Great MOOCs

  • Coursera
  • Udacity
  • edX
  • Harvard Open Courses
  • MIT OpenCourseware

It’s been less than 10 years since MOOCs have become accessible for people who want to expand their education. A MOOC is a massive open online course. It’s a great way to have access to classes from heavyweights like Stanford, Yale, MIT and the Sorbonne. In recent years, MOOCs have been offering a larger catalog to those who want to continue their education and be life-long learners. While previously, these courses were available for free, many students are demanding certifications to be applied towards their credentials and placed on their resumes.

Coursera

All the courses available through this platform are online, available for everyone and can earn a course certificate. The price of the courses vary based on their availability as well as popularity. There are specializations for those who want to get a structured education as well as an accredited degree. There are business specializations, life sciences, math and logic, personal development and social sciences. A student could learn Introduction to Guitar from Berklee then take a course in Business Foundations or Business Analytics.

Related resource: Top 25 Most Affordable Online Business Graduate Degrees

Udacity

At Udacity, courses cover topics related to the entire digital marketing world. They offer a nanodegree program that gives students specific skills related to marketing that are in demand with top companies. Udacity works in collaboration with companies like Facebook, Hootsuite, Hubspot and Google. Students will learn marketing fundamentals, content strategy, social media marketing and SEO. They also cover topics like Robotics and Artificial Intelligence.

edX

While some of these other programs cost per month or per course, edX provides some popular free courses from instructors who are affiliated with Harvard, Berkeley, MIT, Microsoft and the Smithsonian. The courses are self-paced and many provide certificates upon completion. There are courses like AP Macroeconomics, Data Analysis, Intro to Python or C++ and Intro to Psychology. There are self-paced programs in Android App Development and Mandarin Chinese for Business.

Harvard Open Courses

The courses from Harvard feature videotaped lectures from actual classes at the university like those from Abstract Algebra or American Poetry. There are courses like Intensive Introduction to Computer Science and Science and Cooking, which includes deconstructing dishes made by famous chefs. In the course descriptions, potential students can sort based on the topic they’d like to cover as well as searching through their database for the top free or top paid courses on the site. Their open online portal gives the student access to courses, lectures and podcasts.

MIT OpenCourseware

All the coursework, videos and handouts available to students at the MIT MOOC is available to those who take a course on the site. It includes thousands of publications and printouts from the courses including free online textbooks and complete lectures from the classes available on video. Courses include those in Physics, Health Sciences and Technology, Mathematics and Media Arts and Sciences. This site doesn’t provide a structured learning environment. You’re able to view any collection of coursework or videos you’d like at your own pace.

While this method might not be for everyone. Some students find they need that interaction with the teacher face-to-face as well as the ability to get more immediate attention and interact with fellow students too. MOOCs are great alternatives for those who are unable to attend classes in person because of life or job limitations. They’re able to expand their knowledge and add practical education to their resume.