There’s a wide range of open online IT-related courses that can lift you out of that spinning sensation

Is your professional development stuck?  Then it’s time to turn up the heat.

Now’s the time to focus down hard and add to your professional arsenal.  The great news is today there are so many options and many are low cost, even free.

No longer does the shadow of ‘you get what for you pay for’ hold true in on-line learning. With MOOCs  (massive open online courses) a growing array of knowledge has become available for you to access.  The quality of on-line learning increases constantly.  Many readers may recall large secondary education classes with poor professors or worse recorded presentations. On-line learning today bests many of the old traditional styles.

In an online column for the Association for Physiological Science’s Web site, one writer concluded there’s evidence that, “enhanced online learning — lectures with supplementary activities, multiple online videos, and interactive assignments — produced learning outcomes comparable to those of the standard lecture courses.”   Observer Vol.27, No.1 January, 2014.  Without dollars and expensive degrees, MOOCs and other forms of on-line learning are striving to deliver quality learning that can be scientifically measured.  Computing is no exception.

Your professional computing career can be extremely diverse these days.  Big Data, a rapidly exploding computing topic may seem remote for many but on-line learning provides computing professionals access at many interest levels – from general to focused topics.  Here’s one such site: 4 Big Data MOOCS for Free.

Want to brush up on coding and device handling or just get closer to the computing platform?  No problem!  For $25, you can purchase the Raspberry Pi and head here Raspberry Pi MOOC.  Nothing like multi-learning as you can brush up on your Spanish too! For the computing professional keeping a working knowledge in more than one natural language will certainly enhance your professional biography.

Our daily lives are certainly busy.  The demands of long challenging work days with busy family schedules means we need to maximize our time spent managing our computing professional careers.  But today’s options are extensive, growing and all at very low financial costs.  The good news is we can choose options at appropriate levels that interest us.  Many on-line options will even entertain us as we learn.

One of my favourites, Minute Physics , entertains me while providing cleaver presentations causing me to think out of the box. Keeping engaged in learning can be fun and rewarding.

So what are you waiting for – Spring?  Grab your keyboard, fire up your favourite search engine and type in a topic of interest and include MOOC!  You may be surprised as to the choices you have.  Follow a few a links and begin your journey to melt off that Polar Vortex freeze over your career.

Like heading to the gym, talk up your interest and create a learning team.  Enthusiasm and support will certainly enhance the experience raising your professional career bar much higher. So consider involving others as opposed to going it alone! Unlike expensive and stressful brick and mortar learning, on-line learning offers topics and settings well suited to meet a professional’s continuous learning needs.

Next time you’re at a CIPS function you can compare notes with other CIPS professionals – even on physics and the polar vortex!

Share on LinkedIn Share with Google+ Comment on this article
More Articles