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10 Free Courses for Professionals You Can Take Online

10 Free Courses for Professionals You Can Take Online

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.

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    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.

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      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.

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      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.

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      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.

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        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.

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        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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        Published on September 25, 2020

        10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

        10 Best VPNs to Browse the Internet More Securely

        When it comes to digital security, public Wi-Fi networks aren’t safe enough, making it much easier for hackers to access your personal data. Whether you are studying in a library or scrolling through Facebook in a coffeehouse, it is vital to have a VPN installed on your device.

        VPNs work wonders when it comes to securing your internet connection. By creating an encrypted tunnel between a remote server run by the VPN service, they protect your personal data from prying eyes. There is a variety of VPNs available on the web, and we have collated a list of the best VPNs that stand out from the rest.

        How to Choose a VPN

        • Free trial period – Free trials allow you to try the product risk-free. The same idea technically applies to those with 30-day full refunds as well.
        • Speed – You want your VPN to be just as fast as the internet speed at home. Good quality VPNs are ones where you see little difference between those speeds.
        • Device connection – Of course, the more devices that can connect to VPNs, the better. It increases the customers’ coverage and the product’s value. You also want to consider compatibility since fewer VPNs may work for Mac or Windows only.
        • Number of servers – The number of servers determines how much capacity a VPN can handle while you are connected. The more servers there are, the more users it can handle without running into potential disconnections or slow speeds.
        • Kill switch feature – Having this feature means that your IP address isn’t exposed if the VPN disconnects for some reason. A lack of this feature is a big deal since the whole reason why you’re paying for a VPN is to hide your IP address, among other things. (Find out how to avoid getting tracked online here: Big Brother Is Watching You Online: How To Avoid Being Tracked)

        Why You Should Trust Us

        Our hand-picked VPNs are incredibly efficient and offer such distinctive features that grant you safe browsing. They outperform many VPNs in terms of both speed and security. Their primary aim is to provide you the utmost security, thus enabling you to surf the web safely and prevent any potential threat from causing harm.

        Among the best VPNs’ many unique features include split tunneling, strict logging policies, high encryption level, and availability of international servers. We have gathered them in this article to enlighten our readers and offer the best pieces of advice before you get one. Therefore, take our word for it, and if you go for a VPN mentioned below, you’d be fully appeased.

        1. NordVPN

        The most popular VPN on the market these days is NordVPN, and it’s easy to see why. It has widespread coverage, offering a selection of over 5,000 servers spanning across 59 countries.[1] Due to the high number of servers, its speed is similar to your Wi-Fi at home.

        Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, has been using NordVPN for many years and wants to recommend it for its remarkable server count in different locations with no-logs policy. The VPN perfectly works with Netflix and Fire TV stick, too.

        NordVPN is also compatible with Mac, Windows, and Linux. You can download the app onto Chrome, Firefox, Android, and Mac OS. Thanks to its massive coverage, it’s easy to connect multiple devices onto these servers.

        In terms of pricing, while NordVPN doesn’t have a free trial period, they argue that their plans are considerably cheaper than those of their competitors. For example, a one-year plan for ExpressVPN costs $8.32 per month, but NordVPN only charges $6.99 monthly.

        NordVPN has a new protocol called NordLynx that is based on WireGuard with speed benefits, though it’s still under development.[2] If you’re looking for general quality and affordability, this is one of the best VPNs around.

        Buy this VPN.

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        2. ExpressVPN

        ExpressVPN is the second-best option out there for keeping your privacy while browsing the internet. Like many other VPNs here, they will encrypt your IP address, offer vast coverage, and can have multiple devices connected to their servers.

        Compared to NordVPN, while the pricing point is higher, ExpressVPN’s biggest selling point is the number of countries that their connection covers. Depending on where you are in the world, this may be the only option you have. They have fewer servers — 160, to be precise — but they make up for the low server count by covering 94 countries.[3]

        Cost-wise, your best bet is to go with the yearly plan where they charge $8.32 a month. They also have one- and six-month plans.

        Buy this VPN.

        3. Surf Shark

        With regards to Surf Shark, you can connect multiple devices to its servers, and it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac. It is also available on Android, iOS, Chrome, Firefox, and FireTV.

        Furthermore, Surf Shark can whitelist apps and sites, letting them bypass the VPN. This, along with the lines of split-tunneling, is another feature that many VPNs offer. The difference is that Surf Shark allows you to whitelist specific apps or any website, while most VPNs will whitelist all sites or none at all.

        The other consideration for this app is the price. While lower-tier plans are more expensive compared to others, Surf Shark’s 24-month plan is priced at $2.69 a month, so it’s cheaper than even NordVPN’s equivalent plan!

        Buy this VPN.

        4. CyberGhost

        Another top-reviewed VPN is CyberGhost. They’ve been around for 15 years and have fine-tuned their offers and features to stay competitive. They provide the standard package of browsing the web and logging into accounts safely and give you access to regionally blocked content.

        The network also maintains security from hackers, malware, and phishing. Aside from that, you can connect multiple devices, and it’s compatible with all kinds of platforms.

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        What separates CyberGhost from the others is their extensive coverage. They have multiple servers, and the pricing point is still very low. It covers over 88 countries and has roughly 6200 servers for you to choose from, all while charging $2.75 for their 18-month plan.

        Buy this VPN.

        5. IPVanish

        IPVanish’s prime purpose is to give users online freedom by providing fast speeds and private connections. It’s clear that they can meet that promise as they provide many of the features that have been listed previously from their competitors.

        IPVanish is a part of SugarSync now. What is that, you may ask? It’s a cloud-based service that syncs files across devices and computers for sharing, backup, and many more. What this means is that other devices can access various files and videos so long as they are connected to your specific VPN. Furthermore, it can serve as a backup plan if you get hacked or lose your device for some reason.

        Buy this VPN.

        6. Private Internet Access

        Private Internet Access (PIA) is a remarkably generous company in many ways. Aside from the obvious features, they offer great incentives and discounts for people to try out their products. They claim to be the most trustworthy and reliable VPN around, and we believe that.

        One notable thing is that PIA offers a free two-month trial. Compared to other VPNs to this point, none have provided free trials (though all come with a 30-day money-back guarantee). On top of that, small businesses can avail of their VPN at a discounted rate. There is also the fact that their pricing plans go as low as $2.69 a month for two years, and they let you pay with gift cards.

        In terms of specs, PIA has over 2695 servers that cover 47 countries right now.

        These particular aspects make PIA unique and one of the best VPNs to consider.

        Buy this VPN.

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        7. Hotspot Shield

        Hotspot Shield is all about offering protection while you’re browsing the internet or using streaming services like Netflix. The encryption is military-grade, and its speed is ultra-fast. In truth, it is even marketed as one of the fastest VPNs.

        Hotspot Shield offers a plan that only costs  $7.99 a month; however, it’s one of the few in this list to provide its services for free. Like other Freemium apps, the free version comes with limited features. That said, it gives you a much better feel for the VPN.

        Also, take note that the encryption feature is still there, though the limitations in the free plan include connecting to one location in the US and having limited streaming options and speed.

        Buy this VPN.

        8. TunnelBear

        As unusual as a name choice for an online security protection service can be, TunnelBear is nothing short of incredible. It makes our list of the best VPNs for various reasons.

        The biggest one is that the company goes through a yearly security audit. This is notable because many VPNs don’t bother about independent audits to ensure their systems are secure and safe from any issues. This is critical as VPNs have gotten some bad reputation over the years, as TunnelBear has noted in their post about their security audit.[4] The fact that they are doing this annually ensures that nothing is being compromised.

        Furthermore, TunnelBear offers limited services for free, but even their paid plans are pretty cheap. For individuals, you’re merely paying $3.33 per month. The only catch is that you can connect five devices regardless of which paid plan you pick.

        Buy this VPN.

        9. Norton

        Norton has been on the security scene for some time, and it’s actually one of the founders of the internet security industry. It started with virus and malware protection in 1991 and has since branched off to other sectors as the industry has shifted.

        As you might expect from a company that’s been around for a long time, Norton provides excellent services, and a few of their other services have gone into the VPN package. In reality, Norton is the only one thus far to offer a password manager with their VPN services. They provide 50GB of cloud storage as well.

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        Norton has one of the cheapest VPNs, considering you can get their deluxe plan at $49.99 per year. That comes up to roughly $4.17 a month. It might be slightly higher than other equivalent plans, but you get a lot of extra value that makes it worth the price.

        Buy this VPN.

        10. StrongVPN

        The final VPN we want to cover is StrongVPN. Like many others, it’s great at blocking unnecessary web traffic and providing a fast and simple solution to navigating the internet without any hindrance.

        StrongVPN has over 900 servers. It is available in more than 30 countries and compatible with all devices. Beyond that, the only notable selling point it has compared to others is that it also offers Sugarsync services and 250GB of storage, irrespective of your chosen plan.

        As for the pricing, their year-long plan costs $5.83 a month, while their month-long one is $10.

        Buy this VPN.

        Bottom Line

        Getting online protection is important these days, and companies recognize this.

        With more hacks and breaches occurring every single day, the best VPNs can provide an excellent haven for many people who value their security and privacy.

        We hope that by putting together this list, you’ll be able to find the best VPN that you can trust and enjoy using. As you can see, there are several great options with no real wrong one out there. Pick the VPN that’s best for you.

        Featured photo credit: Petter Lagson via unsplash.com

        Reference

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