It’s no exaggeration to say that online courses have revolutionized post-secondary education. Today’s best online learning platforms offer the same quality of education as the best university and college degrees–just with better affordability and accessibility.
Whether your goal is career development, continuing education, industry training, or professional certification–there’s an online course out there for you.
The technical term for open-access online courses is MOOCS, as in ‘massive open online courses’. MOOCS are online courses aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the internet. There are usually no academic prerequisites for joining an online course, although there are often strict requirements attached to receiving your course certificate.
There are dozens of reputable online course providers, with edX, Coursera and Udemy among the most recognized names. Some online course providers offer courses in partnerships with universities from around the world, while others offer original courses from in-house or third-party lecturers.
The structure of online courses can vary considerably. Some courses involve one module while others are packages of courses that are comparable to university degrees. Some courses let you learn at your own pace using video-on-demand while others involve live learning and a fixed schedule.
Truthfully, you can learn pretty much anything with online courses. The largest online course platforms have literally thousands of courses in every category imaginable.
Here are just some of the subjects you can learn with online courses:
- Development, e.g. software engineering, data science, programming languages
- Business, e.g. management, ecommerce, real estate
- Finance, e.g. accounting, investing, trading
- Office productivity tools, e.g. Excel, SAP, Oracle Database
- Personal development, e.g. leadership, productivity, stress management
- Health & fitness, e.g. nutrition, yoga, mental health
- Marketing, e.g. branding, social media marketing, video marketing
- Arts, e.g. photography, music
- Plus sciences, design, communications, architecture, teacher training, history, writing, and a whole lot more…
Python is one of the most popular and versatile programming languages, so it’s no surprise that there are lots of python classes to be found on the internet.
If you’re just starting out in programming, then there are plenty of Python courses for beginners where you can dip your toes in the water. For example, edX has a 7-week course called Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python) that it offers in partnership with the University of Michigan.
For people looking to take their Python skills farther, there are all sorts of Python online courses that show you how to apply this popular language to specific tasks or professions. Udemy offers a Learn Python Programming Masterclass including around 60 hours of on-demand video and dozens of coding exercises. FutureLearn has specialized Python courses, like Python in High Performance Computing.
To include Python as part of a career in data science, check out courses like Edureka’s instructor-led live Python Certification Training for Data Science classes or Springboard’s live one-on-one Data Science Bootcamp. These degree-type online courses give you official Python accreditation and prepare you for a job in data science or related professions in months.
AWS, short for Amazon Web Services, is the largest provider of choice for public cloud adoption, with 93% of enterprises using, experimenting, or planning to use AWS for running applications, according to the Flexera 2020 State of the Cloud Report. Therefore, getting AWS certification is essential to demonstrating your ability to work in high-demand jobs involving cloud computing.
There are actually a bunch of different AWS certifications you can get on the internet. For example, there’s AWS solutions architect certification, AWS developer certification, and AWS SysOps certification. The best online course providers offer everything you could possibly need to complete your AWS training, from comprehensive AWS certification courses to AWS practice exams through to AWS essentials to take your cloud computing skills to another level.
Online courses are the great equalizer. No matter where in the world you live and what your previous skillset, you can pick up virtually any course. With just a decent internet connection, small financial investment, and a great deal of motivation, online courses could be your fast-track to career and personal success.