Massive Open Online Courses are a great way for recent college grads to pursue lifelong learning. Image courtesy of @mathplourde.

Posted December 15, 2016 by

Four ways recent college grads benefit from completing Massive Open Online Courses

Looking for unique ways to add skills and complete classes to advance your career? Then consider completing a Massive Open Online Couse. Also known as a MOOC.

According to Techtarget.com, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC), are “free Web-based distance learning programs designed for the participation of large numbers of geographically dispersed students. A MOOC may be patterned on a college or university course or may be less structured. Although MOOCs don’t always offer academic credits, they provide education that may enable certification, employment or further studies.”

Why should recent college grad consider completing a Massive Open Online Courses?

Because lifelong learning is essential to career success, and that’s exactly what Massive Open Online Courses provide. Through a MOOC, college students, recent college grads, and adult learners are able to take free classes to improve their foreign language skills, add additional tech/software skills, and/or learn about machine learning or artificial intelligence. Students can complete a MOOC to complement their current major or area of study, to learn how to start their own business, or to add critical skills to a resume. There is no limit to the course topic a MOOC can cover, and there is no limit to the location of the students completing a MOOC. As MOOCs evolve, the completion of these courses are becoming more respected by employers, and some MOOC programs offer, for a small fee, certifications and badges upon completion, which bolster the credibility of these courses.

“Taking courses online can open doors to opportunities you never thought of,” said Gelena Sachs, Director of People Operations for Udemy, the world’s largest destination for online courses. “Finding a full-time job that aligns with a major or degree, right out of college, can be the ultimate challenge for many grads. Online learning allows job seekers to further expand their skills and broaden the landscape of opportunities.”

One Udemy student, Alexa, moved to New York after graduating to pursue her dream job of working in an art gallery, but had to take another job in the meantime to pay the bills. She took courses through Udemy to learn about marketing and transformed the job she thought she’d settled for into a different kind of opportunity she never knew she wanted.

Here’s another example: Social media continues to transform industries, while the tools themselves continue to evolve. Social media careers are hot, and constantly evolving. According to Altimeter’s recent Social Business Survey, 41% of enterprise marketing teams say ‘social education and training to build new skills’ is a top priority. To meet this growing demand from employers, Hootsuite Academy offers online video-based training on social media skills and strategy at a great post-graduation price point: Free.

“Even with a diploma in hand, graduates should never stop honing their skills,” says Cameron Ugernac, Senior Director of Community and Education, Hootsuite, a leading social media management platform.

Below are four additional benefits of completing MOOC, from Sachs.

  1. They shatter the norms of degree-driven destiny: College education can be incredibly costly and time-intensive, but also valuable and frequently necessary to start a career. But some grads realize a little too late that a completed degree may not be the best fit for them after all. However, what most grads don’t often realize is that a degree doesn’t have to define your career. Online courses allow you to augment or learn new necessary skills to help you land a dream job. Take Mohamad for example, who majored in civil engineering but was passionate about sports management and wanted to switch fields without going back to school. He discovered he loves learning online and has successfully changed his career path by learning on the Udemy platform.
  2. They can boost your employer-appeal: Beyond a college degree and a job or internship experience, soft skills like public speaking, presentation techniques or editing practices, for example, can set a graduate apart in the eyes of your dream employer. Considering how hard it is to get your foot in the door right out of college, job seekers can certainly benefit from taking online courses to showcase skills that other candidates might not have to offer.
  3. They can help you problem-solve in your first job: Right out of college and starting your first full-time job, you can’t possibly know anything and everything in your new career. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a good understanding of the industry basics and a solid training program to help you get up to speed. However, when it comes to tactical execution, an online class can really help you impress the boss. Whether you need to know how to make a pivot table in Excel or take your PowerPoint presentation to the next level, anytime, anywhere learning, allows you to create an experience that’s closely tailored to your needs.
  4. They can help you start something of your own: Today is the era of entrepreneurship, many college graduates are eager to jumpstart their ideas and start their own companies. However, a passionate idea, without the skills to execute on it, can easily turn into an unfortunate lesson-learned anecdote. Grads with a drive to become entrepreneurs can leverage online courses to fill in the gaps they need – whether it’s tech, business, marketing, and more, to grow and launch their own business.

Earning a college degree is a great start, but learning is lifelong, and Massive Open Online Courses provide unique learning opportunities to continue to advance one’s career. Check one out, and get ahead in your career today.

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