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Employee development is an ongoing process, and as busy professionals, we must make time to invest in our continuing education. The good news is that investing in education doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank. There are a growing number of informative online business education resources that are free of charge.


1. Podcasts

The iTunes Store  offers more than 100,000 free audio or video series, podcasts, that you can download and play on your iPod, iPhone or computer. Visit the iTunes Store on your computer, click on Podcasts in the top navigation and browse or search by keyword. Subscribe to online business education podcasts that seem interesting on topics such as entrepreneurship, management, marketing, language learning and business news and listen to them on your daily commute or workout.


2. iTunes U

iTunes U is also accessible through the iTunes Store on your computer and has more than 350,000 free lectures, readings, videos and regular podcasts from universities and learning institutions around the world. Learn how to write a business plan from a Yale professor or get leadership tips from the Poynter Institute.


3. TechSoup Free Webinars

TechSoup, an online technology resource for nonprofits, offers free online seminars on topics including social media, fundraising and multimedia.


4. Small Business Training Network

The Small Business Association has a “virtual campus,” the Small Business Training Network, that posts free online business education courses, publications and technical help. Each course is self-paced and takes about 30 minutes, so it is ideal for a busy schedule.


5. TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talks

TED is “a small nonprofit dedicated to Ideas Worth Spreading.” Its two annual conferences bring together some of the world’s most influential people, from Malcolm Gladwell to Melinda Gates, to give short and inspiring talks that are available free online to the public.


5. OpenCourseWare Consortium

The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a nonprofit organization made up of more than 250 universities and associated organizations that share top-notch courses and online business education resources at no cost. MIT Sloan School of Management  in particular has some fantastic course offerings.


6. The Personal MBA

The Personal MBA is a free program designed to be a DIY (do-it-yourself) MBA program. It is focused around a comprehensive reading list of the best business books  on topics including communication, decision-making, employee development, innovation and management training courses.


7. W3Schools Online Tutorials

W3Schools is the best online resource for web development, from basic HTML to building a complete website, and it’s completely free. Visit the website to find answers to all your technology questions, and experiment with new skills with the “Try It Yourself” editor.


Got a taste for knowledge? Take your business education to the next level with Employee Development Systems, Inc.’s interactive courses .

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