50 Courses From 27 Different Universities, All For Free
(If I Were Going To University Here Are The Courses I Would Take)
Why would I curate a list of University classes that I would want to take? For years now, every since I took the class On Strategy: What Managers Can Learn From Philosophers on Coursera I haven’t stopped thinking about how education will change. I loved the class, it was a great way for me to learn. Ever since I always toyed around with the idea of an “A là Carte” Coursera education. So this is it! These are the 50 (plus 1) classes I would take it I were to go to University.
What’s the worst that could happen? You quit? On the other hand what it you learn something? What if you’ve been learning the wrong way all along? Maybe this is how you’re going to master your favourite topic?
Before you start class it might be a good idea to go back to a long, LONG, time ago, before school existed, and ask the question many people are afraid to answer, what is the purpose of school?
To prepare one for the “real world”? To “get an education”? To find “ones’ self”? To acquire skills that makes you more valuable to the world? Maybe it’s simply to get a job to be able to provide for your family?
School has been evolving ever since it’s inception. 200 years ago if you wanted to become a blacksmith you apprenticed with a blacksmith. If you wanted to run the corner store you apprenticed with the store owner. On the job experience was vital in the learning process. Today you can get a 4 year degree, a two year MBA and start applying for upper management jobs without even have stepped in a cubicle let alone an office!
Sure if you wanted to become a Doctor, Lawyer, or Engineer you had to go to school. But many jobs in the business world you don’t need four years of theory to do your job. In many cases, four years of theory confuse students into thinking the world works like the textbook says it does. And we all know the world does not work like the textbooks say it does.
Sir Ken Robinson would say the purpose of school is to create more factory workers.
“Public schools were not only created in the interests of industrialism—they were created in the image of industrialism. In many ways, they reflect the factory culture they were designed to support. This is especially true in high schools, where school systems base education on the principles of the assembly line and the efficient division of labor. Schools divide the curriculum into specialist segments: some teachers install math in the students, and others install history. They arrange the day into standard units of time, marked out by the ringing of bells, much like a factory announcing the beginning of the workday and the end of breaks. Students are educated in batches, according to age, as if the most important thing they have in common is their date of manufacture. They are given standardized tests at set points and compared with each other before being sent out onto the market. I realize this isn’t an exact analogy and that it ignores many of the subtleties of the system, but it is close enough.”
― Sir Ken Robinson,
I think the purpose for University originally was to prepare students to keep the economy going. The more people that will do what they were told would keep the factories running. The problem is we don’t have anymore factory jobs, those have all gone overseas. We now need creative minds, problem solvers, stubborn people who are unreasonable about how things will change.
When people ask, so what should my kid take in University? I have a difficult time answering, every kid is different and the odds they like what I like are slim to nil. In the new world your education will be self directed, it won’t come from just one school and anyone in the world will be able to access it. Welcome to Coursera. The self directed, worldwide, inclusive educator.
If I were to go back to school here are the courses I’d take. Some on the basics of Business, Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Leadership but also some on the future of business; Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Social Enterprise. The classes are sourced from 26 different schools from all over the world, from Taiwan to Eastern Canada, we’re taking classes in Italy, France, Australia, and all over the United States.
Best to start thinking strategically as soon as heavenly possible. Traditional Universities make you take generic classes in the beginning, making you hate reading, tests, lectures and parking lots. Why not let students explore high level topics that may peak their interest early on? What if a student in year one fell in love with Business Strategy then focused their studies around that very topic? Specialization in students would be much more and students would be much better prepared for the working world.
Almost a decade into the marketing industry and you realize how much design impacts everything around us. To understand how design works and how to use it to your own advantage is extremely valuable.
Learning about the capabilities of augmented reality from one of the biggest technology companies in the world interests me. Our next generation of devices will be augmenting information over top of our current phone screens or digital glasses. The future has endless ways we can use this technology, I want to learn all about it!
Writing is such a valuable skill to have, I wish I had learned earlier. In University I avoided it like the plague because you were expected to write long form. In the business world you have to write as short as possible. People don’t have the time to read a novel every time you contact them, learn to write with impact.
Better get used to the idea that business changes and this class focuses on what the future of business and society will look like. Seems like a class you could take every year and it would be completely different! New business models are popping up everywhere, in the internet age the possibilities of viable business models approaches toward endless.
Not only are businesses changing faster than ever, everyone should know how to program. That’s why our Sixth class in we’re travelling all the way to Duke University to get a programming class under our belt! Who knows, maybe you the next Barry Zuckercorn!
After you get an intro to business and a few of the different facets, we then look into entrepreneurship and starting ones’ own company at the end of this set of courses. Going to school should prepare you to be an entrepreneur whether you’re working in an organization or starting your own. The concepts learned here will help in many endeavours into your future.
The hardest part is starting! This class should help us in that. Rated one of the top classes in the Entrepreneurial stream, there are Seven different teachers in this class.
A question we get a lot, “how to I finance my company?”. Now you can take a class to learn about it! Module 1: why taking venture capital is a bad idea. A different opinion about the start-up world. From the book “Lost and Founder” the Rand Fishkin (from Moz SEO software) story. He talks a lot about how he doesn’t think the Venture Capital route is right for many startups, his own included. But you know what they say about hindsight? It’s pretty shitty!
Probably should be the first class anyone takes after high school, “learning how to learn” is going to make many different parts of your life easier. Understanding the different ways you learn compared to others helps to tackle new subjects and learn new topics.
One of the top trending courses right now, you’ll be covering misconceptions about happiness, expectations, our bias’s, and how to rewire your brain. Again, a class everyone at one point should take.
Because its a major topic growing in popularity but so few people actually know how blockchain software works. More and more security measures in our world will utilize blockchain technology, the more you know about it, the more you’re going to be able to help organization determine how they will use blockchain.
Not only do I think everyday leadership is important, no matter where you are in your career, this class can help!
This class also got AMAZING reviews, go on, check it out!
No matter where you end up when you’re out, solving problems (specifically complex ones) will always be a valuable skill. In these classes you get to explore complexity and how to solve hard problems. We’re going all the way to Australia to take these classes!
What most business schools are missing, classes on making the world a better place. Social enterprise has gained a lot of steam over the past decade. We should be learning as much as we can from places that can really influence change, the Wharton School being one of those places.
Some of the classes within this specialization sound amazing…
1. High Performance Collaboration: Leadership, Teamwork, and Negotiation
2. Leadership Communication for Maximum Impact: Storytelling
3. Leadership Through Social Influence
4. Leadership Through Marketing
5. Leadership Through Design Innovation
Classes I want to take!!
Communication starts with the written word. This will be our second class on writing, also one of the top rated classes in the business stream on Coursera. You can’t underestimate the power of being a good writer.
The gaming industry is now bigger than Hollywood or the entire music industry. In the next 5-10 years we’re going to see many more “Fortnites”, games that take the world by storm. I’m not a big gamer but I understand the relevance of gaming, not just for hobby or past time playing, but to solve problems. Education NEEDS to be “gamified”, research, training, it’s all going to be easier to get people to do what you want them to do if they are playing a game.
If my university classes were games I bet my average would be much MUCH better!
Understanding how search engines work is a very valuable skill in 2018 and beyond. We rely on search for many aspects of our life and our usage of search has only increased over time. We don’t know where social media is going but we do know that search is gaining more and more importance.
My entrepreneurship class always did a social entrepreneurship project and the feedback was great! Why not take several classes in the social enterprise stream to see if that’s our calling? The school seems pretty amazing as well!
Every business person should understand entrepreneurial strategy whether you’re in a large corporation or a one person startup. The lesson’s learned in the class will help for years to come, it also has a 4.7 out of 5 approval rating from folks who took the course.
Why I wouldn’t take this class first is beyond me! Discovering ideas is a difficult but such an important skill to acquire.
4.6 out of 5! Self awareness is one of the most underrated characteristics in business, the only thing more powerful for leader to use is vulnerability. But for one to be vulnerable we must be self aware first. This class should help us in that.
Design thinking is a powerful concept that anyone in a creative field should want to understand more. This class is rated 4.6 out of 5.
Emotional intelligence could be a specialization itself for a university degree. It touches every aspect of business, our interpersonal relationships matter much more in the digital age. Because everything is so online driven, being able to engage someone in person is a skill that will be immensely valuable in the new world.
Emotion Intelligence, the new new smart.
We’ll need to learn how to be an international leader at some point! Why not take that class from a University in Italy? Also, 4.7 out of 5 stars!
Doesn’t matter where you’re at with your career, we all can learn how to inspire people more effectively. This sounds like a fun class to take. Also, 4.8 out of 5 stars!
If you’re going to learn “Branding” you may as well go to one of the most prolific places in the world for “brands” in general, the U.K. This class has a 4.9 out of 5 stars, so you’re going to learn a lot!
Understanding how humans interact with design and how design impacts every situation positively or negatively.
Made famous by the movie “A Beautiful Mind”, game theory is a fascinating world of small bets, strategy and trying to win. Personally one of my favourite topics, game theory should be something we teach in elementary school. It’d make kids better at video games if they new how to compete.
One of the top rated courses in the “Business Strategy” section, Internet Giants: The Law and Economics of Media Platforms is one interesting course, check out the description of what you’re going to learn in it, sounds amazing.