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Work Productivity and Hacks

Staying Sharp: Where to Find Online Classes to Build Your Skills

By Krisha Maclang on June 6, 2015

Learning doesn’t end once you accept your diploma.

Soon after you start working, you’ll see that a thirst for learning will help you stand out in a competitive job market. Employers look for versatile employees who are adept at different skills and knowledgeable in various fields. Having a considerable set of skills under your belt can make you a very attractive candidate.

Unfortunately, taking professional courses can be a little heavy on the pocket and can also be difficult to fit in your schedule. This is why Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a godsend to those who want to learn outside the classroom.

MOOCs are websites that offer classes taught by esteemed instructors from universities and organizations all over the world. Yes, you can even take a Harvard class right on your computer screen! Some MOOCs offer free classes while others require payment, and others offer paid tracks or degrees. Classes are often taught using a weekly video clip and you can watch these videos whenever you’re not busy. Like in a real-world class, there are quizzes, homework, and group discussions, but everything can be done from the comfort of your home.

Check out these MOOCs and find online classes to build your skills:


Photo by: Coursera Facebook pageCoursera Facebook page">

The first to gain widespread popularity, Coursera offers over a thousand courses from top universities around the world, such as Yale University, Peking University, and Copenhagen School of Business. There’s something for everyone on Coursera.

Unique classes such as The National University of Singapore’s superhero entertainment and the University of Virginia’s buddhist meditation class are offered alongside traditional classes like The University of Virginia’s class in the basics of Python programming and University of Illinois’ digital marketing course. Coursera also offers paid specialization tracks where you can be an expert at a series of related courses that conclude with a capstone project.


Photo by: edX Facebook pageedX Facebook page">

Founded and managed by MIT and Harvard, edX is a non-profit MOOC that offers hundreds of classes from partner institutions around the globe.

Schools like Columbia University and professional organizations such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) have classes in fields such as Business, Design, Computer Science, Philosophy and many more.

Industry instructed topics such as ACCA’s introduction to finance and Microsoft’s programming with C# are offered on eDX. Quirky standouts include the science of winemaking from the University of Adelaide, the unsolved mysteries of the universe by Australian National University, and the science of resilience by the University of Washington.


Photo by: FutureLearn Facebook pageFutureLearn Facebook page">

FutureLearn is wholly operated by The Open University, a public university based in England, and is the first UK-based MOOC. It has partnered with UK and international universities, as well as organizations such as the British Museum, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), and the BBC.

FutureLearn launched in September 2013 and already boasts over a million and a half learners and has courses in Business, Creative Arts and Media, Sports and Technology and many more. Their classes include University of Reading’s beginners’ robotics, University of Strathclyde’s introduction to forensic science, the Open University’s fiction writing class, and the University of Groningen’s introduction to Dutch.


Photo by: "">Tesda Online Facebook pageTesda Online Facebook page">

Not one to be left behind, the Philippines also has our own MOOC provided by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).

TESDA is known for providing vocational training classes in a classroom setting, but has also begun offering online classes since 2012. TESDA’s classes are geared more towards more practical skills such as computer systems servicing, software development fundamentals, cellphone servicing, agriculture, and massage therapy. After you finish a course, you can go to a TESDA center to be take your assessment exam, and once you pass, you can get your national certification.

Maybe you’re looking to expand your skills in business strategy or computer science. Or maybe you just want to learn something for fun, like a new language or calligraphy. Whatever it is, it will not only beef up your resume, but it can also expand your horizon and introduce you to potential new passions.

With a wealth of knowledge right at your fingertips, you can never go wrong when you’re seeking out ways to improve yourself and reach towards that future career.