Saturday, 13 May 2017 03:28

Build your career with free online courses


The 21st century is termed the information age which is heavily powered by the internet. Turn on your phone, top up your phone with internet bundles for as low as Sh20 s and Voila! PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP

If you went through the 8-4-4 system, it was always about passing an exam which most of the time entailed cramming all the information you could muster to regurgitate it on an exam paper. But the truth about life is that you never stop learning. Meeting a new person, working in a new environment, reading a book or even encountering an unexpected situation; you learn how to change, adapt or manage these new learning experiences.

The 21st century is termed the information age which is heavily powered by the internet. Turn on your phone, top up your phone with internet bundles for as low as Sh20 s and Voila! You can access all the information through any search engine available to you. Some simply term it Google University.

There are numerous sites you can visit that offer talks from various global icons and celebrities, to free lectures at world renowned universities that you may not afford to attend. We took time to find some websites that offer a vast array of information to grow your skill set in your career of choice, as well as simple life skills that you wouldn’t learn in a conventional learning environment.


This site offers paid courses from  leading universities and institutes across US, UK, Asia, Europe, South America, Canada and South Africa; such as Princeton University, University of Cape Town, University of Geneva, University of Manchester, John Hopkins University, University of Hong Kong among others.

Coursera offers over 200 courses ranging from certificates, specialized learning to Master Degree programs. The courses include recorded videos of lecturers, peer reviewed assignments, and an interactive open discussion forum with other students from across the globe taking the course.


Future Learn is similar to Coursera offering a plethora of courses across various fields, from a vast array of global universities and institutions. The courses range from Creative Arts and Media, Literature, Health and Psychology, Law, Science, engineering and Math among others. These short courses are free and run from 2 to up to 8 weeks. If you would like a certificate for a course that you have completed, you will need to pay a fee to receive it. And even once you have completed the course, you will still have access to the content.


As the name suggest, Code Academy offers you a variety of specialised courses on coding or what is best known as software engineering. These courses are user friendly, once you login to your account you can pick from a wide category of coding courses with a text editor. These courses are developed in partnership with various leading technology firms such as IBM, and Periscope Data.


Academic Earth offers the experience of schooling in a European or American Ivy league University. On this site you can enjoy curated video lessons from top lecturers on various course matters, free of charge. They range from philosophy, finance to mathematics and so on.  The site also offers you a variety of courses to choose from with supporting links to the various university sites where you can sign up for a specific certificate, degree or masters, of your interest to register and pay for. Depending on the course and institution you may be required to sit for a standardized test before admission. The institutions’ respective websites will provide the necessary particulars.


Udemy is an online treasure trove of learning. The site offers 45,000 different courses offered by expert instructors across spheres. You can enjoy tennis lessons from former World No. 1 tennis player, Andre Agassi, to learning how to emerge as a local celebrity. The courses come at a fee with on-demand pre-recorded videos.


If learning in school was anything like Crash Course everyone would have been number one in school. This site offers free courses ranging from world history, economics, philosophy, physics to chemistry among many others. These YouTube videos, breakdown the subjects into comical and factual bite sizes; it’s a fun way to learn across all age groups. 


Like Coursera and Future Learn, Edx offers numerous courses and 15 professional certification courses from various top tier global universities. The platform was started by US based Harvard and MIT universities in 2012, to expand open learning across the globe. Most of the courses are generally self paced; meaning you determine how fast you want to study the course. The courses are free, the only payment you will make, if you want, is to purchase your certification for the completed course. The Professional certification, on the other hand, is priced.


Life is a school on its own. But there are a lot of soft skills that a lot of us miss from divergent parenting at home to varied school systems and societal norms. School of life offers an amusing and creative solution to answering some of life’s questions through their YouTube videos. It explores everything from existentialism, to how to be a man, political theory to why comedy matters. It is a great way to learn something new.  

Source: This article was published on By ROSE ODENGO 


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