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Posted in: Learner News

Online courses are growing in popularity and changing lives.

A recent survey from the PewResearch Centre found that nearly 73% of  adults consider themselves lifelong learners. Outside of just life-long learning, nearly 63% of working adults have taken a class or received extra training to improve job skills, to get a raise or promotion or to find a new job or career. For this group of “Professional Learners” the Internet is one of the most popular destinations for learning, with 55% of learners having received job-related training online in the past 12 months. More importantly, these “Professional Learners” see a variety of benefits from their learning from expanded professional networks and advancement within their companies to new jobs. While online courses are not the answer to everyone’s job or career need, they’re certainly a fantastic place to start.

Take James for example, a 34 year old chemistry graduate from the UK who worked at a local water company in the sustainability department. Having been out of formal education for 10 years, he never thought he’d get an opportunity to get back into it. But, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provided him with a flexible learning pathway back to higher education. The courses he took on edX helped him in his career and, with the help of the knowledge he gained through these courses, James won a $25K scholarship and is now studying part time for his MBA.

Take advantage of this new era of flexible, accessible and open education. Here are four trending career areas and courses that can help you launch or advance your career:

Data Science & Analysis

Not only did the Harvard Business Review rate Data Scientist as The Sexiest Job , the number of job postings for data scientists and analysts grew 57% with salaries ranging between $62K- $120K. Here are four upcoming courses that can get you started in this growing field.

Business Management & Entrepreneurship 

With a steady rise in the number of entrepreneurs, these courses from savvy experts from UC Berkeley, IIMB and more, will not only help you run your company effectively, but will also help you earn valuable credentials to boost your resume.

Computer Science & Engineering 

Computer Science is not only one of the most in-demand jobs (over 80K job listings on indeed.com), but learning CS can actually teach you useful skills for many other areas of work and study. One of the many reasons behind Obama’s Computer Science for all initiative is that it teaches us computational thinking, a skill that some regard as necessary for life.

The Arts & Humanities

Whether it is better understanding how to express yourself or how to become religiously literate, understanding the world and society is not only necessary, but also enriching. These courses will help you go that extra mile, delve into culture, history and communications, and fulfill your curiosity.

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