The lid is off the Pandora’s box of open education. Khan Academy, MITx, P2PU, Open Badges, Udacity, Coursera. The providers of free online education are springing up left and right, and hundreds of thousands of people from nearly every country in the world are jumping at the chance to educate themselves. And though knowledge is an end in itself, it’s only natural that students of these free courses would want to apply their newly acquired skills in promoting themselves in the job market.
Trouble is, this revolution in education is bound to be met with skepticism and intransigence, as revolutions often are. We are not yet to the point where a free, self-directed Internet course is given the same respect as a course from a traditional university, even if it’s identical in every way. Employers might need some help seeing the light, and that requires you to do some selling. We’ve come up with a few ideas on how to do that.
- Emphasize the aspect of self-motivation:Instead of seeing the lack of interaction with a teacher in a self-directed course as a weakness, turn it into a strength and sell it as such to your employer. Neither traditional brick-and-mortar schools nor paid online schools can claim to require the level of self-motivation needed by students to undertake and finish a self-education course. There’s no threat of expulsion due to failure, no danger of wasted tuition money, and no teacher constantly checking up on you. There’s just you, driving yourself to learn for learning’s sake.