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Here in Ontario—working from home of course, not in our headquarters in Toronto—we’re currently facing another full-on shut down with stay-at-home restrictions in light of the third wave that has hit concentrated areas of southern Ontario, specifically.  

While some, like us here at Workwolf, can work from home, others are left once more without work and are trying to make the most of the time they have, though these silver linings are growing thin.  

According to Macleans, although the job market is rebounding—though this article was written before the third wave, that which we are facing presently—it still has a fair way to go before being considered “recovered”.  

It’s not surprising then to realize how deeply most of us are struggling nowadays, having only peaked in our highest unemployment rate to date in September 2020—notedly higher than it had been at what had previously been considered our lowest in the financial crisis of 2008.  

So, while it is difficult to consider any silver linings these days, perhaps one to keep in mind is the great resources we have that are available for free and from the safety of our homes—particularly those that make us feel productive or like we’re developing (because nothing is more real than the pressure to be productive these days, am I right, folks?).  

With all of this said, let’s talk about MOOCs—Workwolf’s fan favorite for those lockdown blues.  

Stop, MOOC, and listen, baby!

MOOCs, also known as massive open online courses, are Workwolf employees’ philosophy. These courses, available to the general public to audit without an admission process or fee, are a great resource to use, as they offer an unlimited amount of participants to take courses on specific topics that best suit their needs and desires from the safety of their home.  

Unlike registered programs, MOOCs do not require any admission processes, nor any on-campus requirements. As well, most MOOCs include all materials needed to complete the learning, including reading notes, video lectures, and quizzes.  

With that said, some courses can be upgraded in order to receive a diploma, certificate, or even degree, depending on the level of certification you require or would like to achieve. If you’re learning on your own time for your personal interest or development like I did with the Indigenous Canada course that Coursera was offering through the University of Alberta’s Native Studies Department, you may be able to take the entire course for free.  

Indigenous CanadaHowever, MOOC websites also offer courses that are more comprehensive than the free ones, as well as the option to purchase a certificate that shows that you have completed the course. In fact, some of the MOOC websites featured in this blog post even offer diploma or degree programs at the undergraduate and even graduate level.  

While these are not free or as much as a bargain as it is to take a course and pay around $60 for a certificate authenticating so, these online programs are still a much more economical alternative to most university or college experiences.  

And although not every MOOC is made equally, the following includes just a few of our favorites that offer a huge bang for a very small (or no) buck (in no particular order)! 

 1. Coursera

Coursera is a large-scale online learning platform with partnerships with institutions that offer specialization, certificate, and degree programs entirely online. The website offers courses in fields including the arts and humanities, health, math and logic, physical science and engineering, languages, as well as business and technology.  

Some courses offered through Coursera include those in data analytics, digital product management, marketing analytics, organizational analysis, and viral marketing.  

Check out some of the following courses that were hand-selected by the Workwolf team: 

Be sure to also check out their blog post on everything you need to know to achieve your career goals on Coursera.   

2. EdX

EdX is another option that offers massive open online courses, namely those from prestigious universities from the U.S. and around the world, including Berkeley, Cornell, Columbia, Georgetown, and Harvard.  

EdX is focused on increasing accessibility to higher education by offering teaching online, and on advancing learning and teaching opportunities through research. These courses, too, are entirely online, and users can audit for free, or can pay and earn college or university level credits toward their degrees and can even offer full bachelor’s degree.  

While their coursework ranges greatly, for those in business and management, we recommend courses on exercising leadership, corporate finance, investments, operations management, and supply chain management. 

Here are some courses we recommend at EdX: 

Take a browse around their website and see what suits your fancy! 

3. HubSpot Academy

You may have heard of HubSpot, the software that is highly regarded and used for marketing, organizing sales, and managing customer service. Now, they’re offering free courses that can be either attended in real-time online or can be saved to be watched asynchronously. These courses, however, are dedicated to marketing, sales, and customer service professions, offering group conferences and certification programs. Like the previously mentioned MOOCs, HubSpot Academy is free to audit, but if you’d like to have a certificate to show your work, there will be a fee.  

Here are some of HubSpot’s upcoming courses we recommend to you:  

As well, feel free to take a gander at all other free resources HubSpot has to offer its users here.  

 4. FutureLearn

FutureLearn offers users an online catalogue of courses to choose from grouped by subject, timeline and availability, credential needed, and degree needed. This way, students can select courses that can provide them with professional and academic credentials, and even fully online degrees. They offer a great variety of courses, as well, though we recommend courses on big data and analytics, business ethics, entrepreneurship, human resources, and project management.  

Here are some specific courses Workwolf can recommend from FutureLearn: 

5. Udacity

Udacity specifically focuses on preparing their students for advancing their careers in technology and digital environments, offering courses on AI, autonomous systems, cyber security, data science, and programming and development, among others. Fear not, however, these courses are ranked from “beginner” to “advanced” expertise, so you won’t feel under- or overwhelmed with the course material.  

While this website offers a great selection of courses, here are some that are starting right away, and which the Workwolf team recommends: 

If you do take advantage of any of the above courses mentioned by the Workwolf team, please give us a shout on our Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Facebook pages. We’d love to hear you enjoyed our recommendations and can’t wait to offer you more to help you advance your career and personal development.  

In addition to these MOOCs, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and subscribe to our email list, as Workwolf offers free webinars, as well as podcasts, weekly blog posts to keep you up to date with all you need to know to get the most out of your workplace experiences. Our next webinar is coming up on LinkedIn, and will explore Packfinder, our free career fit assessment tool that measures your strengths and natural predispositions in the workplace. Click here to see more about this free webinar, and to see more of our upcoming events that are dedicated to helping our users grow personally, professionally, and creatively.  

Conclusion

MOOCs, or massive open online courses are those that are entirely online, available to the general public without registration or admission processes. The majority of these courses can be audited for free, though one can pay a fee to receive a certificate or diploma that can either be counted towards college or university course credits or can even allow you to complete an entire undergraduate or graduate level degree online. You can take any of the above courses courtesy of the companies featured in this article, as well as any webinars or livestreams offered by Workwolf for free.  

*This post is not sponsored by any organizations or websites outside of Workwolf.com. These tips are offered purely in the best interest of the Workwolf user.