Advantages of taking MOOCs
Matthew Lynch, in his article How a MOOC Can Help You Land Your Dream Job! writes about the benefits of taking MOOCs for personal or professional development:
- Gain new skills and refresh older skills: One of the most obvious benefits of taking a MOOC for personal and or professional reasons is to boost your skill set. Whether you are gaining new skills or refreshing an old skill set, employers want to see that you are always actively learning, and keeping up with your profession as well as the technological changes of the 21st Taking a class to obtain a new skill is highly useful if that skill is needed for a job that you want to get, but don’t have related experience.
- If you are a recent college graduate: Just because your degree may officially qualify you for your dream job, doesn’t mean that you are ready for the job, or that you will get the job. You have to be the right fit and demonstrate that you possess the needed skill set to obtain your dream job. When recent college graduates are competing for jobs with individuals that have years of experience, MOOCs become an excellent idea to boost a recent graduate’s application. You want to prove to your future employer that you are a go-getter, you have gained skills outside the college setting, you are no longer just a “college student,” and that you are ready for the job.
- Advance your career: Why do most people take MOOCs? People often take MOOCs not just to learn, but also to increase their chances of moving ahead in their field. By taking individual MOOCs, and entire MOOC programs, you demonstrate that you have the capability to be an excellent supervisor or manager. Continual learning and development of skills make your application stronger, whether you are seeking a promotion within the company you already work for or are trying to gain a new job at a new company or organization.
- Learn the professional lingo: If you are new to a trade or profession, or maybe you are just learning a new skill, learning not only the skill but the needed professional jargon will also boost your application. If you have already scheduled the interview, make sure that you are ready to impress your interviewers, not just with your resume, but also with your understanding of the job, the needed language, and the needed skills for the job. A good resume might get you an interview, but if you don’t understand what you are presenting or speaking about in your interview, your future employer will notice that. Be confident, understand the professional lingo, and then get the job!
- Improve your experience outside your current job: Regardless of whether or not you are new to the profession, gaining experience in another area than the area you are working can help you to be more qualified for another position. MOOCs are especially helpful if you are looking to make a switch in your role, small or large. MOOCs demonstrate that you are capable of learning, you are interested in continuing your education, and suggest that you will continue to learn as you work in your new position.
Activity 2.2 Reflection Allow 30 minutes for this activity
Think about your own situation both from a professional and personal point of view. Which of the above benefits is most relevant to you? Write a few lines in your learning journal reflecting on why you might want to take a MOOC.