Need a Career Lifeline? Explore the world of MOOCs

MOOCs-1

These days everyone has something to say about online courses and websites. There is so much of buzz about how these courses are becoming the top choice of professionals around the world who are dealing with time crunch. Thus, there is no doubt regarding the fact that online courses are quite useful for the masses. How they can help your career?

According to an estimate, more than 4 million people from around the world have made 22 million registrations for free classes at Coursera.org, which happens to be the largest provider of Massively Open Online Courses. This goes on to show how popular e-learning has become in the current times. Besides, world’s top universities including Stanford, MIT are competing with each other to offer free Massive Open Online Courses to anybody who has internet access.

Here are some reasons why online courses are such a rage for working professionals:

Diversity of Topics:

There are courses for every possible topic that you can imagine. Whether it is a hobby like photography, or a singing, or something as serious and sophisticated as nanotechnology, you can find courses for all of these on various online platforms. And what more, many of these courses are accredited from top universities.

Flexibility of timings:

A professional is always running on tight deadlines. Ask any white collar professional and he would always want some extra time for completing a project. It will be too much to expect professionals in such cases to take time out for regular classes. This is where these online courses win their case. Almost every course and the site offering them provide this option of “time-travelling” i.e you can travel in time according to your wishes to learn your favorite topic. There is no strict time window to cover a particular topic.

Highly focused:  

The biggest benefit of pursuing an online course for a professional is its conciseness. You can cut the crap and directly concentrate on the relevant parts. For example, if you are working in the analytics industry and all that you are concerned about is learning to use Google analytics, you can focus on courses that teach Google analytics instead of learning the entire history of digital marketing and web analytics. This will not only save a lot of time but also help you to remain focused.

So how exactly can you make the most of these online courses?

Set some definite goals

With the mind boggling number of courses at your disposal, the world of MOOC can leave a person totally dazed and confused. The best way to avoid getting lost is to define your end goal, which you want to achieve and determine which classes or courses will help you achieve them. Those of you think that MOOC are less tough and easy should double check their facts. You will be surprised to know that online courses are just as rigorous as their university counterparts. In fact, a University of Pennsylvania study reveals that only 4% of students who register for a MOOC actually goes on to complete it.

Search for the perfect course

There is endless number of resources where you can find a course for your requirement. However, always trust only the most reliable and which has a credible community following. The current dominating platforms include Coursera, Udacity and edX. These have the largest catalogue of courses which meet the most varied demands of professionals. Each platform has its own strengths and it is good to know which platform excels at what. Udacity is known for its best-in-class computer science and math courses. edX has a slight inclination towards science, technology and math. There are MOOC search engines such as MOOCSE and Class Central for your help as well.

Review what you have learnt and add to your resume

Once you complete your classes, it’s time to review whatever you have learnt.   Figure out the ways in which you can add them to your CV to make the best impact. You can add these skills under a separate tab such as Professional Development or Extra Competencies. You can also add these newly learned skills to your LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn also offers you the opportunity to automatically display badges from completed MOOCs on your profile.

Although the world of MOOCs is still evolving and many employers still don’t give them the attention they deserve, one should not doubt their efficacy. Pursuing an online course or e-learning is certainly one of the best and economic ways of keeping your skills updated and learning new skills.

This article is written by:

Saurabh Tyagi. Saurabh is a blogger with interests in various new media technologies. He made a radical shift from his core engineering degree to this world of internet. He provides advice on how to formulate a resume by providing resume samples as well.

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