Unleash Your True Potential through MOOCs

We are living in the fourth Industrial Revolution Era where technological disruption brings an enormous change in the knowledge and skill sector. Some skills people cared most is no longer required in the workplace. To meet up the challenges, we need to acquire a thriving skill set that would fit the concurrent demand in the job market. Unfortunately, a century-old education system is not pleasing the claim of the Fourth Industrial Revolution era. What would help us to get rid of this problem? The solutions must come from policymakers. They should bring the changes in the education system. By thinking so we should not sit idle. To bring changes in the whole education, we need to defend on policymaker, and it would take time. But fortunately to build the concurrent skill set, you no longer need to rely on the general education system; self-education is the solution. How would you organize the self-education systems? The answer is very straightforward self-learning. To engage on self-learning, fortunately, we have MOOCs. What is MOOC? Massive Open Online Course. Through MOOC, students can enroll any courses they want to learn.

Reasons to engage in self-education:

1. Safeguarding internet time: Research suggests students are spending more time on the internet than on schools or any other learning institutions. Students love to spend time on their Smartphone. For students, spending a day without internet and Smartphone is impossible. Most of the students are not wisely spending their time on their device. All social media are distracting the focus of the learners. Fortunately, MOOC guides you systematically or structurally. You can engage in learning about any topic methodically.

2. Access without Paying: Learning is open in the cloud computing era. Though we are not getting everything free in the education, future of education industry and learning would be like the music industry. Nowadays we are not buying any CDs and DVDs for music. We are getting all the latest music at free from the cloud platform. The future of education will be like the music industry. Right now we are getting an education and learning at free to some extent. How many of us are well aware that we can access MIT, Harvard and other top-ranked University’s professors lecture at free? Very few are well aware that they can get course certificate from anywhere in the world. If you focus on learning, you can get access to almost every course at free in www.edx.org. If you bother the certificate then you need to pay some dollar. Microsoft Virtual Academy (https://mva.microsoft.com/) provides IT-oriented certificate course for free.IBM cognitive class (https://cognitiveclass.ai/) offers all the courses at free. If you focus on specific skill development, LinkedIn Learning (https://www.linkedin.com/learning/) runs some course for free. You may access the LinkedIn Learning material at one-month free trial. In Dummy (https://www.udemy.com/) you have the opportunity to enroll most of the courses from 10 to 15 dollar. Besides all these, there are a number of sites are available that you can access from your home:

3. No Prior degree required: The best thing about MOOC is to enroll in courses you do not need to show your academic background. Formal education required a prior relevant degree. This kind of prerequisite hinders learners to gather knowledge in specific areas. In college and university, students may not pick the suitable area. Formal Education systems obstruct learners to reach their real potential. In contrary, MOOCs allows learners to get lesson irrespective of their prior major. For example, Coding and learning a Programming language is not for only computer science students, it’s for everyone. Anybody, irrespective of any discipline is allowed to learn a programming language, Database concept, Networking, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence etc.

4. Identifying passion: MOOCs helps students to recognize their passion. Most of the cases students take major without understanding their passion. They acquired major based on peer bias and social bias. Later, they struggle in their professional life. As most people do not realize their real potential, so they are engaging in the work that they have to do, not they want to do. For this reason society as a whole is not receiving the real human talent. This is the fault of our education systems. Fortunately, MOOCs are solving this problem. If anyone holds growth mindset, MOOCs allow them to learn and develop their skill at any stage.

5. Unleashing Skill gap: Our century-old education systems curriculum is not focusing on building concurrent thriving skills. Some students are getting ahead by engaging extra-curricular activities. They are developing their soft skills in various events. Those who are in professional life, they know what skills they are lacking. Therefore they have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills by enrolling courses in the MOOCs. Very few firms focus on developing employees required skills. On this context, if the employee does not bother to overcome the barriers, they will not able to make an impact on the organization and society. Those who have the gut to unleash the barrier, they are thriving in the organization, society, and the world. From where they are unlocking the skill barrier!  The answer is MOOCs.

6. Network with the like-minded tribe: We are aware that networking is crucial to thriving in the carrier. Everyone engaged with some kind of network. Very few are having the likeminded acquaintance. The reason the society is not having the true potential of the human being is it does not have the mechanism to gather like-minded people. At the university life, we are spending time with our friends without knowing their focus or knowing their affection for work. It could happen in the professional life also. We may acquaint with some colleagues having a different focus. In the same organization; you may not get the like-minded colleagues or friends. So what’s the solution for this problem? MOOC is the answer. As you enroll in a course, you will have the opportunity to share your idea, collaborate the work with like-minded people.

7. Self-monitored Independent learning: Our education systems make students exam focused learner than application focused learner. Majority of the student’s target is to pass the exam and get the degree. Marks and grades are important here than learning the concept and apply in the practical field. As students didn’t focus application based learning so they bogged down in the professional life. The problem they are asked to solve at the real life beyond their limit due to skill gap. So if anyone traces the required skills or knowledge, he or she has the opportunity to learn the concept by enrolling courses in the MOOCs. Here, they are not focusing on degree or certificate; they are focusing on learning and application. Because they know if they don’t learn the concept they wouldn’t be able to solve the problem. They are not bound to follow strict rules and regulation. Because most of the course itself-paced. Students can monitor their improvement and they can relearn the concept.

8. No time or Space barriers: We are having time and space barriers in general education systems. You are sick, you are missing professor lecture. Your brain is congested, but still, you need to sit for the classes. Fortunately, MOOCs have resolved both time and space barriers. You can listen to the lecture from anywhere. You can utilize your daily commuting time by engaging in learning from MOOCs platform from your device. Your brain is busy with lots of stuff; fortunately, you are not missing any deadline. You may engage in learning in your leisure time.

Considering the above-mentioned reasons, why would you not involve in self-education platform MOOCs? You know, you are having skill gap, you know your education system is not giving you the required skill. On the contrary, you know there is a system that assists you to overcome skill gap. Why don’t you make yourself competent to meet up the challenges of fourth industrial revolution era? Why don’t you make yourself indispensable by enhancing your knowledge and skills? Why don’t you realize your true potential? Why don’t you lead a purposeful and impactful life?

  • Md. Abdullah Al Mahmud
  • Assistant Professor of MIS
  • Manarat International University

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