If you are a woman trying to get back to career after a break, by now you would be feeling bogged down by statements like “you have missed the technical train”, “you do not have the required competency” and so on…You will be feeling dejected. But you need not…there is a way to get back to work by honing your skill set…and that also without leaving your house…
Just say yes to “MOOC”
MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses. You could attend from the comfort of your house classes offered by elite colleges like Stanford, Oxford, or get trained by subject experts and that also for free or for a nominal cost….. that’s MOOC explained in a line. MOOC was introduced in 2008 and since emerged as a popular mode of learning.
Benefits of MOOC:
- They offer large number of students the opportunity to study high quality courses online with prestigious universities, often at no cost.
- They are ideal for independent study and students can select courses from any institution offering them.
- They offer video lectures and provide interaction through peer review and group collaboration or automated feedback through objective, online assessments (including quizzes and exams).
- Best option to top up skills and competences
Start you journey by selecting your MOOC Platform
Over the years many MOOC platforms have come up. Let me list out for you the top 3.
Coursera currently has 25 million registered learners and partners with 149 universities across 29 countries. Coursera now offers around 2,150 courses. Indeed a great collection. One could choose the desired course from 12 main categories namely Data science, Computer science, Personal development, Social science, IT, Business, Languages, Arts and Humanities, Life sciences and Math and Logic. In addition to single courses, Coursera also offers its own Specialization, and also offers fully-online Masters degrees. I must admit Coursera is my favorite.
edX too partners with top institutions from all over the world. It’s the second largest MOOC provider in the world with over ten million students and offers over 1,500 courses. In addition to technical courses they provide courses in Law, Economics, Food and Nutrition, Ethics etc. edX offers certification programs like
MicroMasters certificate – MicroMasters Programs are credit-eligible, provide in-demand knowledge and may be applied to accelerate a Master’s Degree.
Professional Certificate – Professional Certificates develop the proficiency and expertise that employers are looking for with specialized training and professional education.
X series Certificate – XSeries are designed to provide a deep understanding of key subjects through a series of courses.
Unlike Coursera and edX, Udacity’s main partners are corporates like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and IBM Watson. Udacity offers lot many courses free, compared to above two. Its specialization course is called nanodegree. Udacity goes ahead to guarantee that those who purchase a Nanodegree Plus program will find a job within next six months. Currently they offer nanodegree in Digital marketing, Web development, Artificial Intelligence, Data science etc.
How to start with MOOC
Once you decide on the platform get registered
- Identify the course you want to take up and understand all about it – instructors, Date of commencing, Prerequisite to take up the course etc
- Decide on whether to take up just the free mode (In free mode normally one can go through the complete course, but won’t be able to take up exam or get certificate) or paid one
- Get on with the course. Join group discussion and stay focussed
So now you are all set to start with MOOC journey. All the best. Do let us know if this article helped you in restarting the career……