As many people will tell you, learning is a lifelong process. Life progresses, the world goes on, and we need to keep up, or soon we will get lost or left behind. To keep pace with the fast-changing world, we need to keep ourselves updated.
Aside from learning new things, we also need to keep evolving and always be on the lookout to develop as a person. With the advent of the Internet and online courses, self-development courses are easy to access.
Benefits of Online Courses
Many people use continuous learning to progress in their careers. However, that is not the only reason we should not stop trying to improve ourselves. As we grow older, we need to keep ourselves busy learning new skills or honing existing talents.
Be it academic excellence or developing our personalities, the possibilities of enhancing our skills are numerous to count. The ongoing pandemic that kept people in lockdown saw many online course providers offering free training and courses. Many people took advantage of this bounty.
The advantage of online courses is that you can learn anywhere, anytime, and at your own pace. Most course providers make extensive use of videos, text, and other media to train you. These materials can be accessed whenever you want as long as you have good Internet connectivity.
Moreover, many online course providers give a wide variety of courses for personal development. Some of the more popular ones are Coursera, Udemy, and Skillshare, to name a few.
Best Online Course Websites
Coursera was founded in 2012 to provide learning experiences to people globally. It is now a leading learning provider serving courses to anybody, anywhere.
They have partnered with more than 200 universities and companies to bring a range of courses to over 76 million users!
Pros of Coursera
- Accredited courses: Because of the affiliations with universities and companies, many of the courses offered provide accredited certification.
- Course quality: The quality of the courses is guaranteed.
- Offline learning: Coursera allows you to download material to learn when convenient.
- Free courses: Many programs are free, where you learn but do not get a certificate.
- Advancements in different languages: Coursera has several courses in various languages like Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and others.
Cons of Coursera
- Advanced courses: Some courses require students to have prior knowledge, so they are not for beginners.
- Price confusion: The Coursera site’s pricing can be confusing for a visitor or student.
- The prices vary depending on the course. Here is a glimpse of the various pricing categories on Coursera.
- Single courses: $29 to $100 per course
- Subscription courses: $39 to $89 per month
- Annual subscription: $399
- Degree courses: $15000 or more.
There are many courses on many diverse topics, from oral and written communication to photography, from personal development to negotiation tactics, from free classes to certified degrees.
Udemy is a global marketplace of courses that anyone can access. They boast of 35 million learners, 51,000 plus instructors, and more than 130,000 programs in over 65 languages. Anybody can create a course and sell it on Udemy.
Pros of Udemy
- Affordable courses: Course prices range from $19 to $199.
- Refund policy: Udemy offers a no-questions-asked 30-day refund if you are not satisfied with a course.
- Free courses: It has many free courses. Of course, they come without a certificate.
- Variety of courses: Udemy offers a wide variety of programs on a whole range of subjects.
- Accessibility: Once you buy a course, you can access it for life.
- Certificates: You only get certificates for paid courses.
Cons of Udemy
- Non-recognized certificates: The certificates are not recognized by the industry.
- Course quality: Anybody can create and sell a course on Udemy. Though Udemy does a quality check on the programs, the quality leaves much to be desired in many cases.
Other than the free courses, courses can cost anywhere from $19 to $199.
Udemy offers a range of courses on personal development, like personal transformation, personal productivity, leadership, and parenting. It even provides lessons on music, business, and health and fitness. Udemy also offers courses in a wide variety of languages.
SkillShare was started in 2010 and has grown into one of the most popular e-learning platforms on the Internet. They claim to have more than 2,700 courses with over 5 million users worldwide.
Pros of Skillshare
- Affordable: Skillshare is affordable. The yearly subscription of $24 allows access to unlimited courses at just $2 per month.
- Free courses: About 2,000 free programs are available for anyone.
- Free trial: Skillshare offers a 14-day free trial to sample their courses before you decide whether or not it is worth the subscription.
- Variety of courses: It offers a wide range of advancements of all types.
- Makes learning fun: The courses can be interactive, engaging, and a lot of fun.
Cons of Skillshare
- Language: Courses are limited to the English language.
- Quality: Anybody can create and sell a course on Skillshare, which means that quality is not assured.
- No certificates: Since it is a platform for personal growth, there are no certificates provided.
Skillshare follows a subscription model, where you are charged $8 per month for a monthly subscription or $24 for a 12-month subscription (just $2 a month). The premium membership offers unlimited ad-free courses available for download for offline viewing.
As with most e-learning providers, Skillshare offers various courses in diverse fields and disciplines. These include personal development, motivation, health and development, and life coaching. Additionally, anyone can create courses.
Several online e-learning providers give easy access to personal development courses to anyone, anywhere in the world. A number of these courses are free. Many of these programs are affordable.
If you just want to hone your skills or are looking for career advancement, online courses are the way to go. Some programs may be questionable as anyone is allowed to create courses. However, for the most part, e-learning does offer variety and good learning.