By Mia Casey
Nowadays, almost everyone has a university degree, which can make standing out more than a little tricky when it comes to the job hunt or moving up in your career. So what can you do? For students, time and money aren’t usually on your side – so you want to get ahead with as little time commitment and financial constraint as possible. Luckily, there are a tonne of free online learning courses (sometimes referred to as MOOCs) that can help you develop skills your degree might not touch on. We’ve compiled a list of some awesome resources you can access for free, to help you build on skills and competencies in as little as a few weeks!
Okay, so you’ve probably all heard about Lynda.com. If you haven’t, then you obviously haven’t been on the UTS Library website in a while! The UTS Library offers free access to Lynda.com for UTS students, and you can access it through their homepage.
Lynda.com has over 4000 free courses that range in time commitment from a few hours to a few weeks, on average. One of the cool things about the site is that once you login you can access a number of ‘Learning Paths’. These allow you to see curated lists of the courses they have on offer, based on what you want to become. For example: ‘Become a Small Business Owner’, ‘Become a Music Business Entrepreneur’ or ‘Become a Graphic Designer’. There are heaps on there, so it’s definitely a resource to take advantage of while you’re studying!
edX was founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012. They offer a huge range of free online courses across a number of subjects, including Architecture, Business, Chemistry, Engineering, Languages, History and Medicine, to name a few. They offer courses that run over a set few weeks, or self-paced options, so as to suit everyone.
Although all of the courses are free, if you’d like a signed certificate to certify that you have completed a course (and to attach to your resume), there is a fee.
Udacity offers a number of business, IT and programming orientated online ‘nanodegrees’. Like the other sites, the courses are free and take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to complete. Numerous businesses, including Google, Nvidia and Facebook, have worked to create courses on topics including app development, programming, coding and models. If you’re interested in increasing your skills in new technologies, this is the site for you.
4. Future Learn
Future Learn is another large online community, with over 4.5 million students. They’ve got some interesting courses that just started this week, including ‘Antiquities Trafficking and Art Crime’ and ‘Big Data: Mathematical Modelling’. Universities and organisations from around the world have contributed courses and resources, allowing a great variety of free content.
ALISON is a huge online community – boasting over 8 million learners, and 750 published courses. The classes they offer are verifiable, and include a number of diploma courses you can take for free. Some of the categories of classes they offer include ‘business and enterprise skills’, ‘digital literacy and IT skills’, ‘personal development & soft skills’ and ‘health literacy’.
In 2014 ALISON did a Graduate Survey and found that close to 15% of their learners cited their online class as helping them ‘get a new job, a promotion, or college placement’. This website is one of the few that offers diploma courses, which can be a great addition to your resume!
Another great online source that offers a variety of courses, Open2Study is a subsidiary of Open Universities Australia. Like many of the other sites listed here, the courses mainly consist of video lectures and quizzes. Many of the courses are divided into modules, with each module having an assessment element to it. They offer courses covering Education, Science, Business, Marketing & Advertising, and Arts & Humanities, to name a few.
OpenLearn is an offering of free online courses from The Open University. They offer fewer course options than some of the others here, but their range of topics are pretty great. Some of their courses are only a few minutes long, while some are upwards of 2000 hours. The resource is definitely worth checking out if you want to find something of shorter duration.
Coursera offers a number of both paid and unpaid courses. Their unpaid courses are more limited than their paid ones, however there are still a huge number of options available. Besides this, a number of interesting organisations and universities have uploaded courses, so they’re worth checking out!
Check out Open Colleges’ top 50 list of online learning resources, if you want to discover more!
Featured image courtesy of Pexels.