Free Online Learning Opportunities to Bolster Your Resume and Reputation

by Allen Voivod - Date: 2008-06-13 - Word Count: 431 Share This!

Online classes, or "distance learning," used to have a meaning limited to computer-based interaction with teachers and students. And unfortunately, the concept got tarred with a bad brush for a while.

Particularly in the case of online-only institutions, which were often compared to diploma mills and old-school correspondence courses, online learning went through a period where the concept had to fight for respectability.

And if we're being completely honest, it affected hiring decisions, because hiring managers do make judgments based on the school on your resume. (Some let those judgments affect their hiring decisions, too - maybe not the best way to go about things, but it does happen.)

Now, there are two new kinds of name-brand education you *could* add to your resume when you send it out through a distribution service. And both are free.

The first is called the "OpenCourseWare Consortium," which includes classes from some of the world's most prestigious schools, all available for free online.

Pioneered by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it's spread across the world, and in the US it includes Yale, Notre Dame, Stanford, and other renowned colleges. According to Anne Marie Chaker in the Wall Street Journal Online, "The [courses] — which differ from the 'distance learning' courses that many schools offer for credit and charge for — come as colleges and universities say they want to democratize education, making the best resources available to more people. But they also hope that it leads to more interest from potential applicants and inspires alumni in far-flung locales to make a donation."

The benefit passes to job seekers of all stripes as well. You may not be able to get credit toward a degree by mastering the coursework for any of these classes, but you can certainly demonstrate your desire to improve yourself and become more appropriately positioned for an opportunity that a recruiter or headhunter may locate for you.

Another free resource online comes through iTunes. Once you download their free software and start it up,look for the link on the left-hand menu with "Music, Movies, TV Shows," etc. At the bottom of that list is "iTunes U," and it leads to a whole host of lectures from classes at universities across the country, and many of these are free to view as well.

With all the belt-tightening going on these days, there are still ways to get the education you need to advance your career without paying through the nose for it.

But don't forget to look into you company's tuition reimbursement plan, too. Depending on the time frame you have for your career plans, the investment might make sense after all.

Related Tags: jobs, resume, job search, employment, career, job, venture capital, resumes, h, monster, resume distribution, recruiter, headhunter, internet job search, resume posting, head hunters, resume post, search firms, internet posting

Allen Voivod is the Chief Blogger for, the leading resume distribution resource for managers, executives, and professionals looking to accelerate their job search results. Get the attention of thousands of hiring agents with the largest and most frequently updated recruiter database on the web, and dive into a wealth of immediately useful career articles and blog posts - all at! Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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