Making the most of online courses

Recommended online courses and the benefits of online education

By MatcHub

During the circuit breaker, many of us may have signed up for online courses in order to fill our time. It is a convenient way to upskill yourself and maybe chance upon a new area of interest. Not to mention, you can dive deeper into your passion and broaden your knowledge at your own pace. It is even helpful for your resume building. Recently, more hiring managers are seeing the value in online degrees, as long as they come from recognised sources.

Pic Cr: pikisuperstar from Freepik

The availability of online education introduced the concept of micro-credentials. While there are varying definitions, micro-credentials essentially refer to bite-sized chunks of education. Upon completing the course, you are awarded a digital certificate which can be used to supplement your resume. This method broadens your skillset and is a targeted path to gaining employment in your desired company. Generally, people earn micro-credentials from online learning platforms. 

Compared to traditional classes, online courses come with many benefits. A 2012 study found that online classes may offer equally good or better quality education. Online education removes transport and boarding expenses, allowing you to save a significant amount of money. Moreover, there is great flexibility in planning your schedule. For full time employees, classes can be read at your free time after work. The entire system enables you to hold a stable job while continuously working on self-development. Additionally, multimedia content is more engaging and tends to include more frequent assessments. These make sure you can better monitor your progress and stay on track. 

For anyone who is looking to pick up a new skill, there is no shortage of free online courses. Hence, here are some online learning sites to level up your resume.

 

Google Digital Garage 

Simply having “Google” on your resume would pique the interest of hiring managers. While it sure is challenging to land a position in their office in Singapore, you can still take online courses on Google Digital Garage. They feature courses for today’s most in-demand skills including data and tech, digital marketing and career development. The best part is that everything available is absolutely free. You can even tailor a personal learning plan for yourself so you can jump into lessons which are most relevant to your growth. For certification, you’ll earn an authentic Digital Marketing certification from Google by completing all modules in the Digital garage. It is downloadable in PDF copy. 

Some recommended courses according to an article by SGMagazine include:

  1. Business Writing  
  2. Elements of AI
  3. Fundamentals of Digital Marketing
  4. Fundamentals of Graphic Design 
  5. Python Basics 
 
 

Harvard University 

Harvard University offers free online courses now. They cover a wide range of subject areas including social sciences, business development, programming and many more. Their online program is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Simply mentioning these courses on your resume would exemplify your passion and intellectual curiosity. 

Some of the courses you can check out:

  1. CS50’s Web programming with Python and Javascript 
  2. CS50’s Mobile app development with react native 
  3. Contract Law: From trust to promise to contract 
  4. Strengthening community health worker programs 
  5. Entrepreneurship in emerging economies 
  6. Digital marketing strategy 

 

EdX

EdX is a popular online learning platform established by Harvard and MIT. They aim to deliver courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. This site has over 2500 online courses for you to choose from and as with most websites, they have a wide range of subjects. Both paid and free users can access discussion forums, videos, readings and ungraded practice questions. Business Insider has put together a comprehensive list of 31 free Harvard University classes you can take through edX. 

One of their more notable courses covers the MicroMasters programs. They are a series of graduate level courses from top universities designed to advance your career. However, since they are conducted by experts, the courses may not be free. For example, the course on Marketing in a Digital World is a one year course and costs $715.50 USD for the full experience program. While the courses may not be free, one perk is that they are recognised by industry leaders such as BM, Bloomberg, PwC, Volvo,etc. Hence, if you are really keen on getting a Master’s degree through online courses, EdX is an option you can look into. 

Apart from these sites, other online learning platforms include FutureLearn, Coursera, Udemy and Smartcademy. While certifications upon completion of the modules do not compare to a university degree, it still indicates your passion and zest for learning. So, do not undervalue the benefits of these online courses. 

 

Staying on track 

It is easy to sign up for these courses spontaneously when you are feeling ambitious but to fall behind quickly a week later. Needless to say, staying committed to completing the courses and quizzes is of utmost importance. Essentially, you should not simply stop at signing up for these lessons. Instead, push yourself to finish the entire module. Treat the online course like a “real” traditional class where you are compelled to show up. If you’re having trouble holding yourself accountable, recruit the help of a study partner. This partner will help to monitor your progress as both of you attempt to duly complete the module together. To make the most out of the online environment, actively participate in online discussions. Read what other people are saying and ask clarifications if needed. This helps to reinforce your learning. In short, greater time and effort invested into your learning will translate into concrete knowledge, making the experience more meaningful. 

For students or fresh graduates who are keen on internships, click here to find out more about virtual internships. With the ongoing pandemic, virtual internships are definitely a viable option to consider. 

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