What is a Mooc? A Free Way to Hone the Skills In Search of the Workplace | pennyhoarder
The acronym kind of sounds like your aunt’s old dachshund name, but MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses. These open educational resources have a huge impact on lifelong learning.
You can enroll in an IBM cybersecurity computing course or a philosophy course at the University of Pennsylvania. You can sign up for free online courses in video games or climate science. Yeah, free. Really.
The right open online course can give your career a competitive edge. But where to start ? There are thousands of university courses, even graduate courses, delivered through online platforms. While the subject matter of a history class may appeal to you, a social media class may be preferable for professional development. But not all the most interesting MOOCs are technical.
“[Hard skills] will always change if they’re too technical, ”said Ben Brooks, CEO of Pilot, a New York-based career improvement company. This is why he defends soft skills.
In a 2019 CareerBuilder survey, 80% of employers said soft skills would be just as or more important than specialized skills when hiring.
We have compiled a list of some soft skills courses available through e-learning. They are important to master, in demand, and applicable to any industry, according to Brooks.
Choose your open and massive online course from this top 5 list
Before we start, here is an overview of the MOOCs we have chosen:
- Each course is done entirely on an online learning platform.
- Not all lessons are completely independent or at your own pace. Many require student engagement in discussion forums.
- After registering for your online course, you will be placed in a group with other students and assigned to a teaching assistant for further guidance.
- With the exception of Duolingo, which is less of a class than a collection of gamified study material, the free online courses have suggested start dates and schedules to keep you on track.
- Online course materials are generally divided into weekly sections. Take notes because each section has a quiz at the end.
- Don’t worry if you need to take extra time. There is no penalty if you work at your own pace.
Although the online course is free, certification costs range from free to $ 200. But don’t worry if you run out of money. Many MOOC providers offer financial aid options. Most certificates will end up being free after financial assistance; some will be reduced by up to 90%.
Below, we have associated each of these soft skills with an associated MOOC. All free online courses offer certificates upon completion. Some are traditional college courses, which will also give you academic credit.
1. Emotional intelligence
Taught by expert faculty at the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, “Empathy and Emotional Intelligence at Work” is all about building trust, cooperation, empathy, and resolution skills. of conflicts.
Combined, these skills make up your emotional intelligence, or “EQ”.
But it’s not just about being a better colleague. Learning your EQ through this free online course can also help you learn more about yourself by increasing self-awareness and stress management.
Classes: Empathy and emotional intelligence at work
Estimated completion time: 8 hours
The right to brag: Course certificate
2. Multicultural literacy
People of color make up more than a third of the workforce, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But just being in a diverse environment doesn’t mean you have the skills to navigate it. It takes a lot of self-awareness and effort.
Experts in diversity and multiculturalism lead “Intercultural Skills,” a course at the Institute of Innovation at the University of West Florida. This course addresses issues that arise in the workplace due to cultural differences and equips learners to address these issues through a shared cultural understanding.
Classes: Intercultural competence
Provider: University of West Florida
Estimated completion time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The right to brag: Course badge
3. Tell stories and communicate
Storytelling is in our DNA, but not everyone is good at it.
Think of it this way: Even if you are the most qualified candidate, not being able to express your skills and accomplishments will slow you down professionally.
“A recruiter, or more likely a machine, is going to determine if you are approximately qualified. It’ll get you an interview, but it won’t get you a job, ”Brooks said. “It’s all about the stories and stories you have. “
We tell stories all the time in emails, meetings, and presentations. With ‘Storytelling in the Workplace’, you will be able to better sell yourself to employers and spice up everyday communication in the workplace.
Andrea Hickerson, Associate Professor in the School of Communication at the Rochester Institute of Technology, will teach you how to fine-tune your voice to better connect with diverse audiences.
Classes: Storytelling in the workplace
Estimated completion time: 12 to 6 p.m.
The right to brag: Course certificate
4. Personal branding and social media education
Understanding how to use social media is one thing, but taking advantage of these platforms to create an online persona that will land you a job is another.
“Having a personal brand is essential,” Colner said. “This goes for everyone in business today. “
Through Coursera, the University of Virginia offers “Introduction to Personal Branding,” a course that helps you navigate the cluttered world of social media. It helps with everything from crafting a mission statement for your personal brand to maintaining your presence on at least three social media platforms.
Even if you’re not interested in personal branding, holistic social media skills are essential, Colner said.
People may think they know everything social media is about, “but they don’t have the full picture,” Colner said. “It’s important to see how all of these pieces fit together. This is what a [certification] program can help.
Classes: Introduction to personal branding
Estimated completion time: About 7 hours
The right to brag: course certificate
5. Learning a second language
Learning a second language can be super convenient. Bilingual workers earn 5 to 20% more than their unilingual counterparts, according to Salary.com.
And as the job market continues to globalize, nothing says “나를 고용 해요! (Hire me!) ”Like second language skills.
Duolingo, a free platform for language learners, has over 150 million users worldwide. The site offers courses in Spanish, French, Chinese and many others (even High Valyrian and Klingon). Lessons are divided into segments using a combination of fun exercises, discussion questions, and leaderboards to keep you motivated.
Classes: The languages offered are Spanish, French, Chinese and Korean
Estimated completion time: Learning a language is the effort of a lifetime.
Right to brag: Language certification (in beta)
Display your massively open online course credit
If none of these offer online courses that fit your schedule, there are several MOOC platforms to choose from that always have upcoming courses. The best universities and other course providers offer many distance learning courses that can benefit working professionals.
Once you’ve mastered each skill, don’t just throw a few new bullets on your resume and move on. If you took a course at one of the major universities, include it along with any other degree in the higher education section of your resume. Attach the certification to your LinkedIn profile.
“At the end of the day, people look at your resume for about seven seconds,” Brooks said. “LinkedIn or your online portfolio is so much more important than a CV.”
These MOOC certifications are not only useful for the job search. They are also invaluable in current jobs and in career development in general. That’s because the certifications show the initiative and ambition of employers, according to Robin Colner, to whom she runs her own certification program in digital and social media.
“It shows a desire and an understanding of the market, which is what every employer wants,” Colner said. In this new era of distance work, it also shows that you know how to adapt to online learning environments.
Adam Hardy is a former editor of The Penny Hoarder.
This was originally posted on The Penny Hoarder, a personal finance website that empowers millions of readers nationwide to make smart decisions with their money through practical and inspiring advice, as well as to resources on how to earn, save and manage money.