Graphic designed by Evan Brooks.
After 14 prior installments of this column, I thought for the 15th installment I should share a somewhat comprehensive list of the main resources available to you, for free, where you can learn more about Business, Economics, Finance and far more. For each of the five web-based resources, I will elaborate what each of them are and how they can be used to best serve you. Taking learning into your own hands, through actively seeking out new resources and taking the time to focus and learn on your own, is one of the best things you can do for yourself. My hope is that at least one of the resources elaborated upon below can help you work it into your daily routine.
In all simplicity, Investopedia is literally the Wikipedia of all things financial, economic, or business related. With a news section dedicated to all things financial in nature, Investopedia is a great starting resource to learn just about anything you need, which can be helpful for courses in the economics or financial field. While their academy section is not free, most of the information that you will ever need is free and available on their website. Again, I recommend this resource as a starting area for your financial education, but like Wikipedia, it is often best to use this resource more like a foundation to pair with other resources. From personal finance to investing, Investopedia is a great all-around tool to use.
LinkedIn Learning (https://www.linkedin.com/learning/?trk=nav_neptune_learning)
This next resource is a bit time-sensitive for West Chester University (WCU) students, although it is immeasurably helpful if used when you are able to. As a WCU student, you get free access to LinkedIn Learning, which you would otherwise have to pay for. You can access your free pass through this website (https://www.wcupa.edu/linkedinlearning/), although once you graduate from WCU, I believe you will eventually lose access to this tool. Faculty of WCU can also access this resource and link it to their accounts as well. I highly recommend this tool, especially if you want virtual certificates in what you learned. LinkedIn Learning provides courses centered around business, digital design, leadership and more — all of which you can get course completion certificates in.
MarketWatch is an online resource that is more geared towards investing. It also provides news updates, as well as financial opinion pieces that can be used to understand how financially-focused individuals think. This is a great resource if you are looking to learn more about investing, because it can be used to show you the current stocks of companies as well as financial information on each company. Another resource that is similar to MarketWatch is Yahoo Finance (https://finance.yahoo.com/) which can also be used to get some in depth analysis on company performance. Overall, I recommend using this tool if your aim is to learn more about investing, and what news impacts the markets.
Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org/?learn=1)
When we think of Khan Academy, or at least when I used to think about it, we think of it as a place to learn more about mathematics, but it teaches so much more. Khan Academy is always expanding its library of free and available knowledge, and has courses on things like finance, economics, entrepreneurship and so much more. This resource, to me, is a classic that I never properly took advantage of when I was in high school. Whether it is any of the courses I previously mentioned, or you want to learn something completely different, I recommend checking Khan Academy out again, because it is for everyone of any age. From engaging videos to practice problems designed to aid in your learning, Khan Academy is one of the best free learning resources out there.
Future Learn (https://www.futurelearn.com/)
This last resource is a lot like LinkedIn Learning in the sense that you are presented with courses that you can get a certificate from, but a large amount of the courses on this website are free, with the only cost being the certificate if you really want it, or higher level or longer length courses. The courses are created by universities across the world, from the United States to the United Kingdom to Australia. Future Learn is aimed at providing some free educational courses for anyone to learn from, online. I would say that this is a great resource if you are looking to take some short courses that range in topic.
Overall, these five resources are provided with the intention to make it easier for you to learn more on topics like business, economics, finance or really anything you want to learn about. The goal should be to constantly and consistently grow your underlying knowledge, even if the information is not based in your main field of study. I hope that these resources find you well, and that at least one of them can be used to form the habit of being a lifelong learner, especially once you are done with your schooling.
Evan Brooks is a fourth-year Business Management major with minors in Economics and Civil & Professional Leadership. EB916132@wcupa.edu