Looking for online learning to boost your career? There are many benefits to online learning. The biggest advantages of online learning are convenience, accessibility, and the number of opportunities available. I’m going to share a few of the most popular online learning sites offering thousands of amazing courses you can take right from your own home.
Online courses are a fantastic way to keep learning throughout your life both personally and professionally. Short or micro courses also known as micro-credentials enable you to develop your knowledge and skills. In some cases a micro-credential leads into a more substantial qualification. But you don’t have to be aiming for a formal qualification to take an online course. Non-accredited courses can be useful to enhance your existing qualifications or to develop your knowledge on a particular subject area.
So here they are, four great online learning sites to boost your career:
Edx.org was founded in 2012 by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists. In the time since, it’s become one of the most popular MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) in the world. Edx offers courses from universities such as Harvard, MIT and Berkeley in the US and many other universities across the globe.
You can ‘audit’ a course (take it for free), only paying a fee if you wish to be certified. This involves taking a verified track where you sit exams at key points throughout the course.
Whether you want to learn Agile Project Management or Python Programming, or study Climate Change Education or Microeconomics, you will find quality learning from reputable institutes from around the world to advance your career.
Coursera.org also founded in 2012, boasts being one of the largest providers of MOOCs (massive open online courses) in the world. With so many courses on offer, you’re bound to find something of interest. Whether you’re looking to take a short course as an introduction to a topic or take your career to the next level with a master’s degree.
Coursera offers courses on a wide range of topics from universities and organisations around the world from The Science of Wellbeing at Yale to Mathematics for Machine Learning at Imperial College London.
You can audit a course for free or pay a certification fee to gain a certificate of completion which is a great way to enhance your CV and LinkedIn profile (Coursera certificates are directly shareable to LinkedIn).
FutureLearn is a UK based online learning platform launched in 2013 offering teaching by . Many students start out with FutureLearn’s taster style courses which allow you to gain bite sized training on a specific topic or dive deeper into more substantial learning.
Like other online learning sites, you can study a single subject, a course, microcredentials or even take an online degree. The short courses allow you to get a feel for a university’s microcredentials or post graduate programs which include formal assessment. FutureLearn offers three levels of access to learning through it’s ‘free’, ‘upgrade’ or ‘unlimited’ options.
Udemy.com was established in 2010 and offers over a 100,000 courses on a wide range of topics including business and entrepreneurship, technology, the arts, language, music, health, and fitness. While you can learn job related skills via the Udemy online learning platform, it also offers a lot of hobby courses you might take for personal interest rather than helping to enhance your CV.
One of the downsides to Udemy is that anyone can publish a course there. But that can be a positive in that talented people who might not not be qualified trainers are able to share their knowledge and expertise. You can preview most courses and previous student reviews and ratings are helpful. Some of the most popular personal interest courses on Udemy are photography, how to play a musical instrument like the piano or guitar, and personal development courses.
Udemy can be a good option for those looking for general learning. For instance, if you’re looking for introductory courses or hobby courses, it can be a great option. But since Udemy courses don’t publish as many professional courses as Edx and Coursera do, it’s probably not the best choice if you’re looking for online learning to boost your career.
No matter what you want to learn, there is likely to be a course available at one of these popular online learning sites to suit your needs. Some of the best universities from around the world offer a range of courses from short tasters through to master’s level qualifications.
When looking for a course, be clear about your motives. Are you learning for fun or are you looking for a course that will enhance your career prospects? If you are looking to gain a recognized qualification, make sure you choose a reputable and registered training organisation, college, or university. Take the time to do your homework. Check reviews and rankings to help you make the right choice.
If you’re not sure which course would be the most beneficial for your career, consider working with a qualified career coach who can help you decide.