Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The new age of learning

Assumption: You are a working individual. Your company company offers training courses, and because there is dedicated budget for it, and because its part of your KPIs, you go on a course every year. Usually its a vendor related course, or maybe a TOGAF course here and there. But its boring, apart from the free lunch coupons. But how will that keep your skills relevant for the next 20 years? Can you afford to go (back) to university to (re) do your CS or Engineering degree?

I have recently been blown away by the plethora of online training. This is not just CBT Nuggets (which was very good though, it helped me get by CCNA). I am talking about online learning that is two way, and customised and focussed for your specific area. Its as good, or maybe even better, than a good university degree. MooCs, and its variants, are changing the way we will learn.

"Well known MOOC providers include courses from: EDX, Coursera, Udacity and Khan Academy with content supplied by some of the leading universities and technology companies around the world such as MIT, Harvard, Berkerley, Stanford, Google, AT&T and Facebook"
 
I recently took a MooC from Coursera for Web Application Architectures. It was a ahigh quality course. I watched the videos, completed the quizzes after each video, and then completed the assignments. Each contributed to the final mark. To make sure that I would dedicate myself over the 6 weeks, I paid for the Verified Certificate. It was worth it.

The content from MooCs covers all learning subjects. I believe some content even tops University offered equivalents because of the real life applications, e.g. these Micro Degrees on Big Data: https://www.coursera.org/course/datasci and https://courses.edx.org/courses/MITx/15.071x_2/1T2015/info

Regarding programming, I have come across some really cool places to learn how to code:

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