Online Resources for Continued Training

by Danielle Bloom

2 min read

Everyone could use continuing education to increase their knowledge base. As a busy small business owner, freelancer or other independent professional, you may not have the time to attend university classes, seminars and workshops in person. Fortunately, you can pursue a wide range of online continuing education opportunities, some of which cost very little money or nothing at all.

MOOCs

Universities worldwide offer massive online open courses in just about every subject imaginable, which can be useful for brushing up on old skills and acquiring new ones to expand your company’s offerings. You can find MOOCs by searching free course offerings on the websites of leading universities in Canada, such as the University of Toronto and Athabasca University.

The easier way to find MOOCs is to browse free course listings in MOOC online catalogs, such as Coursera, EdX and MOOC List. The added benefit of finding free courses through such catalogs is that they also provide free platforms on which to participate in MOOCs. Create a username and password to login, then select and participate in free classes worldwide at your own pace.

Some MOOC catalogs also offer course participants certificates of participation for a nominal fee. If you want a certificate, you usually have to show proof that you completed a course’s learning modules; for example, you might have to pass a few quizzes created by the course instructor or participate in forum discussions to get a certificate.

Online Coding Camps

If you and your staff want to learn coding to have a greater understanding of the apps and websites that drive your business, consider signing up to take self-paced coding courses online. Free Code Camp, Codecademy and SoloLearn are a few of the companies that provide training on highly sought-after skills, such as Javascript, HTML5, CSS3 and Python. While entry-level learning modules on these types of websites usually are free, users typically pay modest fees for advanced training.

Continuing Education Certificates

In some cases, a university certificate can increase your credibility among clients. For example, you might wish to show provincial or federal government clients that you have a certificate in document management or certain IT solutions to meet their needs. When this is the case, choose from the online continuing education certificate offerings available from various Canadian universities. Unlike MOOCs, however, certificate programs typically aren’t self-paced and must be completed in the time frame set forth by the university.

TED Talks

Listening to idea-filled lectures is an efficient way to boost your knowledge on a topic that could benefit your business. The nonprofit organization TED has hundreds of hours of free audio and video, known as TED Talks, given by industry experts on a range topics including education, technology, advertising and marketing. You can listen to TED Talks on your computer or smart device, or play the talks for your employees at meetings.

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