A number of leading universities offer free courses for professionals to hone their skills. Universities offer a wide variety of courses in different disciplines such as business management, mathematics, life sciences, humanities and more. You can learn a new skill that will complement your profession for no cost. Many of these courses have video lessons with self-assessment quizzes. Here is a list of the 10 most useful free online courses for working professionals.
1. University of Toronto’s “Learn to Program: The Fundamentals”
This free course provides an introduction into the fundamentals of computer programming. You will learn how to program in Python language. It is suitable for anyone with no prior programming knowledge. The course comprises of 1 to 2 hours of lecture each week. Video lessons are provided with integrated quiz which makes learning interesting. Candidates who successfully complete the course will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructor.
2. The University of Edinburgh’s “The Clinical Psychology of Children and Young People”
The course covers the basic principles of clinical psychology for children and young people. You will be able to understand the developmental process and the mental health difficulties of children and young people. The course also provides a perspective to understand the cultural and societal context of mental health. The duration of the course is 5 weeks. You will be eligible for a statement of accomplishment on successful completion of this course. If you are looking to hone your psychological skills in dealing with children and young people then, don’t miss this course.
3. Wharton University of Pennsylvania’s “An Introduction to Marketing”
You will understand the fundamentals of marketing with focus on three modules namely: customer centricity, branding strategies and new market entry. The go-to-market strategies discussed in this course will help candidates understand the various factors that influence customers. The knowledge of these factors will help strategists plan product launches effectively. The duration of the course is 9 weeks with 5-6 hours of work per week. The course also has Chinese subtitles. You will be eligible for a statement of accomplishment at the end of the course.
4. Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s “Exploratory Data Analysis”
You will learn several fundamental exploratory techniques used for summarizing data. Exploratory techniques are very useful in arriving at a potential hypothesis after preliminary analysis of the data. On completion of the course, you will be able to make visual representation of data using lattice and plotting systems with the program R. This course is a 4 week program that consists of video lectures, peer assignments and quizzes. As a prerequisite to this course, you will need to have latest version of R and RStudio installed to carry out statistical analysis.
5. Wharton University of Pennsylvania’s “Social Entrepreneurship”
Social Entrepreneurship is required to solve many of world’s current problems. Social entrepreneurs are making a positive impact in resolving social issues by mobilizing human resources and funds. On completion of this course, you will be able to launch successful social entrepreneurship projects. There are two tracks to the program. You can either choose the open track where you will submit assignments on real social problems or opt for the signature track where you can bring your own project to the program. Candidates who complete the signature track at a high level will be eligible for full scholarship at Penn Social Impact House. The duration of the course is 6 weeks.
6. Case Western Reserve University’s “Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence”
Competencies of emotional intelligence are crucial aspects of effective leadership. The emotional intelligence of a leader helps the leader to build strong resonant relationships with others. By employing the latest developments in the field of organizational and psychological research, neuroscience and behavioral psychology, this course will help candidates develop resonant relationships and experience mindfulness, compassion and hope. The course consists of 9 classes over 8 weeks. Each class consists of two to four modules. Each module has reflective exercises that accelerate learning.
7. University of Lausanne’s “Unethical Decision Making in Organizations”
In an age where dark forces are lurking in the society, this course will provide an insight into understanding the risks of unethical behavior within an organization. It provides a perspective on how strong organizational contexts force even good people to make unethical decisions. The course content is drawn from various disciplines such as psychology, sociology and philosophy. The course consists of video lectures and discusses popular organizational scandals in the recent past. It is a 7 week program that requires 5-7 hours of an individual’s time per week.
8. University of Washington’s “Information Security and Risk Management in Context”
This course will help you understand the internal and external threats to business information. At the end of the course, you will be able to proactively avert information attacks in your organization. The duration of the course is 10 weeks with 4-6 hours of work per week. You will gain hands-on experience by solving real-world issues during the course. Latest techniques in the field of information security will be taught including protection of cloud computing information.
9. Stanford University’s “Social and Economic Networks: Models and Analysis”
The course teaches you how to model social and economic networks that impact human behavior. Social network plays a pivotal role in understanding the interactions among different actors in the society. The course will give you a strong background in understanding various network models, strategic network formation, diffusion, learning and games on networks. Candidates who enroll for this course need to have basic understanding of mathematics and statistics. Along with video lectures, you will be given assignments to resolve standalone problems.
10. The University of Chicago’s “Global Warming: The Science of Climate Change”
This course is an 8 week study program with 2-5 hours of work every week that teaches principles governing the earth’s temperature and the science of global warming. Theories of physics, chemistry, earth, atmospheric science and biology are put together to understand the impact of human’s activity on earth’s climate. The course also provides an insight into the carbon cycle of earth and how humans can minimize the risk of global warming. You will also learn to analyze climate data.
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