In my experience recruiting and hiring individuals into the consulting field, I find this type of coursework valuable for two main reasons:
1) You're likely a self starter willing to identify and fill skill gaps on your own. This comes in handy on the job as I don't expect my team members to know everything, but I do expect them to not only be willing to learn but takes the extra steps to do so.
2) You're likely passionate about the chosen field of "volunteer" study. I want to invest my time in people that have a passion for their work. These people are most likely to persevere and find a solution when roadblocks are encountered.
With that said, I always look at the full picture when reviewing a resume. So, for example, if your GPA is low and you are still in school, I would suggest spending your free time getting those grades up rather than taking extra online courses. In another example, if you have a solid GPA, valuable extracurriculars (and/or are working a full time job), and are taking extra online courses to develop your skills, all the better!
Great question and I hope you find this helpful!
Matthew recommends the following next steps:
- Ensure a solid foundation of strong grades, extra curriculars, and work experience, then consider pursuing online courses and certifications that can further prepare you for your field of choice.