The world is moving at a fast pace in the twenty-first century. It's easy to have mastered the skills necessary to do a job, just to find yourself years down the road with a whole set of new skills you have to learn to remain employable to a company. It happens in many engineering industries due to how technology is constantly updated, software changes, hardware gets replaced, a robot takes the repetitive task you used to do. etcetera. You could even be fresh out of high school not knowing where to start on your road to becoming an engineer. Perhaps a MOOC could be your saving grace.
MOOC is short for Massive Open Online Course. A free online course that is offered by top universities that introduce students to the type of work that tertiary level institutions teach or lets you brush up on your skills that you might require for a certain type of job. To find a list of MOOCs that specialize in Engineering, you can look at this website: MOOC LIST.
In South Africa, students recently led a protest against the hiking of university admission fees, which quickly turned into an argument for free tertiary education. Now, The University of the Witswatersrand is offering three new massive open online courses that could get students started on building towards their engineering career. The University will be the first in Africa to offer MOOCs along with with the edX program. The three courses are:
- Research Methods: An Engineering Approach
- Results-Based Project Management: Monitoring and Evaluation
- System Dynamics for Health Sciences
Deputy Vice Chancellor at Wits says: "There is no doubt that there is dire need for more places at South African universities and for access to quality post-school training. Wits is proud to be the first African university on the edX platform, where we offer free online courses unique to South Africa."
It is a good move for the university that is trying to do everything it can to at least offer something to a country that is demanding tertiary education be made free and available to every student. And it is encouraging to see they are engineering-inspired courses. However, if you wanted to, you could also do some MOOCs that get you started through industry big-hitters like MIT, Stanford and more.
The University of New South Wales Australia has also launched their own MOOC, named Through Engineers' Eyes: Engineering Mechanics by Experiment Analysis and Design. The professors behind the MOOC say learning foundational engineering concepts is invaluable to the future studies that a student pursues.