Free Versus Paid Online Learning for Horse Folks

There’s no such thing as having too much knowledge, especially when the topic can help you develop your business or career.
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Paid online learning opportunities don’t always equate to quality. The key is to research the presenter or instructor and look for information on his or her credentials.

Technology has made ongoing learning opportunities easier than ever to access. It’s possible to complete an entire degree online without ever stepping foot into a classroom. There’s also a plethora of online certifications and individual learning opportunities that do not lead to a degree. Each has its place in helping you build a thriving equine business or career.

Costs from online learning vary dramatically. LinkedIn Learning can cost as little as $19.99 a month and offers access to an extensive library of courses on diverse business topics. Webinars and virtual workshops might be free or available at a one-time fee that often includes access to a recording for replay.

One popular online learning tool is known as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Created by Ivy League schools such as Yale and Harvard, MOOCs make courses more accessible. Free non-credit classes offer the chance to learn something new. Others carry a price tag, sometimes $1,500 or more. Before jumping in, think about your goals and how the course contributes to running a successful business or developing your equine career.

Paid online learning opportunities don’t always equate to quality. The key is to research the presenter or instructor and look for information on his or her credentials. Extension specialists often offer access to inexpensive or free high-quality online resources. The Small Business Administration has an online learning program for all types of business owners.

YouTube might be the largest source of online educational opportunities. There are how-to videos for nearly every topic. Consider the source and the presenter's expertise carefully before embracing a YouTube presenter's advice.

Best of all, online learning isn't limited to business or horses. You can find affordable courses to learn a new skill. There’s no such thing as having too much knowledge, especially when the topic can help you develop your business or career.

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