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What are some online courses I can take to better prepare myself for the future?

I am a social sciences student in university, and am hoping to better prepare myself for my future career. During this pandemic, I hope that I can pick up some skills online, what are some skills I should pick up?

#socialsciences #college #career #personal-development

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Angela D.’s Answer

Great question! Kim is right about understanding the numbers that drive the statements or conclusions being made. A good research design/methods course will assist greatly in analyzing how the study or research was conducted, the difference between association and causality, what qualitative/quantitative/mixed methods are, and the limitations. As Kim mentioned, MOOCs (Massively Open Online Courses) are a great idea. I enjoyed a Big Data series that was useful. Many are free or you can audit them. Several well respected universities will allow you to audit their online courses as well, such as Yale, Stanford, Harvard, MIT, etc. Some better known learning platforms are Coursera, FutureLearn, edX, etc. Wishing you the best in your endeavors, Dr. B

Angela D. recommends the following next steps:

Coursera - coursera.org
FutureLearn - futurelearn.com
edX - edx.org
Thank you comment icon I would also recommend checking out U-demy, they usually have very good and cheap offers. https://www.udemy.com/ Harvard also has some free (and some paid) courses but a lot of them are free: https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog/free Habiba Abdelrahman
Thank you comment icon Great resource as well! Angela D. Blaver (Suissa), Ph.D. BACKER
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Jill’s Answer

Good question, personal development is always something you should continue to do. The company I work for when you are interviewed are very strong on behavioral questions. If you have not brushed up on how you should interview, answer behavioral questions, etc. , it is a great place to start and will put you ahead of the curve. Some advice I received after an interview was that I needed to give more depth to my answers so they could ask question B and C based off my answers to A. If you do not go in to depth and sell your skills and experience, it can be a very short interview. Behavioral questions are challenging and you should prepare for the process. You can search behavioral interview questions and interview tips online to help. I would highly recommend doing some role play interviewing with someone also, it helps!
Secondarily, I would get well experienced at Excel, and data analysis, this is a strong skill to have in the market place.
Hope this helps you, good luck!
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David’s Answer

As a fellow social science major, I know it can be daunting translating the degree into a career at times. I would take some time to better understand some of the tools you will need to be successful. I am sure you are well experienced with the Microsoft Office suite of applications already, however there is a difference in how you used them in the school environment than what you will experience in your career. Advanced Excel skills are highly sought after by perspective employers. If you have a career direction in mind, research the tools you will need to know for that field to boost your resume. One last piece of advice, work on your written communications skills. At university, most of your written assignments are designed to demonstrate your knowledge on a topic demanding longer essays, research projects, book reports, etc.. In the business world, your manager will not have time or the desire to read lengthy emails. You will need to learn how to write up an executive summary. Brevity and clarity will be your key skill moving after you graduate.

David recommends the following next steps:

Courses on advance Microsoft Excel skills
Research tools needed for your career path and find tutorials/courses
Develop written communications style that centers on brevity and clarity (find a 10+ page report from a past achool assignment and write an executive summery in 6 sentences maximum)
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Kim’s Answer

Well, not knowing which way your career is going, there are a couple of areas where us social science people tend to be weak.

1. Finance: understanding budgets, balance sheets, etc. How would you use this? You might need to write a grant proposal, or perhaps work on the budget of a non-profit entity.

2. Performance metrics: Establishing measurable goals, and methods of measuring them, and devising ways to improve performance.

3. Process improvement: related to #2. Could be used in the job, or when working internally trying to get employees to perform at a higher level, or be able to do more work with fewer people.

4. Predictive analytics: often used in sales, but has applications in policy and social sciences - using historical data to predict the future.

Right now, a whole lot of people like to analyze everything and the human factor is quickly disappearing. Experts have devised tests that tell whether you are a good candidate for a job. If you don't pass the test, you don't get the interview. I personally dislike this entire development, for lots of reasons, but, the fact remains, it is with us. Numbers can say anything you want them to, if you know how to "spin" it.

The more you can understand what these number gurus are doing, the better prepared you will be!

As to where to take classes, if you are unfamiliar with it, look up MOOCs. Lots of availability!
Good luck!
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Sean’s Answer

I think it's important to take courses that cover the implications of how technology [AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Big Data] is changing the way people work and how industry and companies deliver their products services and solutions as the Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly evolving.
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Matthew’s Answer

Hi
I took a Public Speaking class online. I would highly recommend it because it is a very useful skill and is convenient as an online class. Good luck!
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Nadia’s Answer

Not knowing the background, goals etc., I always recommend to learn a new language or develop the one(s) that already know. It's a great way to stand out of the crowd of applicants, take part in international researches, conduct studies on different social groups etc.
You can find many different courses on YouTube or, for example, BBC pages:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/
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Alina’s Answer

Hi! I am a general social sciences student and that Udemy.com is a great online learning platform from topics ranging from personal development to software. There are also general software's that are great to be knowledgeable about such as Microsoft Excel. YouTube is a great tool to complete tutorials on your own.
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Vidhya’s Answer

I would recommend Personality development course, communication skill, Financial management
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john’s Answer

Definitely take phycology and business classes.
Thank you comment icon Hi John, thanks for the input! Any reason you recommend these in particular? Alexandra C., Admin
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Sally’s Answer

Effective Communication is a soft skill that is critical in every occupation and for some reason is one of the hardest to master! I would suggest finding courses related to communication including verbal, non-verbal and written. Employers are always looking for strong written and verbal skills and no matter how good we think we are, there is always room for improvement. Interviews are a great way for Employers to test these skills by way of the written resume and how you verbally convey your accomplishments.
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Claire’s Answer

Now is also a great time to hone some basic skills which are useful in an organization - PowerPoint, Excel or Notes etc. The basics for corporate working life
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Blaire’s Answer

- LinkedIn is a great resource to figure out your passions, and join different networks/organizations
- Build on your soft skills and hard skills
- Have fun! Find things you love to do
- Trailhead is a great place to hone your Salesforce skills!
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Sean’s Answer

I think it's important to take courses that cover the implications of how technology [AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Big Data] is changing the way people work and how industry and companies deliver their products services and solutions as the Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly evolving.
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Simeon’s Answer

I would recommend taking a look at SkillShare. There are so many practical skills to pick up on the website and you can find deals and trial offers to help you make it even more affordable.
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Adam’s Answer

I recommend both coursera and classcentral. I have personally used both and enjoy the format and breadth of online courses.
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Claire’s Answer

Now is also a great time to hone some basic skills which are useful in an organization - PowerPoint, Excel or Notes etc. The basics for corporate working life
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Victoria’s Answer

I would say it depends on what career path you are looking to pursue. But overall I would recommend these generally to make sure you are in a good place to enter whatever field you pick and to hit the ground running as an adult (adapting to adulthood and starting a new job is hard):

The Science of Wellbeing - https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being?utm_source=gg&utm_medium=sem&utm_campaign=09-ScienceofWellBeing-US&utm_content=09-ScienceofWellBeing-US&campaignid=9728548210&adgroupid=102459401907&device=c&keyword=yale%20university%20online%20courses&matchtype=b&network=g&devicemodel=&adpostion=&creativeid=428300743411&hide_mobile_promo&gclid=CjwKCAiAq8f-BRBtEiwAGr3DgX0MUFZtdHNy7BjGROeAFZaD-5viD5n2kjgJwEbu4X5_Sexlr6K77BoCs9YQAvD_BwE

I Will Teach You to Be Rich - Book by Ramit Sethi

Other topics to figure out:
- insurance
- retirement
- financial wellness
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Trent’s Answer

I suggest ensuring you have classes around financial planning , starting with good habits early and understanding how money works , good debt vs. bad debt is very important.
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