If you feel this constant need to validate your position on the job because you could always lose it to someone with a more impressive CV, you are not alone. Job insecurity is a grim reality today. With the job market being ever-so-demanding, starting on one’s career early seems like a good idea. However, with a lot of students opting for job-experience right after a basic college degree rather than investing time and money on higher education the conventional way, part-time and distance education are gaining more popularity for further degrees. Massive Open Online Courses, a.k.a MOOCs are there to make such distance-learning possible. Degrees are usually a safe fall-back option when it comes to job security and are second only to on-the-job experience.
Online learning is a much preferred option among professionals and MOOCs are fast gaining ground. What started out in 2008 with more than 2000 individuals signing up for a “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge” course, has now taken over the online education scene. Pursuing these courses is encouraged even by the top management in most organizations and is regarded by most as a good attempt to ensure job security in these tumultuous times. There are three primary benefits that MOOCs offer:
An Engaging Learning Experience: Both the teacher and the student can collaborate to decide the structure and the pace of the course which gets them both more involved.
A Wide Reach: You can partake in MOOCs from practically anywhere in the world that offers you an internet connection. This not only opens up the scope of the course to a larger and more diverse audience, but also allows the teachers to avail of a global platform.
Conveniently Accessible Quality Education: Various reputed institutions offer MOOCs and this allows professionals to enrol in enriching courses that would eventually help them in their careers. This works well in most organizations that like to keep their employees updated and prepared for new roles.
However, like every good novelty, MOOCs come with a few downsides. The structure and objectives of the course often pose an issue as these courses do not cater to the needs of every individual student. The fact that there are a large number of individuals signing up for the course can create problems of reducing the possibilities of necessary one-on-one interactions. Besides, without any standardized method of grading, assessment of the learning proves to be quite difficult.
While the number of employees taking the initiative and starting on the courses are massive, the number of them actually finishing the whole course is not that impressive. Also, many students face problems in trying to access the multimedia content that form the crux of the course material. Besides this, it doesn’t help if your organization does not understand the importance of these courses from the perspective of your career growth but if there are enough employees willing to go for it, the managers might just reconsider. So how do MOOCs secure your position at work? It might not be the only way to job security but if you choose your courses wisely, you might actually benefit from them. While choosing the right MOOC for yourself, here are some pointers to keep in mind:-
Future focus: Choose a course that would help you build your skill portfolio. What you learn should ideally be related to your career choice and something that would make sense on your resumé. At the same time, go for a course that excites you and would make you push your boundaries.
Time it right: Opt for a course that fits into your schedule. With flexibility that online courses offer, your motivation tends to waver. A reasonable schedule allows you to stick with it.
Dig deeper than videos: Courses with great video material might not necessarily be as good as videos profess. Try to get proper groundwork done about the course by seeking feedback from people who have taken it. There are various online forums to help you make your pick.
Choosing the right course can not only can they help you deal with issues regarding the career-stage you’re presently at, but also help you gain knowledge and experience that would come to use in later stages of your career as well.
What are your thoughts on MOOCs? Have you taken one yet? Let us know at email@example.com