“Massive Open Online Courses,” or MOOCs seem to be the next trend in distance education. I, for one, find this to be extremely exciting! When you ask the average college student what they want to do when they complete their education, they don’t always have a concrete answer. In fact, most current college students change their majors during their college career, and many prospective students don’t know what they want to major in. A MOOC can help ease the looming indecision.
I feel that MOOCs can be beneficial to individuals regardless of their level of education or their goals because expanding one’s knowledge is always beneficial!
Coursera, Udacity, and edX are the leading companies bringing MOOCs to the masses, and they have partnered with some of the most prestigious universities across the United States. The courses offered are not always for college credit, but can provide valuable skills and knowledge to help further one’s career and assist in helping one to find their passion!
[Find out what Kaplan Open Learning has to offer in free online courses.]
Selecting a MOOC that best benefits you truly depends on your goals. Stanford Free Online Courses currently are all on the subject of Engineering and Computer Science, while MIT Free Online Courses cover a wide range of subjects from Aeronautics and Astronautics, to Women’s and Gender Studies and nearly everything in between.
If you’re a current or prospective college student; Udacity offers courses in Algebra, Statistics and Physics which can help refresh your knowledge, and if you’re an entrepreneur or aspiring entrepreneur; they offer courses in Web Development, Programming Language and even one entitled: How to Build a Startup.
Coursera also offers a variety of courses to fit your needs, from Pre-Calculus to Digital Sound Design, Smart Growth for Private Businesses, Computational Investing, Exploring Quantum Physics, Songwriting and more; offered by distinguished professors and Universities such as Duke University, UC Irvine and the Berklee College of Music.
This range of course offerings can give an insight into a topic or field of study for those still making up their minds.
Deciding which MOOC works best for you is all about research, and thankfully the aforementioned websites and companies provide information on length of course, start date and syllabi to help you make your choice.
Although the idea of MOOCs are just recently gaining popularity, there are exciting possible opportunities for the future. The culture of our society is currently one that is forward-thinking and that is quiteinspiring to those that think ‘outside-the-box’. Being able to take a MOOC and explore different paths in education, career and life is truly a gift worth embracing.
Lua Naquin is a millennial mother, part-time college student and entrepreneur. In addition to blogging, she also is the editor of a collaboratively written website for forward-thinking young women.