Whether through school or for independent learning, there are plenty of course platforms to help. These platforms vary in the courses they deliver, the manner of learning, and the quality of certifications. One of these platforms is Microsoft Learn, dedicated to helping people develop vital digital skills.
It’s a free platform that teaches people to use technical skills like Azure, Microsoft Dynamics, and Microsoft 365. Every course contains in-depth training, an interactive practice environment for scripting and coding, practice materials, and quizzes that help students progress in their studies.
But Microsoft Learn might not be for you. So, here we delve into six alternative learning platforms that will set you on the right track.
Coursera is a world-class learning platform, collaborating with over 275 universities and companies to provide top-notch courses and degrees to its users. There are so many learning options to choose from on Coursera. You can learn and master skills for specific jobs or take professional courses to be job-ready for a new career or to secure a promotion.
One awe-striking fact about this learning platform is that you can earn a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in two to four years from a recognized university like Yale or Princeton.
While Coursera has an array of free courses, you will need to pay for most of its courses and degrees, especially those that span an extended period. The prices for these courses range from $39 to up to thousands of dollars.
Alternatively, you can save money by subscribing to Coursera Plus, which is available at $59 a month or $399 a year.
Usually, you get a free seven-day trial period, but after this, while you still have access to the course, you will not be able to submit assignments or receive a certificate unless you pay. In addition, Coursera offers financial aid for most programs, except for partial Master’s programs. However, these aids work like scholarships and take about 15 days to be reviewed.
Udemy is another popular learning platform, with most courses and modules available in video and text forms in various languages.
Udemy’s courses are divided into sections – for business owners, civil servants, and tech-inclined individuals. You can also take web, mobile, game development, digital marketing, or personal development courses.
While there are free Udemy courses, some courses are available at prices ranging from $9.99 to $199.99. Alternatively, you get free access to all the courses when you subscribe for about $30 a month on Udemy Personal or $360 a year for teams on Udemy Business.
In addition, you can tailor your learning on this platform to your interests and needs. Also, each course has ratings and reviews to help you make an informed decision.
However, Udemy does not offer accredited or university-recognized certificates to its students. Overall, this learning platform is perfect if you want to learn new skills and advance your career, especially if you are on a budget.
edX is a learning platform with certified courses from top universities like Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It boasts different learning options like professional certificate courses, MicroBachelors programs, and Master’s programs. Furthermore, these courses are available in over 34 international languages.
It offers over 3000 courses on various topics and interests in video and text format. There are also forums where students can discuss topics and courses of interest.
Most edX courses are free, but you must pay to obtain a certificate and get access to graded assessments. The payments for these certificates vary depending on the course you apply for and the offering institution.
For instance, certification courses cost between $50 to $139; MicroBachelors, $500 to $1500; and Masters’ $10,000 to $25,000.
EduMe is a learning platform that breaks down its objectives into training, informing, and gathering insights. Its courses are designed for remote workers, who the platform refers to as the Deskless Workforce.
The difference between this platform and others is that EduMe focuses on companies and businesses in telecommunications, staffing, retail, and delivery rather than individuals. It provides customer and employee training; and courses that help with workforce development.
The courses are easy to understand, considering that they are for workers. Furthermore, EduMe encourages teammates to keep tabs on each other through messages. This feature gives teams a sense of belonging, motivates them, and provides feedback to the company.
While EduMe has a free trial period, a subscription plan starts at $349 a month, depending on the course your company registers for.
SkillShare is a learning platform for creatives with over 30,000 courses cutting across creative writing, art, advertising, photography, and graphic design.
All the instructors on this platform are skilled in their respective fields, and unlike other platforms, all classes are in video format but self-paced.
Each class on SkillShare has five sections, which are:
- About: This is an overview of the course and a quick scheme of topics.
- Review: You can see how other students rated the course and the instructors. This section also tells if the course is for beginners, intermediate or advanced learners.
- Discussion: Students get to discuss the course topics and ask questions among themselves. Occasionally, a trainer will answer questions posed in the forum.
- Projects and Resources: Students get a comprehensive description of their projects, helpful guides from trainers, and feedback from their peers.
- Transcripts: This helps you to follow attentively during the lesson as you read along.
SkillShare has a free trial month if you sign up for its monthly subscription. After this period, the monthly subscription costs $32, with an option to pay $168 annually.
Finally, you can opt for the team plan and even get a one-month free bonus if you refer another student.
Udacity is another learning platform that offers free and paid courses in design, product management, programming, and software development. Its courses help learners boost existing skills and gain new ones.
The platform offers an array of programs called Nanodegrees, focusing on business and technology. These degrees have about three or four courses spanning about 16 weeks and ending with a project. Nanodegrees are available to beginner, intermediate, and advanced level learners.
Udacity’s prices vary depending on the course or degree, and students can follow up with the courses at their own pace after payment. This platform also allows for third-party scholarships from organizations like Amazon and Shell.
However, you should know that most of these courses have enrollment deadlines and are expensive compared to other platforms.
A Drop in the Ocean of Knowledge
While these platforms are among the best, many others have unique features for their target audience. Therefore, when choosing your preferred mode of acquiring knowledge, you must consider quality, learning preferences, career interests, and budget.
These factors will help you make informed decisions that will positively impact your career and skillset. In addition, these tutorial sites will help you learn new digital skills online, keeping you ahead of the skill curve.
Read the full article here