Looking for a career advancement but don’t have time or resources to go back to school? Don’t worry, there are now a good number of online classes to fix that issue. You just have to devote a few hours a week and you can learn some extremely valuable skills. Sharpening those skills will help you to augment your value as a professional and give you an extra edge in the prospective job market. Some of those courses help you to improve your soft skills and communication abilities while others provide training in hard, job-specific skills. Some of these Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCs are run by reputed private companies like Coursera or Udacity and some are offered by globally famous colleges or universities. Here is a list of top ten online education courses that will help you to boost your professional career. Enroll in these courses now and stay competitive.
1. Introduction to Public Speaking – edX
Good communication skill is undoubtedly one of the keys to professional success. No matter which sector you work in, the public speaking ability is a basic skill that you need to develop. This 10 weeks course will help you to become a confident and effective speaker by examining others’ speeches. The interactive practice sessions will train you in delivering clear and meaningful arguments. The course is offered by the widely-known MOOC platform, the edX, and is absolutely free.
2. How to Build a Startup – Udacity
Want to launch your own business? The beginning is always hard. Take an open online course that will teach you the basics of startup entrepreneurship. Udacity is offering one of the best online classes for this. The course is taught by Steve Blank, the successful Silicon Valley entrepreneur who had begun his career with a small startup. You don’t have to pay a dime to take the course and get a certificate.
3. Harvard University’s Introduction to Computer Science – edX
If you are looking for an effective online course to teach yourself fundamentals of programming, you should take Harvard University’s Introduction to Computer Science offered by edX. It is a beginner level program that will teach you a number of languages like C, Python, SQL, CSS, HTML or PHP. It gives you a basic idea about abstraction, algorithms, data structure, web development etc. The course consists of 9 lessons that take 180 hours in total. You can enroll for free. But if you want to get the HarvardX Verified Certificate after finishing the classes, you need to pay $90.
4. Learn Adobe Illustrator from Scratch – Udemy
A graphic designer with good software skills is always a highly valued professional. If this is your career choice, you have no way but to learn one of the most popular tools used by this industry – the Adobe Illustrator. Udemy offers an online course that teaches the software in 11 hours only. The course is designed for learners of all levels and teaches both basic and advanced topics including types, panels, colors, perspective and automation in only 43 lessons.
5. Marketing in a Digital World – Coursera
In recent years, the new digital technologies, smartphones and the social media have radically changed the field of marketing. The digital medium has given birth to new marketing principles and strategies which are becoming more and more effective and popular nowadays. Coursera brings this brilliant crash course on digital marketing for all business and marketing professionals of our times. Designed by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, this beginner level course is considered to be one of the top 50 MOOCs of all time. You need to devote 6-8 hours a week for 6 weeks to pass the course and get a certificate.
6. Product Design – Validation and UX through Design Sprints – Udacity
Udacity offers this brilliantly planned crash course on product designing. In about 48 hours, the course teaches you how to translate your idea into a marketable product and create a business around it. Apart from the theories of product design, this 4-lessons course also provides instructions on product validation, UI/UX practices, the process of setting and tracking actionable metrics, and Google’s Design Sprints. The course is completely free.
7. Management Skills: Productivity, Leadership, Strategy+ More – Udemy
This is a great course that will help every manager in the early days of their career. This program is actually quite similar to MIT’s Advanced Management Program and costs a fraction of the MIT course. The course helps you to develop better leadership skills, teaches you the strategies of effective communication and negotiation, secrets of team building and advanced management techniques. It also provides valuable lessons on how to raise productivity.
8. Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel – edX
Excel is one tool that is perhaps used in every industry and not many of us know how to use it optimally. This 6-weeks (2-4 hours a week) long course is designed by Microsoft and is available on edX for free. However, if you want to get a certificate of passing from Microsoft, you have to pay $49. In this self-paced course, you get to learn all the new tools provided by Excel from an expert on the Excel Product Team of Microsoft. The course teaches you the fundamentals of data preparation, visualization, and analysis which will make the early days of your career a lot easier.
9. The Photography Starter Kit for Beginners – CreativeLive
Recently, more and more people are taking up a career in photography. Now you don’t have to go to an expensive photography school to become a professional photographer, there are online classes to train yourself. CreativeLive offers you one of the best beginners course on photography that teaches you the basic photographic techniques, principles of light, composition, and design through innovative video lessons. You get John Greengo, an award-winning photographer as your instructor in this course that costs only $49.
10. Introduction to Financial Accounting – Coursera
Financial accountants are extremely powerful and handsomely paid professionals of today’s world of business and industry. Now you can master the basics of the financial management and accounting with this online crash course designed by the University of Pennsylvania. The course teaches you how to analyze three most common financial disclosures or statements, i.e., the balance sheet, the income statement, and the statement of cash flows. The course is taught by a chaired Professor of Accounting from the University of Pennsylvania.