Education – Knowledge or Degrees?

Which is more important – the degree you get from a university or the learning itself?  If you just want the piece of paper you have to pay dearly.  If you agree that the education is more important, then congratulations.  You can get that with no cost at all.  How could you change your opportunities and your lot in life if you got the same knowledge that a UC Berkeley graduate paid $120,000 for?  If there were no cost and you could go as quickly as you liked, would you take advantage of the training – or will you look up 2 years from now and realize you are in the same place? 

Podcast listener James Cook passed along this information about free online college and university courses:  Here’s a list of the top 10 universities offering open courses.

Top 10 Universities with Free Courses  

You’ll see UC Berkeley at the top of the list.  Ranked as the #1 public school in the United States, Berkeley offers podcasts and webcasts of amazing professors lecturing. Each course has an RSS feed so you can track each new lecture. For printable assignments and notes you can check the professors homepage,

And here’s another new university that offers all of their programs without cost.  Shai Reshef, the multimillionaire founder, believes that everyone should have access to education, but without socialization or funding from the government.  

University of the People  is a tuition-free, online, open-source university.

Here’s their mission statement:

The University of the People is a nonprofit organization devoted to providing universal access to quality, online post-secondary education and is comprised of numerous volunteers from all around the world. Many of these volunteers are regular members of university departments; others are active professionals – business administrators, librarians, computer programmers, economists and educators.

Our fundamental belief is that all people, world-wide, should have the opportunity to change their lives and contribute to their communities, as well as understanding that the path to societal and individual prosperity is through education.

We are confident that our collective efforts as volunteers can be decisive in developing and executing the programs through which many people all over the world will have the opportunity to receive higher education.

Yes you really can get most any education you want – and can most certainly design your future.  Now decide what you want your life to be like 5 years from now. 

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” – Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

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17 Responses to “Education – Knowledge or Degrees?”

  1. John Albert Thomas Says:

    I know we’re not supposed to say it, but college is not for everyone, and it’s more costly than it’s worth in many cases. If I had started my music business five and a half years earlier, then perhaps my business would have taken off that much sooner. However, I would not have my wife and kids either, so now I am happy and poor.

    One thing to note, though, is that when I was in college, Prodigy was the way to access the Internet and send email. Remember the pay-per-email days? With the Internet in it’s current form, a college education is free. No need to heap on piles of debt, unless of course, you need a college to find the wife of your dreams. But then be prepared to be poor together for a few years. 🙂

  2. B Smith @ Education 2.0 Says:

    Dan-You just touched on a subject I’ve been preaching for years. Having a piece of paper is important but it often isn’t worth the cost that goes into it.

    I see value in the open source colleges for the information but it doesn’t give you a diploma. Having a degree is a requirement for many jobs and the open source colleges haven’t been tested as being acceptable.

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