MOOCs And The Future Of Career Qualification

MOOCs and the future of career qualification


College is expensive. This coupled with the frustration of being under-qualified and under-experienced upon graduation is causing people to rethink the whole higher education system. You pay tens of thousands of dollars just to graduate unemployed and deeply mired in debt? No thanks, I’m good. With the rise of MOOCs (massive open online courses), the world is shifting. Now, the whole world has access to the same exceptional educational resources, without the debt.

So what exactly is a MOOC?

A MOOC is a shortened online course – instead of sitting in a lecture hall with one professor and thirty students, you sit in front of your computer with one professor and two hundred thousand students. Ten points for scale, MOOCs. Because MOOCs are free, education is no longer saved for the financially able.

How can your career benefit from online education?

The online community is chock-full of incredible resources to boost your career. You can teach yourself crucial skills for the changing workplace and increase your knowledge in a particular field. Because courses are held online, they fit to your schedule and availability. Do you work nights and need to learn about business strategy between 5 and 7 in the morning? Now you can. Online courses are increasing in popularity and reputability, so now is the time to get involved. Here are a few online resources to take advantage of, especially during the summer months:

Coursera: One of the most popular MOOC sites, Coursera is leading the way in online education with over 4.2 million students and over 80 partner universities. Courses range from 4 weeks to 14 weeks long and span a wide range of subjects from The Global Business of Sports to Computational Investing to History of Rock. Upon completion, students receive certificates confirming their participation in the program.

EdX: This non-profit offers fewer courses, but boast partnerships with universities like MIT Harvard, and Georgetown. Mostly science-based, the EdX courses include Foundations of Computer Graphics and Introduction to Bioethics. The extensive EdX discussion board system allows you to connect with professors, fellows, and teaching assistants to maximize your learning and make new professional connections.

Codeacademy: While Codeacademy is not considered a MOOC, it is an extremely beneficial online educational tool to give your career a lift. HTML and programming skills are so valuable in the changing workplace, and Codeacademy allows you to learn these skills at your own pace and on your own schedule. This site makes basic HTML a breeze, as long as you put in the time to learn. By taking the intimidation away from C++, you can add “Learn to code” to your list of things to do this summer.

A quick five-week online course could be the separation between you and that raise you have been eyeing. With the creation of MOOCs, you don’t necessarily have to attend graduate classes to become a better employee or an exceptional new hire.

Lindsey Sampson

Lindsey Sampson is a student at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently studying International Affairs and Business and hopes to combine the two with a career in social enterprise. Her passion lies in innovative social business and social media as a marketing tool. She lives in Boston and enjoys reading, drinking coffee, and exploring the city. Follow her on Twitter @lindseygsampson.

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