Maximizing MOOCs: 5 (Free!) Online Classes for the Fall

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Posted August 1, 2014 by Lindsay Bosch in Career Moves
mooc-learn Its time to admit that we are on our own for professional development. Many of our employers have been forced to cut costs down to the basics (including raising health benefits and eliminating 401ks.) Gone are the days in which many businesses offered lush tuition befits, incentives for taking classes, or paid in full for graduate degrees. Its important to remember that, though we may be on our own, we’re not alone in our search for new learning opportunities The past few years have offered a quiet revolution in high quality, free online classes. Since 2008, many of the nation’s most elite universities including Harvard, Stamford, Yale, and MIT have been offering open enrollment in some of their most coveted classes. Often called MOOCs (massive, open online courses) these courses are offered free through online partners such as Coursera, edX, and Udacity. The New York Times declared 2012 “The Year of the MOOC” and the trend shows no signs of stopping. Though typically credit-less, the courses are often planned by elite professors and offer engagement through video lectures, readings quizzes, projects and discussion boards. While you won’t get a degree, you will gain weekly access to new concepts, insider lingo, and business strategies that may serve you well in the office. Many MOOCS now offer options for Verified Certificates, as well as shareable course records that allow you to link back to your accomplishments from your resume or linkedin profile. So even if its been a while since your last Fall Semester, here’s a few upcoming offerings that may pique your interest after summer vacation days are behind you   Social Entrepreneurship

  • Offered by: Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania
  • Begins: September 8, 2014
  • From the Catalog: Social entrepreneurs and social innovators are tackling and diminishing many of the world’s problems. They achieve significant positive social impact through the creative and aggressive mobilization of people and other resources. This course will cover a select set of topics associated with social innovation and entrepreneurship whether nonprofit or for-profit.

Managing Fashion and Luxury Companies

  • Offered by: Università Bocconi, Milan
  • Begins: October 3, 2014
  • From the Catalog: Learn how fashion and luxury companies work and understand their brands, products, retail, and communication strategies. Travel through business models, international development, and product categories with industry influent experts.

The Age of Sustainable Development

  • Offered By: Columbia University
  • Begins: September 2, 2014
  • From the Catalog: This course gives students an understanding of the key challenges and pathways to sustainable development – that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable.

Networks: Friends, Money and Bytes

  • Offered by: Princeton University
  • Begins: September 15, 2014
  • From the Catalog: A course driven by 20 practical questions about wireless, web, and the Internet, about how products from companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Amazon, Ericsson, HP, Skype and AT&T work.

Introduction to Finance

  • Offered by: University of Michigan
  • Begins: October 6, 2014
  • From the Catalog: This course will introduce you to frameworks and tools to measure value; both for corporate and personal assets. It will also help you in decision-making, again at both the corporate and personal levels.


About the Author

Lindsay Bosch

Lindsay Bosch is an arts and nonprofit manager who has worked in cultural institutions for over decade including the American Library Association, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Film Festival. Lindsay is interested in the self-driven (and often self taught) trajectory of women’s careers in nonprofits and writes about issues related to leadership, branding and work culture. Lindsay holds a Bachelors degree in Film and Media from Northwestern Univ. and a Masters in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is the coauthor of the art history textbook Icons of Beauty: Art, Culture and the Image of Women.

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