By Braulio Giron, Jr. on January 17, 2019
Stay sharp and be a step ahead by gaining and improving your skills through different kinds of online courses
Educational background is unavoidably a significant aspect of a professional’s career, as it often influences job choice. Particularly for fresh graduates, this is also used to determine if they are qualified for a role. However, as most who are already in the thick of their careers would attest, one’s degree is hardly the best measure of one’s capabilities, and that formal learning also doesn’t simply end when work begins.
As more businesses move towards the digital space, and continue to improve the products and services specific to them, professionals within each are also expected to keep pace with the constant growth. As such a professional, you can look to online training or online classes to learn new skills, which in addition to helping make sure you remain the best qualified for your ever-expanding role in your company, can also help you be better qualified for new opportunities when looking for a new job or starting a new career.
There are a number of providers which you can consider for your continued education, both local and abroad, with most allowing you to complete their courses at the comfort of your own home or office, and within most work schedules.
While based in traditional secondary, tertiary, and post-graduate, programs, a number of some major universities in the Philippines also offer continued education programs via their Open University systems. Although some of the courses they offer require physical attendance (weekend classes or periodical meetings), many are also completed online.
The University of the Philippines is considered one of the most, if not the most, prestigious universities in the county, and its Open University is no different. The UPOU serves as a National Center of Excellence in Open and Distance Education, and counts Faculties of Study in Education, Information and Communication Studies, and Management and Development Studies, among its most popular courses.
As a UPOU student, you would go through independent study of specially designed learning materials, which can be one or all of print, video, and multimedia, depending on the extensiveness of the course taken. Along with email correspondence, additional or needed interactions also take place via virtual classroom, text, and teleconferencing, and your final exams may be taken online or at designated UPOU learning centers.
Catering to professionals who wish to earn bachelor’s degrees or complete masteral courses without the having to take off time from work to do so, the PUP OUS allows you to study independently, with the guidance of a teacher or a tutor who grades and comments on your work, or to may study online, communicating with your teacher and other students in your online classroom.
An additional learning benefit from the PUP OUS is that the institution integrates professional insights in their curriculum/s, in collaboration with the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC), the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), and other related government agencies. Some of the programs you can enroll in at PUP OUS include Bachelor of Science Program in Entrepreneurship, Masters Degree Programs in Educational Management, and Public Administration, to name a few.
Of course, there are also schools that wholly specialize in online education. Be it short certificate courses or full-on bachelor’s degrees, all of the programs of these education providers are designed for distance learning and leverage the latest technologies to ensure comprehensive learning experiences. Even if you are based overseas, you may enroll in any of these school’s courses.
Considered as the first full online education provider in the Philippines, AMAOEd offers educational materials which can be accessed anytime and from almost anywhere by all students. These include undergraduates, working students, and even Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). AMAOEd also gives an opportunity for international students and people with disabilities to study in the comfort of their own homes.
The online education provider offers some of the most comprehensive programs for distance learning, with courses that encompass senior high school as well as undergraduate and graduate degrees. Of course, AMAOEd also offers short courses which you can take to add to your skills. Among these courses are Digital Photography, 3D Game Development, Mobile Programming, and Sales Channel Management, among others.
Aimed to cater specifically to professional adults, Udemy is different from most online learning providers as most of its courses are not driven by or structured like a college course or certificate program. Instead, the website features classes made by online content creators, as Udemy provides tools which enable them to create a course and promote it and earn money from student tuition charges.
As a result, the platform continues to attract highly-skilled professionals to develop courses. Some of these are designed for their own companies, while others are made to for the outright use of anyone accessing the site. A myriad of courses can be found on Udemy, including Commercial Photography, Nutrition, Analytics and Automation, Microsoft Certification, and Pet Care and Training.
Responsible for stimulating the economy and improving Filipinos lives and spending power through better opportunities, among others, the Philippine government for its part has also encouraged professional upskilling. The programs offered by the training institutions backed by the government have as of late come to feature more courses and training that can be accomplished online.
Established, and most known, for providing vocational training classes in a classroom setting, TESDA has also begun offering online classes since 2012. Many of the classes are mostly geared towards the learning and improvement of practical skills, which include Computer Systems Servicing, Software Development Fundamentals, Cellphone Servicing, Basic Agriculture, and Massage Therapy.
Featuring programs that can lead to national certification or accreditation, many TESDA courses which you enroll in can be completed online, but the final examination/s needed to formalize the aforementioned certification or accreditation are typically taken at a TESDA center. Fortunately, there are several located across the country.
The e-Learning for Agriculture and Fisheries is a major component of the Philippine's Department of Agriculture's e-Extension Program, and as its name implies, features courses centered on agriculture and fisheries. The Agricultural Training Institute is the lead implementing agency of the program, in collaboration with other government agencies, state universities and colleges, as well as non-government organizations.
Courses offered by the program include Coffee Processing as an Enterprise, Basic Urban Gardening, Basic and Advanced Beekeeping, and Basic Agricultural Marketing, among others. A benefit with the E-Learning for Agriculture and Fisheries is that all the courses are for free, but in order to qualify for enrolment, you must be a Filipino living in the Philippines or employed as an overseas contract worker.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
Although most online courses are designed to be less time consuming and more convenient to complete compared to traditional learning, those of the curriculum variety are still somewhat time consuming. Fortunately there are also other courses and classes that are even shorter in length, and in some cases, also slightly more affordable than other online degree or certificate programs.
These come by way of websites which offer MOOCs that are taught by highly-regarded professionals from different universities and industries around the world. Some MOOCs are outright free, while others require payment, and even paid tracks or degrees. Classes are often taught via video, clips of which you can watch at your convenience. Like traditional classes, some MOOCs have quizzes, homework, and group discussions that are al conducted online.
Considered the first MOOCs provider to gain widespread popularity, Coursera offers a wide range of courses taught from some of the most well known educational institutions around the world such as Stanford University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the University of London. Multinational organizations like Google and organizations like the American Museum of Natural History also have courses on the site.
Courses which you can enroll in on Coursera range from the typical, to the most in-demand, to those rather unique. Among these are Guitar for Beginners, How to Make a Comic Book, BlockChain Basics, Python Programming, Designing Personal Weight Loss Plans, and a slew of others. There are also paid specialization tracks where you can become an expert at a series of related courses which conclude with a capstone project.
Created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University in 2012, EdX is an massive MOOCs provider that hosts university-level courses in a wide range of disciplines to a worldwide online student body. Running on the free on the free Open edX open-source software platformom, edX functions as a non-profit organization, and as a result, some of the courses found on MOOCs provider are free of charge.
Apart from MIT and Harvard, other schools offering courses on edX include Kyoto University, the Australian National University, and Georgetown University. The MOOCs provider presently features over 1900 courses, including those categorized under Data Analysis and Statistics, Design, Economics and Finance, and even Music and Social Sciences.
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