A plethora of online courses taught by world famous industry professionals are at your fingertips; don’t waste this opportunity.
The capitalist economy is set up deliberately to minimise your spare time. From our first saucer-eyed venture into higher education and the job market, our freedom is co-opted by the endless drudgery of the 9-5.
In her book Decolonising Time: Work, Leisure and Freedom, Marie Shippen argues that our lives are so often taken up by work and carrying out living necessities (shopping, cleaning etc) that even when we do accumulate some ‘free time’, it’s rarely ‘leisure time’ in any stimulating sense. More often our evenings and weekends are spent in a decompression slump where we simply consume more products (streaming TV, Deliveroo because we’re too tired to cook) before jumping back into the daily grind. This is true of students as well as professionals, and it’s the workforce Gen Z have been taught to expect.
But for the grace of Lockdown, many of us would have continued on in this vein in ignorance of an alternative. However, the pandemic has forced capitalist structures that consume our money and our time to give us back control over our daily schedule. It’s a disruption that’s bound to have far-reaching consequences, as people realise what it is to not be constantly tired from arduous, repetitive, and often unstimulating work or study, to and from which they must commute, and to have energy and time left over.
Many are grasping the opportunity to learn something new and upskill themselves. When you have the motivation to go looking for it, it doesn’t take long to realise how mind-bogglingly large the range of opportunities for online learning are.
Some web academies that have experienced a massive surge in demand during quarantine are the How To Academy, Masterclass, and Udemy. They’re not all free, and given recent exploitation scandals for-profit online universities like the University of Phoenix have been mixed up in, it’s easy to suspect that these platforms are nothing but insubstantial money-making ventures. But the quality of the teaching on these sites is undeniable, and the prices are reasonable.
New things are always scary, but this seems to be the future of quick upskilling and self-directed research.
If you’ve not already heard people raving about Masterclass til they’re out of breath, then frankly you haven’t been listening hard enough.
Masterclass is a subscription-based education service that’s host to thousands, and I mean thousands, of courses on quite literally everything you could think of taught by the most successful people in the world in those fields. For under £15 a month GDP, you can learn composition from Hans Zimmer, acting from Natalie Portman, tennis from Serena Williams, filmmaking from Martin Scorsese, writing from Judie Blume, and astrophysics from Neil deGrasse Tyson.
Their front page’s optics are similar to Netflix, with famous faces smiling up at you as the page carousels through various video options. But you’re not here to switch off, oh no – these professionals are going to help you lift the curtains of previously opaque industries and stride behind the scenes to learn the tricks of the trade. People who have gained the kind of success most of us only dream of are ready and willing to share their secrets, why the hell wouldn’t we listen?!