Productivity Self Improvement

Boost Your Skills with Free Microsoft Office Courses on edX

Gavin Phillips 05-01-2016

The march of online education Upgrade Your Skills with the Best Microsoft Office Courses Online Microsoft Office is a required skill across offices worldwide. How adept are you? Massive Open Online Courses offer everyone the training to get better at it anytime, anywhere. Read More or MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – continues, and we have seen more universities, more institutions, and more business make use of this enterprising teaching method. With courses ranging from Underwater Basketweaving to web-security to game-design, you’re bound to find learning opportunities that engage you.


MOOC Definition

In 2015, Microsoft and edX announced a new partnership Learn to Code with These 7 Courses from Microsoft and edX Create mobile-first pages or code cloud solutions. There's a lot you can achieve with key technological skills. Now, you can learn to code with Microsoft's well-packaged courses on edX. Starting soon. Read More , bringing the expertise of Microsoft to edX. EdX is no strangers to partnering with major technology organizations, with previous partners including both Google, and the Linux Foundation Open For All: Linux Foundation & edX Launch Course For Learning Linux Learning Linux is about to get easier and organized with a two pronged push. In a major educational initiative, The Linux Foundation is building a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) program in partnership with edX. Read More .

Let’s take a quick look at what new courses are available via edX, and a few other digital learning platforms you can explore to expand your Microsoft and Windows knowledge.

New on edX

The edX repository features over 20 courses, at the time of writing, with more set to be added. As this is an ongoing partnership, Microsoft continually works with edX to provide new courses or, if there is enough interest, rerelease previously run courses.

edX logo


While the previous article focused on exploring and expanding your core Microsoft Office skills 9 Tips to Learn All About Office 2016 Microsoft Office 2016 is among us. How are you mastering the latest version for the sake of your productivity? We tip you off to the best links for Office learning. Steal a march with these... Read More , the edX/Microsoft partnership is much more technically focused. Instead of brushing up on your Excel formulas, you’ll be exploring Python for Data Science, Optimizing Microsoft Windows Server Storage, and Implementing Predictive Analytics with Hadoop 6 of the Best Paying Tech Careers for 2016 Investing in the right technology career requires planning and foresight. These six career options are expected to be the hottest in the next few years. Are you ready? Read More in Azure HDInsight.

Sounds tough? Some of it is, and that is what sets some of the edX courses apart from their peers. Many of the edX courses are aimed at Intermediate to Advanced, and Advanced Microsoft users – but don’t let that put you off. Plenty of courses are suitable for beginners, too!

Introduction to Python for Data Science [No Longer Available]

If you want to “Start your journey in data science and learn the basics of Python” then I would suggest this course. In fact, I have signed up myself. I think it will be an interesting introduction to what I understand as an extremely versatile and somewhat powerful programming language 7 Unique Ways to Practice Your Coding Skills Let's repeat -- there's no age to learning. Once you are on that path, you just have to keep practicing. And today there are more ways than one to sharpen your coding chops. Read More .



You (we!) will learn basic Python language fundamentals The 5 Best Websites to Learn Python Programming Want to learn Python programming? Here are the best ways to learn Python online, many of which are entirely free. Read More , list creation and manipulation, functions, arrays, and data frames. This could be a great start for anyone looking to explore a career in data science The 5 Best Websites to Learn Python Programming Want to learn Python programming? Here are the best ways to learn Python online, many of which are entirely free. Read More . The course is led by Filip Schouwenaars, one of the main interactive course developers over at DataCamp.

Course Details: Starts January 19, 2016, runs for four weeks, requiring between 2-4 hours input per week.

N.B: If you like this, and are interested in learning programming languages relating to data science, you might also like the Introduction to R Programming. This is a self-paced course curated by the same course leader.

Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI [No Longer Available]

We recently explored the realms of data analysis using Excel’s array of power tools How to Visualize Your Data Analysis with Excel's Power Tools Excel is killing it with its advanced data management features. Once you have used one of the new tools, you will want them all. Become a master of your data analysis with power tools! Read More , including the excellent Power BI Microsoft Excel + Power BI = Data Analysis Bliss Need help turning your data into something useful? Microsoft's Power BI can visualize your data and create automated reports. We show you how to set up your first Power BI dashboard. Read More . In this course, you can “Learn how to connect and visualize your data with Power BI,” or simply expand on your existing data visualization 4 Data Visualization Tools for Captivating Data Journalism Words and numbers are not enough. In the end, visuals will capture and convince your audience. Here are the tools that will help you turn your data into something great. Read More knowledge.


Microsoft Power BI Logo

This course is taught in short, lecture-style videos that are followed up with demos, quizzes, and hands-on experiences. You’re likely to learn about Power BI data imports and connections, data shaping, data visualization, as well as how to create and share Power BI dashboards in Excel.

Course leader Will Thompson has spent many years working with data, and now helps translate customer and market requirements into new Power BI features.

Course Details: Has already begun, but you can still sign up. Runs for four weeks, requiring between 2-4 hours input per week.


Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel

Moving on from visualizing data with Power BI, this intermediate course explores the full range of Excel power tools Power Up Excel with 10 Add-Ins to Process, Analyze & Visualize Data Like a Pro Vanilla Excel is amazing, but you can make it even more powerful with add-ins. Whatever data you need to process, chances are someone created an Excel app for it. Here's a selection. Read More , including Power Pivot How to Create a Pivot Table for Data Analysis in Microsoft Excel The pivot table is one of the single most powerful tools in Microsoft Excel. Learn how to use the pivot table for data analysis. Read More and Power Query, delivered to your brain using short, lecture style videos. As with other edX courses Get Tech Skills You Need At These Top 7 Online Course Sites It's not only about learning programming languages, but also the little unnoticed tech skills that could take you further in your career. Iterate to the next version of you. Class is in session. Read More , these are followed up with short quizzes, hands-on demonstrations, and practical experiences using your own data.

Microsoft Excel Logo

The course also touches on using the DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) calculation engine, and how you can use DAX to further your data exploration, as well as how all of these technologies can be used alongside one another.

This course is led by Excel Senior Program Manager Dany Hoter. He has been working on Excel since 1998, and was working on Power BI when it was just plain-old business intelligence (BI).

Course Details: Self-paced course over four weeks, requiring 2-4 hours input per week.

Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions [Broken URL Removed]

This course will help you “learn how to design Microsoft cloud computing solutions using Microsoft Azure Microsoft Is Nurturing Cross-Platform Productivity Tools Microsoft's collection of productivity apps is ever growing. We have compiled an overview of the apps that keep you working smoothly. We also explore how new additions will enhance the current suite. Read More ,” giving you power over the growing stable of integrated cloud services. Azure now comes with support for analytics, computing, database management, mobile, networking, storage, and web functions, so building your knowledge base around all of those services is becoming increasingly vital.

Microsoft Azure Logo

On this advanced course you’ll learn the founding design principles and techniques for cloud computing for performance, Microsoft Azure infrastructure, networking, web apps, advanced applications, application storage and data access, and a number of other important systems to let you design your own cloud based applications.

Unlike the other courses, the Microsoft Azure course is run by five tutors, each one bringing years of development, cloud, and networking experience to the digital table.

As this is an advanced course, potential students are “expected to be able to define and implement the appropriate infrastructure and platform solutions to meet the required functional, operational, and deployment requirements through the solution lifecycle,” so please bare this in mind before signing up. For an extensive list of course prerequisites, please see the course-page sidebar.

Course Details: Self-paced course running for five weeks, requiring 3-4 hours input each week.

Learning Never Stops

We have covered four of the latest courses stemming from the edX/Microsoft partnership. Plenty more will come 9 Coursera Courses To Improve Yourself & Your Career It's tempting to learn as much as you can, but your time is limited. Choose wisely from this selection of upcoming and past courses on Coursera to improve yourself and your career. Read More  and you might find others to pique your interest Coursera And Udacity Gain Competition As FutureLearn Joins The MOOC Bandwagon FutureLearn has launched with an open beta website and a roster of free online courses. The 20 pilot courses will run throughout the year and learners can join from any part of the globe. Read More . Each of these courses can be accessed for free, where you’ll be granted access to the entire repository of course files to pick your way through.

However, if you want some real validation of your burgeoning skills as a Power BI expert A Microsoft Office 2016 Preview: Smart & Subtle Changes Office 2016 for Mac was just released and the Windows version will follow in the fall. We show you the new look and features of the world's most popular productivity suite. Will you upgrade? Read More , or your new Python programming skills, there is always the option to Pursue a Verified Certificate. The validated course certificates cost anywhere from $29-$90, and you’ll be able to point to your newly minted certificate come potential employment 3 Tips That'll Instantly Wipe Out Job Interview Anxiety The hardest part of getting any job is usually the job interview. These three tips will help you get through the process unscathed, and with a new job. Read More or college interview time.

Good luck and happy learning!

Have you completed any of the previous edX/Microsoft courses? Were they worth your time? What did you learn? Let us know below!

Related topics: Microsoft, Microsoft Excel, Online Courses, Power Bi, Programming, Python.

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  1. Anonymous
    January 6, 2016 at 4:23 am

    Mac users beware! I signed up to take the Excel course. Only AFTER the course began did they say that Mac Excel did not have the requisite features.