10 SKILL-SHARPENING FREE ONLINE COURSES THAT WILL EQUIP YOU FOR GLOBAL COMPETITIVENESS IN THIS DIGITAL AGE
Education has broken free from the four walls of the physical institutions as well as mental limitations that held it bound for several years!
With the advent of online courses, long gone are the days when Schooling was regarded as Education’s only existing relative.
In recent times, scholars have realized that the blood that ties Education to schooling is simply ‘enlightenment’ and as such the process of ‘giving and receiving information’ cannot be restricted to the four walls of conventional classrooms or schools.
The world being in the digital age, there’s virtually no limit to what you can learn on the internet, starting from a simple task such as how to brush your teeth to more complex activities as how to build a spaceship or even how to clone a human being! 😆
Online courses are an aspect of eLearning which are taught to students via the internet with no required face-to-face session or on-campus activity.
Do you seek a flexible learning experience such that you can learn at your own pace? Are your family responsibilities or work schedule so demanding that a conventional classroom experience feels like putting a square peg in a round hole?
Or are you simply looking for ways to get your knowledge up to international standard without having to travel?
Do you want to gain all the above at absolutely no cost? Then this piece is for you; YES YOU!
Fasten your seat belts as we soar from North America to Asia and all over the world to see those mouth-watering courses that will improve you, increase your earning power, yet cost you absolutely nothing but discipline, determination and dedication.
If this isn’t a good deal, I don’t know what is!
1. Duolingo Free Language Courses
So, you want to relocate to Paris; the headquarters of your dream job? You possess the requisite skills and relevant experience for the job position you seek but there’s just one thing missing – you do not understand the language of love; French I mean!
There are a lot of free language courses online, but Duolingo’s language courses stand out as a result of its unique game-like curriculum; where you earn virtual coins for correct answers, unlock new levels and watch your fluency score rise. This ensures that the more you learn, the more tailored your lessons will be.
Also, there are interactive lessons which include listening, speaking, reading and writing. Multiple choice questions, structured assessment tests and a mobile app which enables you to learn anytime, anywhere!
Duolingo offers 81 different language courses across 37 languages. An independent study has shown that 34 hours of Duolingo’s self-paced course is equivalent to a full university semester of language courses! Impressive huh?
If this sounds like just the opportunity you have been looking out for, then, Qu’est-ce que tu attends? What are you waiting for? 😉
2. ‘Global History Lab’ offered by Princeton University
According to George Santayana, “Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it”.
This course teaches the span of world history from 1300 to the 20th century and current-day globalization.
Are you passionate about history or are you just keen on learning about historical events such as the Seventeenth Century crises, the cold war, European decolonization, how today’s globalization compares with that of the past, and other key historical events that shaped our world of today, then this course is for you.
The course syllabus is very wide, yet past students of the course agree that the course instructor, Professor Jeremy Adelman, did a good job of connecting the world’s history.
Since its inception in 2012, it has been offered every two years on several platforms.
In 2012, Coursera offered it; NovoEd in 2014, and edX in 2016. It is currently being offered on edx. Enrol here
3. ‘Justice’ offered by Harvard University
‘Ignorantia legis neminem excusat’. Holdup, the above Latin maxim has nothing to do with the popular rap Artiste, Eminem! It simply means, ‘Ignorance of the law excuses no one!’
In case you think this course is just for ‘our learned colleagues’, I hope you won’t have a rethink after being roped in by a legal suit you could have avoided by taking this course?
Justice, one of the most famous courses taught at Harvard College, examines classical and contemporary theories of Justice as well as their present-day application.
This may sound like a course you are not interested in but this course will help you understand the intricacies of a social or criminal justice system as well as human and property rights 😎
You will also be able to unravel the philosophy underpinning modern issues such as gender equality, and same-sex marriage among others. It’s courseware also exposes you to the wealth of knowledge of classical philosophers such as Aristotle, Socrates, and Plato.
With absolutely no credentials required to commence this course, lauded Harvard professor, Michael Sandel as the course instructor, this course promises to be worth your time. It is available on edx, YouTube, iTunes and other online platforms.
3. ‘Leadership and Influence’ offered by the University of Maryland
One of the books that changed my life was a book on leadership and influence.
Leadership and influence are two distinct yet overlapping entities as you can’t be a leader without possessing significant influence over your followers.
Also, you can’t be a person of influence without assuming some sort of leadership position.
With 7 Associate Professors and professors as instructors within a duration of 7 weeks requiring only 8 to 10 hours per week, this course will help you develop the skills you need to be an effective and successful leader.
After the completion of this course, you could obtain an optional verified certificate for $214 USD.
This course is ongoing but if you can’t make this class, not to worry, the course will come up at these future dates: March 31st, 2019 and October 20th 2019. Interested? Enrol here!
4. ‘Team Work and Collaboration’ offered by Rochester Institute of Technology
Soft skills are skills that turn hard work into soft work. They include communication, teamwork, public speaking and critical thinking among others.
Whether as an employer, employee or even as an entrepreneur, one’s ability to work in a group is a key strength for any individual.
‘Teamwork and Collaboration’ teaches the essentials needed to lead, build and motivate teams in the workplace.
It takes an effort of 6 to 8 hours per week, duration of 3 weeks, and an optional verified certificate for $49 USD. This course promises to help the learner understand ‘the complexities of group dynamics and interactions’. Don’t wait to be told about the experience!
5. ‘Finance for Everyone: Smart Tools for Decision Making’ offered by the University of Michigan
Barrett Strong’s hit song of the 60’s says ‘money; that’s what I want.’ Well, as a conservative person, I don’t want money, I want to be wealthy! 😀 .
Apart from being a major component of financial intelligence, knowledge of finance is a prerequisite for being wealthy.
‘Finance for everyone’, an asynchronous course, with a required effort of 3 to 7 hours weekly and course duration of 12 weeks, is guaranteed to help you gain the fundamental knowledge and skills of finance which can be applied in personal and professional situations. Begin your journey to wealth!
6. ‘Investment’ by Indian Business School (IBS)
This course is not for everyone! It is for those who, like Amazon’s C.E.O, Jeff Bezos, will attain an earning capacity of $8,961,187 million per hour! Immediately I wrote the above figure, my computer system logged off and rebooted itself! 😀
I find this course particularly fascinating for three major reasons. Firstly, one of the top business schools in the world offers this.
Again, it comprises five individual but related courses from beginner to intermediate level of investment with the learner having the option to enrol for one or all the courses.
Finally, on completion of the four courses, the fifth course requires the learner to carry out an extensive investment project. Talk about a theoretical and practical course!
According to Robert Kiyosaki, investing is the science of money making more money.
At the completion of this course, you will be well equipped with the strategies to use money to make more money. The course duration, enrolment dates and course instructors differ.
7. Diy, MFA
So, you do not have an MFA in writing but possess the zest and innate qualities of a writer.
Don’t worry, Diy MFA is a free online writing course that gives you the experience of a formal MFA all from the comfort of your own home.
With this course, you’ll learn how to take your writing game to the next level, apply writing strategies to both fiction and non-fiction pieces, and most importantly build yourself a network of fellow authors and ardent readers.
Interested? Sign up here!
Because you are really interested in all these, I will give you this extra 😉
As a passionate writer, I can’t withhold this extra juicy information from my colleagues and future colleagues.
SA Writers college, a reputable college based in South Africa that offers specialized online writing courses, has a free online writing resource.
This covers about a hundred materials ranging from ethics and tips, interview and research techniques. Others include creative writing, script writing, editing skills, short story writing and Business writing.
If this isn’t a mini online writing course on its own, I don’t know what is!!!
To make use of these free writing resources, click here!
8. ‘Social Marketing Education 2018’ offered by Hootsuite
Marketing is a skill not limited to any field or profession. After writing a book, you need good marketing skills to make it a best-seller. To even land your dream job, you need to be able to properly ‘market’ your skill set as well as your ability. And erm, that persistent voice in your head that has been whispering to you ‘take this course!’ ever since you began reading this article, is my marketing skills working on your medulla! No Jokes!!!
For most marketing departments, social media marketing is priority probably because popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on have a lot of dedicated users.
To be a marketer in this day and age, you, therefore, have to be abreast with how to develop content that appeals to these social media platforms. This is just the perfect course to help you achieve this feat.
The ‘Social Marketing Education 2018’, designed in consultation with social media marketing strategists and practitioners, features 97 videos and numerous quizzes.
With this course, you’ll develop foundational social marketing skills to grow followers, engagement, and business results.
The course also teaches the fundamentals of content marketing. Click here to get started right away.
However, if interest lies in content marketing i.e. being able to create relatively longer, higher quality contents to help companies build their audience on their own sites rather social media sites, “content marketing certification course offered by Hubspot Academy” is for you!
Need I remind you that you can’t talk about content marketing without mentioning Hubspot. Their blog generates over 25 million website visits per month.
This makes HubSpot the preferred choice for content marketing training.
One of the benefits of this course is that it offers you the opportunity to add a globally recognized certification to your resume upon successfully passing the 45-question exam at the end of the course.
Over 137,000 people have taken this course!
Don’t be left behind, sign up here!
9. ‘Music for Wellness’ offered by Berkeley College of Music
Music is the language of the soul; irrespective of age, gender, status, nationality or culture. It appeals as well as unites us all!
Over the years, music expresses emotions deeply seated in the soul. Have you considered that music could actually heal the soul?
In ‘Music for wellness’ you’ll learn how you do not need to have musical talent to use music to enhance your well-being and even your health. With this course, you’ll also learn how to unlock your creativity.
With a required effort of 6 to 8 hours weekly, course duration of only 3 weeks, and Suzanne Hanser and Annette Philip as course instructors, this course will teach you simple musical techniques you could apply in your daily life. Don’t give it a second thought, enrol here!
10. ‘CS188.1X: Artificial Intelligence’ offered by the University of California, Berkeley
In a few years from today, we will all be singing: “who run the world? Robots!” match*
Listed by course central as Top 50 MOOC’s of all time, with a whopping 5-star rating, I had to bypass all other courses on Artificial intelligence.
Artificial intelligence is not as complicated as it appears to be.
It is all around us; it is the core of video games, web search, self-driving cars, voice and face recognition devices, industrial robots and many other modern technologies.
Within a duration of 12 weeks, this course promises to introduce ideas and techniques underlying the design of intelligent systems.
Basic knowledge of python and coding algorithm will give the learner an advantage.
Edx archived this course since May 1, 2015.
In other words, the course content is no longer active. However, the instructors were kind enough to make courseware available here!
I promised you only 10 free online courses but gave you 11 including a bonus free writing resource.
You can call me the fairy godmother of free online courses or something!
ARE YOU STILL WAITING FOR A CONCLUSION? One Conclusion ➡ Start enrolling now!
Glossary of E-learning Terms
Electronic learning – Electronic learning is an umbrella term that refers to education, training and instruction conducted via electronic media, typically on the internet.
Asynchronous Online courses – Asynchronous courses are self-paced courses. In other words, learners make use of courseware at their chosen pace and time.
Synchronous Online courses – require learners in different locations to participate at a stipulated time. It is also an arrangement which requires the course instructor(s) and learners to go online at a stipulated time.
Synchronous learning, therefore, allows learners to interact with the instructor and other participants through software that creates a virtual classroom.
Webinars and Webcasts are mediums that provide access to online classroom experience. The former however is preferred for the simple reason that they allow learners to interact with the instructor by typing in questions while the latter does not.
Courseware – educational materials designed especially for online learning.