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In 2012, Coursera initiated the mission of making college-level education available online to anyone who has not had the time or the means to enroll in person. Working in partnership with prestigious institutions to adjust their best internet courses, the platform provides users with two options for almost every class: free audit, or pay $49, and access to peer review sessions, graded assignments, and, once completed, a certification to add to your resume. There’s also the option to register in Coursera Plus for $399 a year, which provides access to and certifications from over 90 percent of the most recommended Coursera courses on the site.
Coursera has skyrocketed in the years since it launched to deliver more than 3,000 courses from professors around the globe in essentially every thinkable field, from music to programming to history, psychology, grammar, and more.
Now because a lot more people have much more leisure time and the outbreak has updated the idea of paying for a traditional “college experience,” the platform is apparently rising, with sufficiently increased demand that the company has started offering financial assistance and free courses to unemployed workers seeking to change career path as part of the Coursera Workforce Recovery Initiative. Just the other day, Coursera has got to add 10 million new users from mid-March through mid-May, seven times the previous year’s rate of speed of new sign-ups.
If you’ve not taken them, you probably wonder: Are these $49 or free online college-level courses really beneficial in building career opportunities or even just practical mastery?
Nevertheless, if you’re thinking of taking courses, the vast number of courses to choose from might frustrate you. With this in mind, while you’re at home, we want to share our highly recommended Coursera courses with you — all of which are beginner-friendly in case you’re aiming for something completely new (click on the link on the each title below to join the course).
1. The Science of Well-Being
“The Science of Well-Being” taught by Professor Laurie Santos overviews what psychological science says about happiness. It’s been one of the most hugely popular and highly recommended Coursera courses with nearly 2 million people signing up.
The course is taken on Coursera over four weeks and includes videos, readings, and quizzes that overview what psychological science says about happiness. The goal of the course is to help people learn what psychological research says about what makes people happy, as well as how to actually put the acquired skills in gratitude, happiness, meditation, and savoring into action.
“I absolutely enjoyed and learned a lot about happiness from this course,” one reviewer wrote. “I was able to change into a more positive and productive mindset as taught in this course. I highly recommend it to everyone regardless of your profession or background,” another said.
2. Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects
This course delivered by Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. So far, it has been taken by more than 2.2 million students from 200 countries. The course provides practical advice on tackling daunting subjects and on beating procrastination, and the lessons engagingly blend neuroscience and common sense.
Provided to train students’ skills on test preparation, Pomodoro technique, and meta learning, the course has proven to be “a must for anyone regardless of their work disciplines. It has been crafted well to suit audiences of all ages. This course helps us understand the common pitfalls in the way we try to learn and provides simple and effective guidelines to maximize our learning,” as disclosed by one of the reviewers.
3. Write Professional Emails in English
This is a course provided by Gerry Landers to help you write effective business emails in English. This course is unique because each module will provide tips on writing more professional emails.
You will look at different email formats to analyze tone, formality levels, and various organizational styles. You will be able to improve your emails of introductions, announcements, requests, and emails that apologize or revise a request. By the end of this course, you will be able to improve your overall written English and communication skills.
281,447 students are already enrolled in this course. Gaining 4.7 ratings overall, reviewers have greatly suggested the course as the perfect place to gain in-depth knowledge of writing professional emails.
4. Academic English: Writing Specialization
The academic, creative, and essay writing as well as the English grammar skills taught in this specialization course will empower you to succeed in any college-level course or professional field. You’ll learn to conduct rigorous academic research and to express your ideas clearly in an academic format. In the final Capstone Project, all the knowledge that you’ve gained over the span of these courses will culminate into an academic research paper on an issue of your choice.
The instructors of this course – Tamy Chapman, Helen Nam, and Brad Gilpin – are well-known faces of the renowned University of California. Most students left positive notes, stating that this is a very useful course even if you are very good at English.
5. Learning to Teach Online
Are you an educator? Have you ever wanted to understand more about how to design your class to make better use of educational technology – whether fully online or in blended contexts? Would you like to learn from those who have extensive practical experience with online technologies?
The Learning to Teach Online (LTTO) will help you develop a working understanding of successful online teaching strategies that you can apply in your own practice. The course is based upon the multi-award-winning open educational resource developed by Dr. Simon McIntyre and Karin Watson, with more than 73,000 students already enrolled in the course.
Nominated as an excellent course, plenty of students mentioned how the course has given an overview of using and implementing web tools appropriately to optimize students’ performance in their academic experience leading to becoming an independent learners.
6. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills
Join the hundreds of thousands of learners who have made “Successful Negotiation” one of the most popular, highly rated, and recommended Coursera courses worldwide. In the course, you’ll learn about and practice the four steps to a successful negotiation:
- Prepare: Plan Your Negotiation Strategy
- Negotiate: Use Key Tactics for Success
- Close: Create a Contract
- Perform and Evaluate: The End Game
By the end of completing this course which has been taken by 768,170 students, you will boost your skills specifically in the field of strategic negotiations, communication, and negotiation.
7. Machine Learning
This course provides a broad introduction to machine learning, data mining, and statistical pattern recognition. The course draws from numerous case studies and applications so that you’ll also learn how to apply learning algorithms to building smart robots (perception, control), text understanding (web search, anti-spam), computer vision, medical informatics, audio, database mining, and other areas.
As one of the most recommended Coursera courses, Machine Learning by Professor Andrew Ng has been taken by more than 3 million students, with more than 130,000 ratings reviewing the class. Most students highlighted how amazing the course has been in covering most of the machine learning algorithms. The most favorable part of the course is that it has emphasized the math behind each technique which helps to choose the best algorithm while solving a problem.
8. Introduction to Web Development
Offered by the University of California and taught by Daniel Randall, “Introduction to Web Development” has gained the attention of 79,419 users, with more than 30 percent of the overall number reporting a new career after completing the course. A user even has recommended the course for those who want to start their new journey in the field of web-d, as it’s been reported to be “a nice introductory course to get basic knowledge of the vast field of web development”.
9. Google IT Support Professional Certificate
The next on our list of highly recommended Coursera courses to take this year is Google IT Support Professional Certificate. This program is designed to take beginner learners to job readiness in under six months. This 5-course certificate, developed by Google, includes an innovative curriculum designed to prepare you for an entry-level role in IT support. A job in IT can mean in-person or remote help desk work in a small business or at a global company like Google. The program is part of Grow with Google, a Google initiative to help create economic opportunities for all Americans. Completing the program can earn you up to 12 college credits, the equivalent of 4 associate degree-level courses.
One user highlighted that the course has offered a great introduction to IT and the different standards that are used in the field. It had given him an idea of what to expect and the different aspects that he might encounter while he is on the job.
10. IBM Data Science Professional Certificate
This program consists of 9 courses providing you with the latest job-ready skills and techniques covering a wide array of data science topics including open-source tools and libraries, methodologies, Python, databases, SQL, data visualization, data analysis, and machine learning. You will practice hands-on in the IBM Cloud using real data science tools and real-world data sets.
There are 7 infamous instructors from IBM that will assist you throughout the lessons. By the end of the course, you’ll gain plenty of useful knowledge that you can directly apply to help you either master your recent career or pursue a new one. Some of them include data science, machine learning, python programming, data analysis, and data visualization.
By now, you have probably grasped why taking a course worth your time and money at Coursera. Coursera offers many courses on various topics, which can be reviewed at no charge. Build your skills and knowledge with online courses which allow you to learn at your own pace. You can select any Specialization or Professional Certificate you can start with a 7-day trial period for free. Your payout will grant you access to quizzes and projects when you decide to take the full course and will obtain a certificate after you finish the course. Share your certificates on your application for your next career or on business network platforms such as LinkedIn.