Online courses are ideal if you do not have the time to invest in a full time course, evening classes or weekend classes since they are often self-paced and flexible to the time you allocate. They are also often pocket friendly with their fees. Sometimes, they are free FREE. A well designed and created online course is often value-packed with enough knowledge to help you gain a new skill, expand your knowledge in a field and also give you the confidence to tackle challenges you previously could not.
Also, the employment market place has grown to accept online courses as valid. Therefore, do not be worried about the validity of your certificate if you use the credible online sources which I have compiled and listed below:
Founded by Harvard and MIT in May 2012, edX is home to more than 20 million learners, the majority of top-ranked universities in the world and industry-leading companies. As a global nonprofit, edX is transforming traditional education, removing the barriers of cost, location and access. Fulfilling the demand for people to learn on their own terms, edX is reimagining the possibilities of education, providing the highest-quality, stackable learning experiences including the groundbreaking MicroMasters® programs. Supporting learners at every stage, whether entering the job market, changing fields, seeking a promotion or exploring new interests, edX delivers courses for curious minds on topics ranging from data and computer science to leadership and communications. Personally, I have taken the Contract Law course and it is the most solid course I have ever done online.
Coursera was founded in 2012 by two Stanford computer science professors with a vision to provide anyone, anywhere with access to the world’s best education. Professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng put their courses online for anyone to take— and taught more learners in a few months than they could over an entire lifetime in the classroom. Today, Coursera has expanded to reach more than 40 million people and 1,900 businesses around the world. On Coursera you can find online courses, Specializations, certificates and degrees from 190+ world-class universities and companies, including: Yale, University of Pennsylvania, Google, IBM, and more.
Future Learn is a private company jointly owned by The Open University and The SEEK Group. The Open University have 50 years of experience in distance learning and online education. Their partners include the British Council, the British Library, the British Museum, and the National Film and Television School. They also work with a range of internationally renowned organisations – from professional bodies such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), to businesses like the BBC and Marks & Spencer, to the UK Government. They launched their first courses in September 2013, and have been online since. Currently (2019), undertaking the Contract Management course from the University of Southhampton, for which I got a free digital upgrade.
Udemy is a different from the above three platforms in that the instructors are not curated by a university or learning institution. In their own words, Udemy is the leading global marketplace for teaching and learning, connecting students everywhere to the world’s best instruction anywhere. They often run offers, where you can find solid courses for as little as $10.99. In September 2019, I took a free health and safety course, and I sure did learn more than a few things on how to conduct safety meetings.