5 Interesting Online Courses to Take in 2017

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Whether you’re hopping between jobs or want to do something in your spare time, taking up an online course is perhaps one of the most useful things you can do. Let’s face it: in the ultra-competitive job market or workplace, educating yourself and brushing up your skills will give you an edge over others, if not to pave the way for any dream job or promotion.

Of course, this attempt at being a more marketable employee may just backfire if you’re simply taking up classes that you think you should but have no heart to learn about. Start this learning journey easier by taking up subjects that you’re actually interested in and will have fun gaining knowledge about.

Don’t worry about where the funds for your classes are going to come from. A whole host of online education providers dole out quality classes on the cheap. Moreover, you can offset your education costs with schemes such as SkillsFuture Credit. Be inspired by these cool online courses in 2017:

1. Programming language

If you’re interested in dipping your toes in the world of app and web development but still think Python is a snake, it’s definitely recommended that you look into online programming courses. Grasp the basics of programming and the languages used and you can choose which language to learn too. For example, on Coursera, just $59 USD a month gets you a four-week Duke University syllabus on basic programming concepts and web development with JavaScript, HTML and CSS. The site also offers beginner classes for those who want to know more about other programming languages like Python and Ruby.

A photo posted by JavaScript (@javascript.js) on

2. Sciences

Feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Perhaps your work is completely out of the realm of scientific enquiry, but getting engaged with the theories and thinking involved in science may nudge your brain to look at issues at work a little bit differently. Knowing more about the earth’s place in the universe and amid all the galaxies and black holes out there, and how truly small, minute and fragile we are can put a lot of things into perspective as you marvel at how we have managed to survive. For a comprehensive and free education on sciences like cosmology and astronomy, sign up at Khan Academy. These videos come in bite-sized amounts and can be as short as five minutes long. Perfect for those with poor attention spans but an eagerness for knowledge.

A photo posted by Astronomy (@astrophysics_) on

3. Different languages

Knowing another language will definitely open doors for you, as you never know when your grasp of another’s knowledge can help with handling clients. Additionally, think of how useful it will be when you go on holiday to a country of people that speak that language!

An assortment of language videos can be found on YouTube of course, but Open University provides free online language courses extracted from the university’s own academic syllabus. Beginners’ Chinese will please those in business who work closely with those in China, one of the largest markets in the world. Their Spanish class may also come in particularly useful if you are ever planning to head for a vacation to Spain. You can even pick up classical Latin while you’re at it.

4. Crafting

From calligraphy, cartooning, colour theory to crocheting, you can get creative with arts and crafts crash courses on Udemy. While some classes, such as calligraphy come with a cost ranging from $50 to $200 USD at Udemy, a deeper search will turn out free ones too. Although you’re not likely to discuss colour theories at your next board meeting, you can learn how to make bath soaps or do Japanese decorative painting on objects and hand them over as gifts to your colleagues and bosses. Knowing how to make handmade gifts will also save you money from trigger-happy shopping when holidays and birthdays come along and also bring a note of sincerity to your interactions – a gift worth more than any purchase.

5. All types of cooking

Cook up a storm and a range of cuisines and for free with SkillsFuture Credits. With a starting credit of $500 in your account and intermittent top-ups by the government, you can use your credits to pay for courses under the scheme. You will be spoilt for choice with a whole list of cooking classes, such herbal cooking and Chinese restaurant cooking or courses for caregivers, such as those making meals for diabetics, family members with hypertension, vegans or vegetarians.

Admittedly, signing up for cooking classes may not help you at all in your career unless you work in the F&B scene. However, it certainly will give you the skills to impress your friends, family and house guests and satisfy your palate for life.

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