request, so he can help your specific situation or hurdle to successful dating.

          Dating Specialist

            6. Nerd Fitness

            When we think of exercising and gym techniques, we typically think of bodybuilders and jocks from high school. Nerd Fitness aims to provide resources for getting in shape from a nerd’s point of view. All of the guides, blogs and fitness tips on this site have a geek flavor that is intended to make anyone who feels uncomfortable at the gym feel right at home here.

            Nerd Fitness

              7. MIT Open Courseware

              As much as I would love an education at MIT, that isn’t really in the cards. Thankfully, the educators at the Massachusetts Institue of Technology decided to give out information for tons of courses online through Open Courseware. Hundreds of millions of people have benefitted from the information that they can learn from these courses, starting a trend for other sites to offer free courses as well.

              MIT Open

                8. Investopedia

                I don’t like to admit it, but my lack of a business degree tends to make me feel easily intimidated when a conversation starts taking a turn for the financial. To solve this, Investopedia was born to provide a news blog that makes it easy to digest and really understand the financial markets. There are tons of resources like tutorials and videos that will help you keep up with the ever-changing world of money, and the news stories will keep you coming back for more.

                Investpedia

                  9. Quora

                  Have you ever wanted to ask someone famous a question, but you suffer from never having the chance? Thanks to Quora, you can read the opinions and answers of fascinating (and varied) questions from the leading experts in pretty much everything. You can answer questions too and get feedback from numerous others who share your love for a given topic.

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                  Quora

                    10. Information is Beautiful

                    I love reading, but sometimes a visual demonstration just makes information come alive. Hence, Information is Beautiful is a platform that uses gorgeous visuals to impart data. For example, if you want to find out how much money individual organizations have lost from data breaches, you can view an action visual that shows bubbles that are labeled and sized accordingly, giving you an in-depth, but easy to digest overview of the data.

                    Information is beautiful

                      11. Spreeder

                      According to Spreeder, a lot of us have trouble reading quickly because we can only read as fast as our “inner voice” can. Spreeder’s solution is to teach you to read without an inner voice, boosting reading speed and comprehension immensely. The best part? It’s totally free.

                      Spreeder

                        12. Project Gutenberg

                        Imagine a library with tons of free books that you can keep for the rest of your life. Actually, you don’t have to imagine that because Project Gutenberg gives you the ability to download thousands of free e-books, and it’s completely legal.

                        Project Grutenberg

                          13. Codeacademy

                          If you haven’t noticed by now, the Internet has pretty much taken over everything, which means the skill of coding and developing websites is in higher demand than ever, and that’s not likely to change. With Codeacademy, you can use free tutorials that teach you the basics of coding with interactive and handy tools for helping you become an expert.

                          Codeacademy

                            14. GeographyIQ

                            Imagine if Google Earth and Wikipedia decided to make it official and have a child. That would be GeographyIQ. Using the world map, you can select any country and access virtually every facet of useful information there is about that country, including history, currency, population and more.

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                            Geography IQ

                              15. Anki

                              It’s no secret that the key to memorizing information is mastering recall. With flashcards, you can recall things faster, making Anki an ideal resource for using flashcards online. Unlike other sites that use flashcards, Anki allows you embed more than just text. You can use video, audio and images to help you start studying faster and smarter.

                              Anki

                                16. Lumosity

                                Using games to learn is something I’ve treasured since Kindergarten, making Lumosity a trusted resource for me and countless others. Using a daily schedule of games, Lumosity is literally designed to make you more clever. As you progress, the software figures out what your strengths and weaknesses (such as memory or math skills) and assigns you games accordingly. The best part is that the games are actually addicting and fun to look forward to!

                                Lumosity

                                  17. CliffsNotes

                                  Ideal for high school and college students, Cliffsnotes provides valuable resources like study guides and test prep for standard books and subjects you’ll have to read anyway. The site also provides resources for math and science, giving you the chance to finally master the dark arts of homework.

                                  CliffsNotes

                                    18. TED

                                    For years, people have been benefitting from TED talks that provide free insights from the world’s smartest people. TED provides the value and learning growth of a seminar, but without the exorbitant costs and travel expenses, by providing visitors with tons of free video lectures. The app is also great for catching up on the latest talks, and you can even download some on iTunes.

                                    TED

                                      19. Pinfruit

                                      Need to memorize a lengthy number? Pinfruit analyzes the number and provides all of the options you could want as a mnemonic device. That’s all there is to it, since (unfortunately) they only provide this for numbers and not words.

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                                      pinfruit

                                        20. Mindtools

                                        There are countless blogs that you can enjoy for being interesting and mildly useful, but how many of them actually help you with your career? Mindtools is a blog that teaches you what they call “practical career skills” that you can apply at your job. This is a great daily read for entry-level workers who want to make a great impression, and the variety of topics and advice provided make this is a fantastic bookmark for anyone wanting to excel.

                                        MindTools

                                          21. HowStuffWorks

                                          There are things we want to know about, and then there are things we didn’t know we wanted to know about. HowStuffWorks addresses the latter by providing information on a variety of topics and eye-opening facts that will broaden your horizons.

                                          HowStuffWorks

                                            22. OneLook

                                            Finding a great dictionary is not a difficult task in a world full of search engines, but it can be tricky to define more complicated words and phrases that most dictionaries (besides UrbanDictionary) don’t attempt to define. With OneLook, you can find multiple definitions from numerous dictionaries in one place, even if you’re looking up a phrase that is obscure or too specific for normal dictionaries to help you out with.

                                            OneLook

                                              23. The World Factbook

                                              Did you know that the CIA has information on pretty much everything in the world? Okay, but did you know that they make a ton of this information open to the public? The World Factbook is your godsend for research, allowing you to cite facts and details that pertain to a seemingly endless amount of information from reputable sources.

                                              Worldbook

                                                24. Couchsurfing

                                                Don’t let the name fool you, as Couchsurfing is far from a website that will make you lazy. Couchsurfing lets you connect with travelers all over the world and is the ultimate resource for experiencing other cultures. Put simply, you can use the social network to meet locals in a new community you are visiting. You can also open up your home to fellow couchsurfers, giving you the chance to make new experiences and memories with fascinating people from all over the globe.

                                                Couchsurfing

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                                                  Published on November 9, 2018

                                                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                                  How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

                                                  Technology has taken the business world by storm. People and businesses are progressively reliant on technology world these days. As a result, the people with impressive knowledge and experience with a computer are in demand.

                                                  Considering this growing market trend, if you too wish to bag a profitable job, this article is apt for you. Here, we will dig deeper into the business and technology world to look into what are the best computer skills one should invest in and what resources to get help from.

                                                  So, are you ready? Here we begin.

                                                  6 Most-In Demand Computer Skills This Year (and Beyond)

                                                  When talking about computer skills, following are the 6 computer skills that can fill your mailbox with endless job opportunities (besides, having an English and Hindi typing speed of 40+ WPM):-

                                                  1. Spreadsheets and Databases

                                                  Considering the treasure trove of data companies are handling these days, Spreadsheet and Database management skill tops the list. It is considered the most wanted job skill in the market, with a salary of around $53,129/yr for an entry-level position. However, the spreadsheet skill does not confine to auditing data from cells.

                                                  To get hired based on this computer skill, you need to become a Spreadsheet ninja. From storing data to organizing them, applying complex mathematics formulas, and creating complex macros, you need to be an expert at all.

                                                  In other words, you need to have an expertise at working with:

                                                  • Microsoft Excel
                                                  • Microsoft Access
                                                  • Statistics
                                                  • Data Analytics
                                                  • Adobe Campaign
                                                  • Quickbooks
                                                  • XML Database management system
                                                  • Filemaker Pro
                                                  • MATLAB
                                                  • Hive
                                                  • FORTRAN
                                                  • RDBMS (Relational Database Management System)
                                                  • SAS

                                                  2. Social Media, Email, and Blogging

                                                  Though people are socially active, not everyone knows how to use the social media tools on the professional front. In such a scenario, having an expertise at writing engaging yet professional emails, writing blogs, and managing social media activities is a ticket to entry in reputed organizations.

                                                  Some of the skills related to social media, email and blogging that will have a leg up in the hiring process are:

                                                  • Content Management System (CMS)
                                                  • Google Analytics
                                                  • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
                                                  • Email Marketing
                                                  • Web Page Design
                                                  • WordPress
                                                  • Digital Media
                                                  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
                                                  • Campaign Management Software

                                                  3. Graphic Design and Word Processing

                                                  A solid grasp of skills to present the gained information in the much readable form is another market need. When considering this computer skill category, you need to enhance your skills at:

                                                  • Adobe Photoshop
                                                  • Adobe InDesign
                                                  • Adobe Illustrator
                                                  • AutoCAD
                                                  • CorelDRAW
                                                  • Microsoft Visual Studio
                                                  • Maya
                                                  • Microsoft Word
                                                  • Microsoft Publisher
                                                  • Operating Digital Cameras

                                                  4. Software and Hardware Design and Development

                                                  The Software and Hardware development, in simpler language, means designing, implementing, and testing the computer software/hardware applications. It is the most profitable computer skill, with a different job opening, including Software Architect, Software Analyst, Software programmer, Hardware configuration, etc.

                                                  To be capable of developing and testing the software and hardware, you need to peruse your users’ needs and build an application that hits their pain points. You need to work with different web and mobile app coding languages for gaining the attention of your audience, some of which are:

                                                  • HTML
                                                  • C/C++
                                                  • Java
                                                  • Python
                                                  • XML
                                                  • UI/UX
                                                  • LINUX
                                                  • CISC and RISC architecture
                                                  • Embedded Processor Hardware Design
                                                  • Memory Management
                                                  • PCB Layout
                                                  • SQL

                                                  5. IT Troubleshooting

                                                  Working on computers is one thing and having a knack of looking into the associated issues and resolving them in real-time is another. There are various employees and graduates who work with computer systems in their daily lives, but get confused when it comes to dealing with frozen programs and performing routine maintenance.

                                                  So, if you are familiar with the basic anatomy of computers and machines and know the tricks to perform such tasks to streamline the working process, enter the IT support arena. The prime IT troubleshooting skills one needs to work upon are:

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                                                  • Backup management
                                                  • Diagnostics
                                                  • End User support
                                                  • Client-Server management
                                                  • Installation and configuration
                                                  • Issue tracking system (ITS)
                                                  • System administration
                                                  • Tech support

                                                  6. Enterprise Systems

                                                  Many Enterprises have their own enterprise solutions like PeopleSoft for managing their data and operations.

                                                  Becoming a master at using the enterprise solutions mentioned in their ‘Requirements’ area can also lessen the barrier to get a job.

                                                  The Roadmap to Excel Your Computer Skills

                                                  Now that you know the 6 most popular computer skills in the market, the first decision, you need to take is which computer skill you want to work upon. All the skills are equally considerable for making a career ahead. So, choose one as per your interest.

                                                  Once done, look forward to the following resources for boosting your computer skills and getting a reputed, handsome job.

                                                  Depending on the computer skill you opt, here are the online courses you can turn to for elevating your career opportunities:

                                                  1. Become a Spreadsheet and Database Ninja

                                                  a. Microsoft Excel Training Online Course – Basic & Advanced

                                                  Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert at working with spreadsheets, this online course has something new for everyone to become excel efficient users.

                                                  Divided into 48 interesting lessons, the course empowers you to learn the technique of using mathematical, statistical, logical and text functions, sorting and filtering the data, creating Pivot Tables, building macros, finding a value with VLOOKUp, and much more.

                                                  b. Excel- Online Courses, Classes, Training, Tutorials on Lynda

                                                  This is another impressive course to unlock the power of Excel. Designed for people from all walks of life and familiarity with Excel tools. This course helps you gain in-depth knowledge from the experts about this data-analyzing tool and make the magic in spreadsheet creation and management process.

                                                  c. SQL & Database Design A-Z™: Learn MS SQL Server + PostgreSQL

                                                  Build a successful career in the data analytics world with this online course.

                                                  Revolving around the two top databases, MS SQL and PostgreSQL, this course will give you a comprehensive knowledge of the working of the databases and understanding of all the related elements, including how to create, update, organize, and safeguard the data.

                                                  2. Rule the Social Media World

                                                  a. Free Social Media Course by HubSpot

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                                                  Introduced by the top experienced inbound professors from Hubspot, here you will get a comprehensive knowledge of Social media marketing.

                                                  From understanding how to build relationships on different social media platforms to creating a perfect strategy to engage them, leveraging the benefits of social advertising, and analyzing your social media ROI, this course will bring out the best out of you.

                                                  b. Write Professional Emails in English by Coursera

                                                  This online course will be the right weapon to look into the differences and similarities between different email styles, improve your English writing skills, write effective subject lines, maintain the formality tone in emails, and more to make a powerful impact on the receivers with your email.

                                                  c. Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

                                                  Founded by Udemy, this online course will excel your skills to build a masterpiece everytime you write.

                                                  Here, you will get the guidance from the editors of the top newspapers and websites, and understand what kind of words and tone to use for leaving a spellbinding impact on the readers.

                                                  3. Launch Your Own Software or Hardware Equipment

                                                  a. Hardware and Software Courses by Coursera

                                                  From Big Data to IoT, Sensor Circuit Design, Embedded Software and Hardware Architecture, and Motor Control Circuit, this course will give you a glimpse of all the hardware devices, equipment, and programming languages to build wonders.

                                                  b. Free Software and Web Development Certifications Online by Alison

                                                  Become the software developer market demands with Alison’s Java, C#, Python, R, PHP, or MySQL database course. From backend to frontend development and software testing.

                                                  The course helps you to learn how to design, develop and test software and working in a team while contributing to the team success.

                                                  c. Free Online Software Development and MOOCs Course by Class Central

                                                  The Class Central online course will make you a master of software development. Here, you will learn the basic concepts of development like Agile, Design Patterns, and Version Control with Git, along with gaining experience of working with the top programming languages.

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                                                  4. Live and Breathe Creativity

                                                  a. Udemy: Introduction to Graphic Design

                                                  It is a top-rated program for the new learners and designers to explore the Graphic Design world.

                                                  From the history of communication to the design principles, the course will help the students to learn everything specifically and implement in the real world.

                                                  b. Canva Design School

                                                  From a beginner to advanced level, this course will provide you with an elaborated and comprehensive knowledge of graphic design. In the form of 4 modules, this course will help the interested graphic designers to try out their skills at Graphics, ranging from fonts to colors, backgrounds, images, shapes, and layouts.

                                                  c. Microsoft Word – Basic & Advanced

                                                  62 personalized lessons, premium video tutorials, and unlimited tests and quizzes – this certified course has everything that will make your entry to the business world easier.

                                                  d. Microsoft Office: Word, Excel and Access Productivity Bundle

                                                  The course will make you productive in Word, Excel, and Access through video lectures, articles, and various other supplemental resources.

                                                  Besides, it will offer you exclusive tips and tricks to enhance your skills at using Microsoft office.

                                                  5. Raise Your Reflexes to IT Troubleshooting

                                                  a. IT Troubleshooting Skill Training by Udemy

                                                  IT Troubleshooting Skill Training will upgrade your logical concepts over technical components to find and repair faults.

                                                  It will provide you with a methodological approach to learn the basics of troubleshooting, practice them via exercises and drills, and enhance your IT troubleshooting intelligence.

                                                  b. IT Help Desk Online Course on Lynda

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                                                  The Lynda’s IT troubleshooting online course will train you how to respond to the issues related to Windows 10, Office 365, JIRA software, and more, from a local as well as a remote location.

                                                  Mobile Apps and Websites to Enhance Computer Skills

                                                  The aforementioned online courses will undoubtedly train you for a successful career ahead. But, in case you want a long-term support, turn towards the following websites and mobile apps:

                                                  • Duolingo – Duolingo app will improve your spoken and written communication skills in different languages. With the magic of gamification added to the study, the app will make learning a fun and addictive task.
                                                  • Hemingway – Hemingway app defines the length, complexity, and common errors associated with the sentences. In this way, it helps you to write effectively and go ahead in the career.
                                                  • Udemy – The Udemy, with its 2000+ courses, is a great platform to master new skills, advance your career and explore the newer technologies and programming languages. Enrol a course as per your budget and make a brighter future.
                                                  • eDX – eDX is yet another commendable platform you can look forward to. The platform offers you the best of the tutorials prepared by the business professionals and technology experts, ensuring a great boost in your computer skills.
                                                  • Excel Easy – Excel Easy, as the name depicts, will make working with Excel easier for you via their detailed tutorials and 300+ real-life examples.
                                                  • GCF LearnFree.org – It is a one-stop platform for accelerating your future in the computer world. From graphic design to Microsoft Office, resume writing, enhancing adaptability, and much more, the top experts will guide you with everything on this platform.
                                                  • QuarkXPress – The QuarkXPress will aid you to add soul to your design with its unparalleled collection of font style, size, and typography. The best part is that it is avails all the options in different languages, including English, Spanish, German, French, and Italian to name a few.

                                                  Bonus: Tips to Accelerate Your Approach For a Better Career Ahead

                                                  Though these resources will make you stand out from the crowd and get hired at once, you need to focus on various other things, such as:

                                                  1. Practice, Practice, Practice

                                                  It is common to forget what we learn. To ensure that you do not miss any opportunity just because you forgot, keep practising.

                                                  Make it your routine. Polish your computer skills and you will surely end up getting an offer letter from a recognized firm.

                                                  2. Work on Your Efficiency

                                                  Remembering what you learned is not enough; practice to enhance those skills to do better.

                                                  For example, if you take around 50 minutes to create a design, target for 40 minutes.

                                                  3. Look for Shortcuts

                                                  Smart work rules over hard work more often. So, look forward to learning shortcuts to do any task. This will increase your chances to crack an interview and get selected.

                                                  4. Apply for an Internship

                                                  Last but not the least, apply for an internship to see what’s trending in the market and how much you are ready for it. While doing an internship, pay attention to your weak points and work on them. This will ensure a success when you apply for your dream job.

                                                  By the late, it’s never too late to be an intern or grab whatever opportunity to learn something new! Here’s how:

                                                  How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

                                                  The Bottom Line

                                                  Seeing the current market scenario, it is evident that having computer skills is a boon for a better career ahead.

                                                  So, rather than struggling with thousands of other things and trying to crack interviews, focus on the computer skills mentioned in this article. Utilize the resources and experts’ tips shared and look forward to having a successful and prosperous future.

                                                  Featured photo credit: Glenn Carstens-Peters via unsplash.com

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