What program did you take on edX, and what were your goals in taking it?
I took the Professional Certificate program called Solar Energy in Hot Desert Climates from HBKUx in order to gain a deeper knowledge in the specific challenges of PV in a hot and dusty environment. As I am working as an Investment Manager for renewable energy projects with re:cap global investors ag, it is important to understand the chances and risks of PV investments in such regions.
How has the program helped you?
It helped me in several ways. First, I developed a deeper understanding of the specific differences of using PV in different environments and became aware of the issues going hand-in-hand with installations in hot and dusty countries. The benefits of high irradiation is normally well-known, but the drawbacks and challenges coming with it need to be considered when doing the investments. Secondly, as the program is absolutely international and people from all over the world became my course mates, I enjoyed the discussions and different views on the topics and tasks. This also added to my learning experience and might be useful for networking in my career and projects.
What did you like most about learning online?
Definitely the flexibility and freedom for when and how I learned. As I am working full time and have a wife and a little child at home, it is not that easy to find free time. It helped a lot that I was able to do the exercises and tasks according to my timetable. In addition, my company supported me in achieving the certificate by providing time slots. So my daily work and private life was not affected and I still could focus on the course. Besides, the structure of our tasks and group work framed by the theory in nice videos and written form was a real catalyst for better understanding.
Did your coursework result in any direct outcomes (career or personal)?
Regarding my career it will help me for future projects for sure and the rest, we will see. More important, personally I am now convinced that digital learning can provide a new experience and is an important part to support the life-long learning.
What advice would you give new edX students?
Try it! There are so many courses, you will find the one which fits you. If you are not sure, try the audit track first. But try it!
Anything else you’d like to share about your experience with edX and how it has helped to advance your studies?
Everyone is talking about lifelong learning. But as the business life today is fast and always changing, the traditional way of learning has to be reconsidered. Using the chance to learn in a digital way from all over the world is important and enables you to take courses you never thought of before. As stated before: Try it!