Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are transforming learning today. From Stanford University to MIT, the world’s elite universities are providing these completely free online courses to anyone with Web access. You can learn anything from healthcare, to programming, to quality assurance training and placement.
The quantity and diversity of classes offered are increasing at an exponential rate. Courses include liberal arts and sciences options like art history, marine biology, and Spanish, as well as career-oriented offerings like advertising, finance, computer programming, or graphic design that help you get certified for the career you want.
Many have hailed MOOCs as the future of schooling and have praised them because of their capacity to democratize learning. However, many others are skeptical. As an example, the multitude of pupils taking a MOOC prevents any real interaction with a teacher. However, these issues are quickly being remedied by identity and smart technology.
There is still a lot to be excited about. Without having to figure out how to fit a scheduled class into your day, you may grab a new skill from a university to boost your career. A MOOC can even help you find a better job if you play your cards correctly.
Establish your targets
The number of classes offered at any given time could be overwhelming. To narrow the options, determine exactly what you expect to attain from a course.
Do you want to boost your desirability as a job candidate by learning a new skill? Or maybe you’re ready to change gears and want to study a trade? When you’ve narrowed down your targets, you can decide which courses will help you reach them.
As an example, you might be interested in developing mobile apps, but if you’re a newcomer, you may need to take some prerequisite courses in computer programming first.
Be sure to pace yourself. MOOC students are often surprised when a MOOC is as strict as a conventional university class. According to University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education study, only four percent of enrolled MOOC students complete their course. If you finish it a course, you’ll be set apart from many others.
Begin your search
Three companies dominate the MOOC sector: Coursera, edX, and Udacity. They offer a large and wide catalog of courses from a wide array of associations, and also provide many different certifications.
Each MOOC company excels in different fields. For example, Udacity focuses on programming, computer technology, and mathematics. A MOOC search engine like MOOCSE or Class Central (which has some fairly nice filtering capacities) can help you find the courses you’re most interested in.
Showcase what you have learned
After you finish a course, take time to inspect your new skills and decide how to best frame them. For example, in a class on building a startup you not only learn about business models and customer development, but also advertisement, client support, and funding. Even a course like art history could be applicable to a non-arts job if you think hard about the things you’ve learned and how they relate to a position.
Make sure to send a copy of your certificate of completion to the company you work for – or hope to work for. LinkedIn will also display certification badges.
Our systems of learning need to move into the 21st century. Find out how in Taking Learning Back to School.