Major advancements in computer, information, and communication technologies over the last 20 years have changed our lives in innumerable ways. They’ve also brought about a rapid global economic shift, from an industrialized economy based on mass production, to a post-industrial economy based on information and digital computing technologies. As a result of this shift, future jobs will require cutting-edge expertise that a lot of people simply do not have. Luckily, a company called Coursera is making it easy and affordable for anybody to acquire the tech skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.
Coursera is a revolutionary online learning platform founded by a pair of Stanford computer science professors in 2012. Their goal is to make the world’s best learning experiences available to anyone, anywhere. And to achieve that goal, they’ve partnered with top universities and companies to offer extremely affordable online courses, specializations, and professional certificates, as well as both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. If you’ve always wanted to take engineering at Stanford, or train as an IT consultant with Google, Coursera is for you.
Coursera’s specialization programs are particularly useful for anyone looking to get up to speed on the technological innovations that will drive the future jobs of the 21st century economy. Each specialization focuses on a particular career skill and consists of a series of rigorous courses that you can complete at your own pace. Amazingly, anyone can audit and view all of these courses for free. However, when you actually enroll in a specialization, you get the full educational and career benefits of university-level instruction, including graded assignments, instructor and peer feedback, hands-on projects that help you demonstrate real-world mastery of a specific topic, and—most importantly—a course certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network. Individual courses start at low at $39. However, if you’re not sure you’re ready to fully commit, they also offer a free 7-day trial.
Are you looking for a new high tech career? Here’s just a small sample of the cutting-edge specialization programs Coursera has to offer.
Data science is an interdisciplinary field that uses scientific methods, algorithms, and artificial intelligence systems to extract actionable knowledge and insights from massive quantities of data. The field has become increasingly vital in every industry over the past two decades, and Forbes recently declared “data scientist” the best job in America for the fourth year in a row. This 10-course specialization is offered by Johns Hopkins University and taught by a trio of professors with PhDs in biostatistics. It provides an introduction to the key tools and concepts of data science before moving on to more advanced topics, such as programming in the R programming language, acquiring and cleaning data, practical machine learning, and developing data products.
Python is one of the most important programming languages in the world. This five-course specialization is offered by the University of Michigan and taught by Professor Charles Severance of the School of Information. It introduces fundamental programming concepts including data structures, networked application program interfaces, and databases using the Python programming language. Then, for the final projects, students design and create their own applications for data retrieval, processing, and visualization.
The Game Design and Development Specialization is designed to give you the theoretical, technical, and business knowledge you need to break into the gaming industry. This five-course specialization is offered by Michigan State University and taught by two professors from their world-renowned Media and Information Department. Students will learn to develop a game concept; prototype, test, and expand on their ideas; and navigate licensing, marketing, and other business considerations—all from one of the best gaming programs in the country.
Cyber security has been around for decades. However, cloud computing brings its own unique set of security challenges. This three-course specialization offered by Google itself gives students a broad foundation in the security controls and techniques essential for the Google Cloud Protocol, one of the most popular cloud protocols on the planet. Through recorded lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students will learn to build a secure GCP solution and mitigate vulnerabilities and combat all forms of attacks.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnection of computing devices embedded in everyday objects via the internet. Examples of this include smart home systems, wireless security systems, various smart appliances, and digital home assistants, just to name a few. This six-course specialization is offered by the University of California San Diego and taught by two professors from their renowned Qualcomm Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. It starts with a history of “smart” devices, giving students an understanding of how we got where we are. Then the specialization moves on to the development of new IoT products and services, including devices for sensing, actuation, processing, and communication.
Again, this is just a small sample of the courses and specializations Coursera has to offer. So if you want to give yourself the skills needed for future jobs of the 21st century, visit their website and enroll today.
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