Jeff Lipschultz’s Blog

I Think, Therefore I Blog

It’s Never Too Late For College

Recently, I’ve had several discussions with colleagues and candidates about the value education plays in their candidate selection.  There is no doubut that formal education enhances one’s standing amongst candidates.  In past articles, I’ve even mentioned going back to school during the job search to show you’re proactive about keeping skills sharp or learning new talents.

Brian Jenkins, a member of the, offered to share his insights on the topic of online college courses and provided several resources in the guest article below.


brian-jenkins-photo Online college courses provide a great way to enhance your resume and improve your chances of getting a job. Taking the courses shows prospective employers that you’re making an effort to increase your value to a company. They help you stand out from the rest of the job pool, which is probably full of people just as qualified as you. For example, engineers seeking a management position can greatly enhance their report and memo writing skills by taking free online writing courses. Once you’ve completed a course, you can include it in the “education” or “specific skills” section of your resume.

Taking relevant free courses also gives you a competitive edge over co-workers for higher-level jobs. Besides the additional skills you’ll acquire, taking the classes shows initiative and a strong desire to learn as much as you can.


Through OpenCourseWare, many colleges and universities offer free access to courses taught during previous semesters. OpenCourseWare provides actual materials used in classes, suggestions for reading material, and lecture notes. Some classes include audio or video lectures, and others offer quizzes so you can test your knowledge before taking the next course.

To see a list of the colleges and universities that offer free courses through OpenCourseWare, check out the OpenCourseWare Consortium’s web site.  Some of the schools that offer free classes in a wide variety of subjects:  Yale University, UMASS Boston, Utah State University, UC Irvine, and Notre Dame

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

MIT offers a a great deal of free courses in Business; Engineering; Architecture and Planning; Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences; Health Sciences and Technology; Science; and Management.  MIT’s Sloan School of Business Management also allows you to take many of its popular undergraduate business courses free of charge.

Columbia University’s Seminar in Branding

Branding is important to many businesses. Columbia University’s Columbia Interactive provides a three-part series on Brand Leadership. Part one of the e-seminar, Brand Identity and Strategy, includes a video lecture, visual examples of strong brand identities, and guest speakers from the private sector. The second part of the series focuses on experiential branding while the third part delves into branding and the creative organization.

Free Writing Classes

Many employers complain that employees lack good writing skills. This can be a major problem for those seeking management positions due to the need to write reports and memos. MIT’s Advanced Writing Seminar exposes you to the various types of writing you may encounter in a professional career. The UK-based Open University offers a free class called Essay and Report Writing Skills. New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) makes available its Technical Writing Course which combines theory and practice to prepare people to become technical writers. NJIT also provides a free Proposal Writing Course.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has become extremely important for many businesses with an online presence. Laura Lake, a marketing consultant, social media marketing strategist, and guide, provides a free, seven-day Social Media Marketing Online Crash Course.

Web Design

Many small businesses would like a strong online presence but may not be able to afford an expert web designer. Also, even if a company has a web site, management needs someone to maintain it. You can get the skills to create and maintain web sites at, an organization that claims to be the world’s largest web development site. Training is available in HTML, Browser scripting, XML, server scripting, web services, multimedia, and web building. These types of skills make you valuable, especially to small businesses that don’t have a Web expert on staff.

Savvy job seekers can take these free online courses to enhance their resume and to get an edge on the competition. And since you can take these courses online, it’s easy to work them into your busy schedule.


This article was contributed by Brian Jenkins, a member of the writing staff. Brian writes about careers in management, among other topics related to college and careers.


February 28, 2011 - Posted by | Careers, Guest Post, Job Search, New Grads

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