Many schools and universities offer classes to others besides those students that are enrolled with the university. These classes are noncredit and are often viewed as leisure courses or do-it-yourself courses. Many offer leisure courses to people interested in a variety of skills and techniques so that they can do things on their own, rather than paying for things of interest or hiring people to do skilled projects. A recent article in the Boston Globe talks about taking courses not only for leisure purposes, but to actually learn new things to work on do-it-yourself projects, or apply new skills or techniques to current knowledge.
Many people who have the time for do-it-yourself projects or just want to learn more about subjects and topics that interest them, are taking courses in various capacities. Popular leisure courses include arts and painting, crafts, design, gardening and landscaping, cooking, fashion, computers and technology, and web design, to name a few. Some courses are also offered to teach the students how to use programs such as QuickBooks or general software used in the workplace setting, and gadgets such as iPods or laptops. Other courses offer personal or financial help on topics such as money management, budgeting, and entrepreneurship, for those interested in forming their own businesses.
Course lengths and costs can vary between schools, but tuition in these courses is something that it definitely on the rise all the way around. According to Learning Resources Network, do-it-yourself courses have a $2 billion dollar market with about 15 million registrations at its peak. Do-it-yourself courses built around projects within the home, such as gardening, building, and cooking, have been very popular in recent years. The dean at North Shore Community College stated, "things geared around the home have been very, very successful" and added that North Shore had about 7,000 students sign up for leisure courses each year, on average. Courses at North Shore, located in Massachusetts, had a tuition rate of between $39 to $299 for courses on their campus.
DIY courses are nothing new, they have just been becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Because courses are offered at such diverse lengths, they cater to a number of different types of people wanting to learn new trades and skills. As stated in the article, one man would rather take a course at the local community college in landscaping and do his garden work himself, rather than hire a professional to do the work for him. Many people think that doing the work themselves is much more rewarding and a better experience for them.
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