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It may sound harsh, but the only way to survive today is by continuously learning and getting acquainted with new technologies. Else you’ll get knocked down by competition.
Thanks to the online courses, you can do that without having to wake up early in the morning for college.
Learning something new and upgrading your skills brings many benefits, starting with professional development. Personal satisfaction is more than certain, provided mainly by new opportunities, but the advantages go far beyond that:
Something which is not usually discussed when we talk about online courses is networking. Usually, it is considered that online courses are more of a subjective experience that only suits nerds sitting in their dark rooms; the former has a grain of truth to it. Today’s online learning platforms are pretty smart, and they offer different ways to network through discussion boards and forums.
A MOOC evolves dynamically through learner engagement, user-generated content, and collaboration. The basic content is just a starting point for any MOOC. Each online course will gather around it a repository of content such as various resources like blogs, podcasts, videos, etc., in addition to the initial content used to start the MOOC. So, if it’s a lack of networking restricting you from not learning new stuff through online courses, consider it a thing of the past.
Standing out among competitors
We know that the job market is getting more challenging every day. In this scenario, those candidates with more qualifications stand out; that is, investing time in upgrading skills is almost mandatory. Up-to-date professionals have access to the best opportunities, positions, and salaries in addition to being qualified for significant challenges.
Preparing for unforeseen events
Learning new things helps you collect diverse information in the most varied areas. Once updated and equipped with all this information, you feel even more prepared to deal with unforeseen circumstances and solve any problems. If your plans do not go as expected, the extra knowledge will also help you find the most appropriate solutions for the situation.
It’s commonplace to equate specialization with a post-grad degree. If you are a professional, you have to obtain higher levels of qualification, and for that, it is necessary to invest in the specialization. Still, if specialization means knowing your field inside out, it is entirely possible to do that by learning new things about your field by exploring different dimensions at your comfort.
You get certified
Most online learning platforms offer easily verifiable certificates, which can add to your chances of getting a better job position. There exists a certain degree of skepticism towards these certificates in some traditional workplaces; things are moving in their favor, especially after the pandemic.
Free Online Courses to Learn Something New
Now that we have discussed the need and benefits of learning new skills and technologies, let’s get to the part of where to find the best free resources and courses:
You have probably known or heard about Udemy. It is the largest e-learning platform in the world. On Udemy, there are more than 130,000 courses by more than 42,000 instructors. What is Amazon in e-commerce, Udemy is in online courses.
It’s a big marketplace with lots of courses on many different topics. Udemy covers various domains, ranging from finance to meditation to crafts and language learning. Udemy also offers free certificates with its paid courses.
DataCamp is a fantastic resource if you are interested in data science, machine learning, and Big data. The total breadth of courses is astounding considering the price. For a few hundred dollars a year at most, you get access to almost all knowledge on R and Python. Datacamp does not offer certificates like other online learning platforms.
Coursera has partnered with more than 200 schools, universities, and prestigious companies like Stanford University, London, IBM, and Facebook. Two professors from Stanford University, Andrew Ng and Daphne Koller, founded it in 2012.
The best thing about Coursera is that courses are free, some courses are offered in more than one language, and often the videos are subtitled in English. An unverified certificate of attendance is issued for each course. Moreover, you can get a certificate issued by the university for a small fee.
Edx, founded by MIT in Boston and Harvard University, provides the highest level MOOCs previously offered at universities.
The courses are free, and at the end of completion, a free unverified certificate is issued, which like Coursera, can be verified for a small fee. Free courses from top universities like Harvard, MIT, and Standford are available at EdX for free.
Born out of Stanford University, Udacity offers courses mainly of a scientific-mathematical nature, followed by online design and business lessons divided by learning level. Most of the courses are paid, but it is possible to find some free.
Upgrad is a relatively new platform explicitly built, as the name suggests, to upgrade your knowledge and skills. Upgrad offers several free courses that are entirely self-paced and come with a free certificate on completion. All free courses on Upgrad are in English.
ALISON is an Irish platform that allows you to explore topics such as sociology, development and the web, digital photography, and many other courses. At the end of the course, it is possible to request a certificate attesting to the completion without any extra fee.
Let’s be honest; despite the comfort internet and free online courses bring, it’s hard to go for learning when you have so many shows to binge-watch, but you can’t deny the fact that to survive and thrive, it is necessary to keep on learning new things!
There’s a way to solve this dilemma by carefully planning what you want to learn and at what pace. Sounds like too much labor? It always has been. Most online learning platforms mentioned above are aware of this problem and have created learning paths, reminders, and calendars to solve this issue.
Nothing is stopping you from upskilling yourself. With thousands of free courses, all you have to do is not get overwhelmed and be consistent.
You may also be interested in Best Platforms to Learn IT Skills.