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While it’s tempting to learn as much as you can, your time is limited and you can only cram so much information into your head.
Coursera is an online platform for massive open online courses (MOOC) offered by legit universities and free of charge. You can essentially get a university level education without spending a dime, unless you want to earn a specialization certificate .
Choose wisely from this selection of upcoming and past courses to improve yourself and your career.
Health & Self Improvement
Status: started on January 20th, 2014 and remains open to access course materials
Synopsis: Jamie Pope from the Vanderbilt University will equip you with the knowledge and tools to better understand and evaluate what you hear and read about nutrition. As a result, you will be able to make better dietary choices for yourself and your family.
Effort: 7 weeks at 2 – 4 hours per week
Status: starts June 16th, 2014
Synopsis: This course addresses our modern lifestyle, which has led to an epidemic of diseases caused by a lack of exercise, poor nutrition, and resulting weight issues. The instructors, Amy D. Rickman and John M. Jakicic from the University of Pittsburgh, will help you build an understanding of how nutrition and physical activity can contribute to a healthy life.
Effort: 6 weeks at 3 – 5 hours per week
Status: started February 26th and remains open for enrollment
Synopsis: Problem solving, or more generally creativity, is one of the most universal skills. You don’t have to be an artist to be creative. But you have to be creative to succeed in any field. Brad Hokanson and Marit McCluske from the University of Minnesota are offering a course that will help you understand and increase your creative skills. You can earn a verified certificate for successfully completing the course.
Verified certificates are part of Coursera’s paid Signature Track program. Signature Track is optional. You can do the course for free and earn a Statement of Accomplishment.
Effort: 7 weeks at 3 – 5 hours per week
Status: starts March 16th, 2014
Synopsis: This course is geared towards international students and non-native English speakers who plan to apply for an undergraduate program. It will help them navigate the confusing U.S. university admission process and increase their chances of being accepted. The course is offered by Erick Hyde and the University of Pennsylvania.
Effort: 4 weeks at 3 – 6 hours per week
Status: starts March 31st, 2014
Synopsis: Communication skills are highly desired in today’s job market and they also help you succeed during your education. With the help of Matt McGarrity from the University of Washington, you will learn how to prepare clear and engaging presentations.
Effort: 10 weeks at 3 – 5 hours per week
Status: starts April 21st, 2014
Synopsis: In this workshop-like course, Denise Comer will teach you the basics of writing, a skill that’s valuable in any field. If you successfully complete the course, you can obtain a verified certificate from Duke University.
Effort: 12 weeks at 6 – 8 hours per week
Status: starts May 27th, 2014
Synopsis: This course offered by the University of London is complimentary to any of the other courses in this section. It’s designed to help its students navigate career development. Laura Brammar and David Winter will teach you how to understand your personal motivation, identify your skills, recognize opportunities for development, effectively present your achievements and skills, excel in interviews, and engage your professional network.
Effort: 6 weeks at 3 – 6 hours per week
Status: completed, but registration remains open, so you can still access the course materials
Synopsis: Richard Boyatzis from the Case Western Reserve University will teach you about emotional intelligence, hope, mindfulness, and compassion and how emotions affect leadership. A key part of the course is learning how to reverse damage from chronic stress and renew yourself to bring out your best leadership qualities.
Effort: 8 weeks at 3 – 4 hours per week
Status: starts April 20th, 2014
Synopsis: Leadership is complex. It’s not enough to pour your whole self into one area of your life. For example — work, if that is where you want to succeed. To be your best at work, you need a balanced and rich life. Stewart D. Friedman has been giving this course at Wharton since 2001 and has published a book on Total Leadership.
Effort: 10 weeks at 3 – 6 hours per week
Ready To Learn Something New?
It’s tempting to sign up for all these courses. Which one do you think will serve you the most? Have you taken any of these courses already or can you recommend similar resources? What else are you doing to improve your skills? Please share your experience in the comments.
Image Credit: Girl with Laptop by Ed Yourdon via Flirck