Schools & Skills for Everyone

As much as it has disrupted everything else, the Internet continues to change the way skills are learned and how they are applied in the work place. The prevalence of do-it-yourself content on the Web makes it possible for everyone to learn just about any topic there is to know.

Certainly, the initial skills that were taught through DIY sites were soft skills or those strongly associated with crafts and hobbies. Home improvement, cooking and sewing were some of the standard DIY fare for some time. However, online learning radically evolved as more people realized its effectiveness and as new technologies enrich the learning experience. Rich media, podcasts, animation, and video conferences are now extensively being used to teach different subjects.

As a result, online learning has become a pillar in formal education, with many colleges and other institutions now offering online programs and courses, most coming with universally accepted certifications. Meanwhile, the crafts, hobbies and soft skills that comprised the standard fare of DIY channels are now complemented by formal courses on highly technical subjects such as software programming, graphic design, calculus, and search optimization. Just consider the success of websites like Lynda, Grovo, and Khan Academy and you'll see the radically evolving face of education. For clever and enterprising individuals, checking out and learning from the courses offered by these sites could yield enormous value in the future.