Which courses are available?
In line with the new job avenues and career options that have replaced traditional jobs, a wide range of massive open online courses (MOOC) have come up. These include courses in computer (coding, apps, graphic designing), data analytics, digital and social media marketing, business and management, psychology, fashion designing, animation and film-making and foreign languages, among others.
So, how does one decide what to do? “One should work backwards and decide on the career that the student wants in line with his aptitude and interest,” says Bhavna Chadha, a Neuro-Clinical Psychologist and Founder & CEO, Adhyapann: The Skills Hub. “To get there, one should pick appropriate postgraduate and undergraduate courses, and accordingly, select the subject combination that one wants in high school.” Hence, a course that complements one’s school curriculum, and can give one a headstart in his higher education or boost his chances at securing admission in his preferred university or college, would be a good choice. “Students should go for base or introductory level courses and ones that are core to employability, such as communication skills or critical thinking,” says Chadha. You can opt for certificate courses ranging from a few hours to 2-3 months.
Which institutes offer these?
These courses are offered by government or affiliated institutes, colleges and universities; private educational institutes; large corporates as part of their CSR initiatives; MOOC providers such as Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, edX, SkillShare; as well as foreign universities, colleges and private institutes. One should always look for courses from recognised and accredited institutes, but can also opt for private bodies that are legitimate.
How much do these cost?
Most of the courses are paid, and those from foreign universities and institutes are extremely expensive, easily running into lakhs. “Even a 10-day program can After class 10 students can bolster their resumes and get a headstart in higher education, in India and abroad, by taking these short-term courses aligned with their interests and aptitude. Online courses for school kids cost Rs.35,000 or so,” says Chadha. Most of the Indian private institutes also offer paid courses, ranging from Rs.1,000 to a few lakhs, depending on the type and duration of the course. Still, you can come across a few free ones, which are usually from government institutes. Some of the MOOC providers also offer free courses, but charge for providing a certificate. Similarly, government portal, Swayam, offers free courses, but charges a fee for conducting exams to provide a certificate.
Will these courses help?
“It definitely helps to bolster your resume if you do the course from the right place,” says Noida-based Hena Akhtar, Career Counsellor and Special Educator. If you are planning to study abroad in top rated universities, such certificate courses on the resume will make a difference, but may not matter so much for lower graded universities. In India, only private universities like Ashoka or Manipal will pay heed to such courses, while the government universities may not. However, kids can still do these to enhance their knowledge and stay ahead of the learning curve in school.