Online Degrees or Moocs –a guest post

Ava Reed is a freelance writer & a 24/7 job hunter. “I love reading, cooking, and I also enjoy helping others on their career explorations. Let’s say- ‘no’ to stress; we need to identify a specific career that will allow us to make good use our talents and skills,” she writes about herself. She approached me to write about MOOCs, which I had never heard of, and then agreed to redo her post to address how these fit into job hunting.

I always see myself wanting more. Is it about the money? Yes and no. We all have different stories but if you’re always looking for a better job, well then we’ve got something in common.

This year’s 2nd most popular acronym after Facebook is MOOCs. Technically, Moocs (massive online open courses) are gaining popularity as a free alternative to traditional distance education. The original moocs, arguably, were radio programs hosted by universities that offered education to the masses in the 1920s. Fast-forward to 2008 when today’s mooc was re-imagined through the open educational resources movement. The idea was to connect students to education free of charge. Today, moocs operate all over, including at prestigious institutions like Stanford, and the goal is to offer free, high-quality education to the masses. MIT established MITx, a not-for-profit education extension, in 2012, which helped continue the movement. Today, even high schools are offering moocs for students preparing for standardized tests, such as the SAT.

Now you have the key, an instant access to the best courses delivered by superstar professors brought to you by x platform & y organization. Take a look at Coursera, edX and Udacity. I must confess two years ago while job hunting, I was addicted to Stanford University’s Videos on YouTube.

How do you feel about online courses?

How do you feel about online courses?

A recent development in the world of distance education is the evolution of blended learning, which refers to combining traditional classroom education with online instructional methods to create an integrated instructional approach. The goal of blended learning is to use the best aspect of both online and face-to-face instruction into one cohesive environment. The prevalence of for-profit institutions has also paved the way for new and innovative online education strategies at the higher education level. To stay competitive, many schools, from for-profit to community colleges to traditional state universities, are offering some form of online coursework for its students.

The question is why job hunters should care about distance learning and particularly about moocs? Distance education is the growth area of universities, educators, angel investors, software developers, and so on. It’s time for us to grow and take a closer look at these resources; whether you go for free or paid online course, it’s all up to you. We know the difference between free and paid services, between freemium and premium.

The development of free online education has boosted the potential value of distance education. With institutions striving for financing, even major universities are offering online or blended education to financially supplement the traditional forms of classroom learning. Because of the tech-age and the digital boom, many people feel more comfortable and confident learning at a distance. The major downfall to any distance education program is graduation or completion rate, and distance education still does not fare well in successfully graduating students in any platform.

Overall, as a constant job hunter it’s good to have a back-up plan with that being said, create a realistic plan. You are about to invest time and/or money might as well be sure that you’re next move forward is in line with your goals. If you’re in marketing, it wouldn’t hurt to check out Human Behavioral Biology. Time is of essence, choose your course wisely.

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