Learn Something Today, Take a Free MOOC

16 Apr

As I have mentioned in previous posts, one of the silver linings of unemployment is that you have been given a tremendous opportunity to take the time to learn new skills. You may decide to enroll in a continuing education certificate program, or maybe you’ll take courses at a technical college, or you maybe you’ll enroll in a graduate program. But, more than likely you are on a limited budget, and getting additional education sometimes comes with hefty price tag. If you are considering an expensive program, do your research and make sure it is worth the cost. Some programs may be worth the investment, but there are also many ways you can increase your skills for free.

I am exploring learning for free and increasing my skills through massive online open courses (MOOCs) I recently signed up for a MOOC through Coursera, one of the providers of the increasingly popular MOOCs.  Coursera partners with top universities around the world to offer the free online courses. The courses reach tens of thousands of students around the world, and are offered in a variety of subjects.

I signed-up for An Introduction to Operations Management, offered by the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business on Coursera. The course is designed to be self-contained, meaning you don’t need to purchase an expensive textbook. This course is one of many offerings available in the MOOC world.

MOOCs have been around since 2008, but the MOOC movement really took off in 2012 as new providers came on the scene and some top universities signed-on to provide MOOCs. Some of the popular providers of MOOCs, in addition to Coursera, include Udacity,  edX and NovoEd. NovoEd is focused not only on providing free online education, but making online courses more experiential, interactive, and collaborative. There are many types of courses offered through MOOCs, and your possibilities for learning are endless.

You could take a course from Berkely on descriptive statistics, a course on finance from Stanford University, a course on healthcare informatics from the University of Minnesota (I may sign-up for this one), or a course on how to write code in Python from the University of Toronto.

If you are looking to take a course for fun, you might consider options like studying the history or rock from the University of Rochester, learning about the science of gastronomy from the University of Hong Kong, or introduction to guitar from the Berklee College of Music.

Take advantage of the opportunity to learn for free! Consider you next career move and what skills might be helpful to have in your toolkit. I am excited about all of the opportunties to enrich learning, and connect with others around the world. Take some time to browse the sites and find out what course or courses make sense for you. Sign up today!

photo credit: woodleywonderworks via photopin cc

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2 Responses to “Learn Something Today, Take a Free MOOC”

  1. Jon Rhodes April 16, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Life long learning is a great thing. It should never stop, so good on yer!

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