If you could take an online class, what would it be?
May 7, 2014 2:24 PM   Subscribe

I have the unexpected opportunity to devote time to an online course of study for the next one to two years at no cost (I'll still be working my fulltime job, though). Rather than provide guidance and potentially narrow the responses, I'd like to know what specific course of study you would take in this instance and why.

Two examples of courses on my radar would be obtaining an accredited MLS degree from a California college (two years), or one or more skillcrush courses (three months).

Costs aren't a factor assuming they are less than $3,000 per year. I'd like to have a degree, credential, or demonstrable skillset by the end of the course of study. California is my state of residence if that impacts the ability to enroll in a course, or the cost.
posted by jsturgill to Education (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Do you know Spanish? If I had the time and the money, I would totally do as much intensive Spanish study as I could. It's useful and some employers give you a salary bump for language skills.

Just to note that an MLIS will cost you much more than $3K per year. San Jose State, the budget option, is still almost $9K per year.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 2:34 PM on May 7, 2014 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: Just to note that an MLIS will cost you much more than $3K per year. San Jose State, the budget option, is still almost $9K per year.

Probably shouldn't have mentioned that as a specific ceiling. I can contribute additional funds. A better ceiling (to avoid excluding awesomeness) might be $10,000.
posted by jsturgill at 2:39 PM on May 7, 2014

I would also do language classes, probably Spanish.
posted by naoko at 2:46 PM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

What kind of stuff are you interested in? Is this something that you'd like to eventually turn into a career, or something that you're doing because you can?
posted by naturalog at 2:58 PM on May 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

A new language spoken or computer.
For me it would be Spanish and Python respectively.
posted by Snazzy67 at 3:06 PM on May 7, 2014

Response by poster: What kind of stuff are you interested in? Is this something that you'd like to eventually turn into a career, or something that you're doing because you can?

I'd really rather not get into it. I already specified the constraints: relatively high cost ceiling ($10/K per year), I'll be working a fulltime job during the cours(es), up to a two year course of study, and I want it to impart a degree or credential, or augment my skillset in a pretty tangible way.

I think this is the sort of question that if I tried to describe my situation in better/more detail, the answers would wind up being way too constrained, less helpful, and likely clustered around a smaller number of possibilities.

For me it would be Spanish and Python respectively.

Are you aware of an online course for Python that is good? I'd love to have specific courses or programs highlighted rather than a broader area of study.

This is my last post to the thread.
posted by jsturgill at 3:10 PM on May 7, 2014

USC Online GIS degree/certificate I have a certificate in GIS. Had I been healthy and all that good stuff and managed to pursue a real career, I might be up for more GIS education. This one always made me drool. (Please, universe, can I get my life back and go to USC? Pretty please?)

USC Master's of Public Administration Before my life got derailed, I wanted to be an urban planner. This was the program I wanted to attend after finishing my BS in Environmental Resource Management (which has not been finished). This may not be 100% online. My recollection is that you periodically had to travel to Sacramento for a long weekend in person but if you are in Cali, this may still work for you.

There used to be an online certificate in Environmental Resource Management through CSU-Bakersfield. They seem to still have a (bachelor's) degree program but do not appear to still have the four course online certificate program.

California Virtual Campus I opened it up to the search for online classes. You can search to your heart's content for classes within California (thus, if you are a cali resident, you should qualify for in-state rates -- though some online programs do not apply in-state/out-of-state rates and charge the same no matter where you live).

Or something from Penn State Online. I think they also have a GIS program, which is part of why I remember them.
posted by Michele in California at 3:15 PM on May 7, 2014

Several other MLS schools offer in-state tuition to distance/online students, including U of WI Madison and (I think) Rutgers.

There are also some pretty good post grad courses offered by UC Extension schools - Berkeley has prof Certs for paralegal, editing, tech/IT, etc. Many are available entirely online, or online/evenings.

There are lots of Spanish speakers in CA - so if you want something different maybe ask around and see which languages are actually short of translators? It seems like there are a handful that come up repeatedly, like Nepalese, Farsi.... Sign Language?
posted by jrobin276 at 3:17 PM on May 7, 2014

I second the GIS idea. There are a number of reputable brick and mortar schools with online GIS programs.

There's also the sort of infamous Georgia Tech online computer science masters
posted by hydropsyche at 5:39 PM on May 7, 2014

Spanish or Project Management Professional certification. Maybe Agile.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:42 PM on May 7, 2014

If I ever went back to school, it'd be to be a dietician or a nutritionist - something like that.
posted by backwards guitar at 8:31 PM on May 7, 2014

I was an Eng Lit major and now have an MLIS. If I had time to go to school for fun, I'd look into a general science degree or a mathematics degree. (I know, I know, I have a weird idea of fun.) I'd love to learn Spanish, but my past attempts at foreign language were too frustrating. That might be different for you. If I were to go back to school with a career in mind, I'd look into computer science. I think that'd be more employable than an MLIS. One final thought is that people who like history seem to *really* like history and find incredible satisfaction with their research/study.
posted by agog at 8:56 PM on May 7, 2014

I would look into a Masters or Certificate in Health Informatics (you can concentrate in public health informatics, environmental health informatics, etc). Here are a few (Emory, UIC, Johns Hopkins) - you can search around for others or MeMail me if you would like me to ask around for recommendations.
posted by pants at 7:33 AM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I actually have taken a few online writing classes. There are lots of them available, and it's a skill I'd like to improve.

If I could, I'd like to take Japanese courses, but I haven't found any good options.
posted by considerspace at 2:46 PM on May 8, 2014

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