Are Free Online Courses Worth It?

Burning the Digital Candle

Posted by: Nicky Verd Comments: 0

In the current economic scenario, securing a job is a difficult task and there are always more job seekers than jobs available. So, to qualify for the cut throat competition, you need to have an edge over others when applying for any job.

And one of the ways to distinguish yourself is to showcase that you are invested in your own learning and serious about your own personal development.

Even if your online courses don’t add direct value to your resume, it still goes to show your interest in the subject and the effort in learning new things.

In today’s era, everything is abundantly available online. Relevant coursework has the ability to increase your skills, making you more relevant and qualified in this age and time.

Traditional education cost an arm and a leg — tuition and aid scheme; Tuition fees; Examination fees; Prescribed books and other study material.

Since affordability is a major issue for so many people when it comes to attending college, the playing field is being levelled with free online courses.

And so, yes, online courses are definitely worth it, even if they are free. Some people are fresh out of university with no actual experience. Therefore, having a desire for continual self-improvement coupled with a good work ethic can win over actual experience.

Also, they are people with no other qualification than a history Degree. They are others who graduated long ago but haven’t kept their knowledge up to date and whatever they studied is now obsolete for the most part.

Some people don’t have much to show on their CV other than school accomplishments and some research papers.

So, taking some of these free online classes will let your future employer know that you are responsible and serious about your own development and that you want to thrive and grow in your specific field or industry.

Photo by Mars on Unsplash

Even if you’re just doing it for fun, that fun will translate to value because knowledge is never wasted. Burning the digital candle is definitely worth it.

Free doesn’t necessarily mean less valuable because more often than not, some schools only care about getting the student’s money, not educating them. Some degrees literally aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.

What employers are really interested in is what you can actually do and how you can solve problems in real-time, not a piece of paper.

One of the things I mentioned in my book — Disrupt Yourself Or Be Disrupted is that:

“Education can happen without schooling and schooling can also happen without education. Schooling is done in school but education can happen anywhere. Never mistake getting a certificate for getting an education.”

Benefits of taking free online classes:

1. You don’t have to pay tuition fees. The only significant costs are your time and energy. Having free courses from some top universities is pretty amazing.

2. It also shows you’re a person who is self-sufficient and willing to learn new things, which can help you start your own business or side hustle.

3. Great for people who want to make a switch in career but don’t have the time or the money to go to university or college.

4. Your future employer will see that you can recognise and take an opportunity when it is presented and you can follow through on simple commitments (e.g. sacrifice a weekend to learn something new) and that’s a plus on your resume.

5. It will empower you to grow professionally and personally.

6. Generally, the knowledge you gain is more important than the course. For instance, nobody really cares that you have a certificate in and of itself. But if you can demonstrate knowledge of that topic, that is great.

7. Furthermore, online courses are posted on online learning platforms, where you can interact with other students/learners and teachers from all over the world.

8. If you can show that you’ve taken free courses, and put in your own time to improve yourself and your career, you are far ahead of 90% of the resumes recruiter receive.

9. Doing an online course will expose you to many different cultures and backgrounds, which can be hugely beneficial for your own personal development. You will also improve your communication skills by learning how to ask for help, initiate discussions and ask questions.

10. The teachers are highly knowledgeable about the subject, meaning you can gain firsthand guidance, tips and information from them. This is much better than searching for things to learn on Youtube or social media, where you cannot always be sure if the information is accurate, ratified or reliable.




Check Out my Book – Disrupt Yourself Or Be Disrupted

Available on Amazon and my Website

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