Today, continuously enhancing your business skills is a necessity. Thinking that simply having a Bachelors, maybe an MBA and just maybe a specialisation, is enough – might just lure into a false sense of security! What used to be a feat in itself – compared to our parents time – recently is just one of the many steps you should be considering in your educational goals.
Specialising yourself can be costly and not necessarily within your financial reach. Consider a PMP certification can costs a minimum of $500 upto $3000!
But this is not the only way today!
I am keenly aware that if I want to keep a competitive edge in the job market place, I need to keep enhancing my business skills and keep pushing my boundaries….but I didn’t feel like forking out an arm and a leg to do so. Especially when a lot of information you need is so easily accessible out there. ….And a little over a year ago, I’ve stumbled onto MOOCs! Well I knew about them before – I just didnt find any relevant courses for my field of interest.
MOOC – Massive Open Online Courses – is a growing trend of self-education, exploding since about 2012. Courses are offered from expansive selection from universities worldwide, including Stanford, MIT, ESSEC. They offer anyone of any age, background or heritage access to a wide range of course of all fields of study.
In 2014, a review MOOC courses highlights the following:
- 16-18 million students are currently subscribed online, following:
- 2400+ courses are available, provided by:
- 400+ universities
The initial purpose is to freely audit the courses, so that you could, at your own pace or if the course required it, to follow a specific time frame to engage with other students.
Recent improvements to their offerings has been the ability to get ‘Certifications’ online to prove your attendance, for a fee of course. Fees through this medium through range more towards $50-80 mark per course, with 4-6 course per certification. Something a bit more attainable – that is if you feel the need to get a certification. Free attendance is still a possibility.
This education channel is a clear opportunity (for the moment) in enhancing your business skills, by either up-skilling or cross-skilling. Your goal can either be to make yourself more marketable or simply the desire to learn something new – now is the time to enjoy the benefits they can offer your career.
At the time of writing this I am auditing 3 specialisations from MOOC platform Coursera.Org
- Strategy & Innovation from Copenhagen Business School
- Hotel Distribution and Revenue Management from ESSEC
- Social Media Marketing from Northwestern University
So far I have completed 1 course from each (1 month per course) and have already engaged myself onto their second modules. Each specialisation has about 4 courses – so in total of 4 months of study requiring about 2 hours for each course per week. Something relatively do-able in evenings and weekends.
The tough part is keeping up as each the lectures and quizzes that need to be completed on a weekly basis – something that is challenging when my working week can sometimes be really hectic – and studying when I get home is LAST thing I want to do.
But the reward is what I’m keeping my mind on! Increased marketability! So keeping focused and engaged is a priority I am working. I will keep you posted if I make to the end of each completed specialisation.
Some other MOOC that you can consider
A full list is available from wikipedia