One of the most powerful motivators of career advancement is acquiring new knowledge and skills. Until recently, that often meant the huge commitment in time and money of college courses, and potentially a degree. Now there’s an alternative—MOOCs (massive online open courses).
MOOCs are free online courses, usually taught at the college-level, that are offered by an notable universities like Harvard, MIT, Pennsylvania State and hundreds more. They are free and available online, and their shared goal is to open up learning to as many individuals as possible, providing the public with access to university-level courses. All you need is a computer, an Internet connection, and the desire to learn.
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Do you want to learn about programming? There are MOOCs for that. Do you want to learn the basics of business strategy? There are MOOCs for that. Do you want to learn how to create a computer game or the next killer app? There are MOOCs for that too.
Here’s our Top 10 list of what MOOCs can do for you:
- Discover: You can explore/sample to learn what interests you, whether you are going back into the work force or starting a new career. If the class turns out not to be right for you, you can switch to something else without any cost. If you decide you like the course, you can join interact with the instructor and your fellow learners as well as absorbing the lectures.
- Convenience: Learn at the times that are best for you without affecting your job. Or in the evenings after school. Or while the kids are playing in the next room.
- They’re free. There might be a nominal cost for an “official” credential or badge, but you can learn the material at no cost.
- The instructors are often leaders in their fields, teaching at some of the world’s most prestigious universities.
- Make new contacts in another industry you are interested in learning about. You might end up connecting with someone half way around the world who shares your interests.
- Did we say it was Free?
- There are some MOOCs where you can get college credit to accelerate your timeline to your degree, and save money along the way.
- Enhance your current skill set, whether it’s learning how to use particular software or adding new programming languages to your portfolio; or start on a new subject entirely.
- Experience online learning at an unbeatable price.
- Show employers that you are interested in personal advancement. Taking the initiative to learn something new, and sticking with it to complete the MOOC, is the hallmark of a disciplined self-starter, an asset to any company.
Do you want to dip your toe in the water to check out what a new career might entail? Have you always wanted to learn about a particular topic that might help your career, but never had the chance to go back to school? Somewhere out there, there’s almost certainly a MOOC for you.
So how do you find the free online courses that are right for you? Come to LearningAdvisor.com. There you’ll find thousands of MOOCs searchable by subject, school, and provider. You can read about the MOOCs, read reviews, and catch up on news of what’s happening in the world of online education.
Register (it’s free) on the site to join in the ever-growing community of MOOC-takers. Find the MOOC that fits your needs. And when you’ve taken it, come back and review it!
Share any other benefits you’ve found where MOOCs have helped you advance your career.