Pakistan is a third world country. Here, not every student can opt for courses that he is interested in, because most of the courses are offered by private universities that charge a lot of fee, which students cannot afford.
However, Due to emergence of 3G and 4G internet services in Pakistan and massive internet penetration even in rural areas, now most students can go for MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses).
What are MOOC’s?
MOOC (Massive open Online Courses) are open courses for everyone like the courses that are offered by Allama Iqbal Open University or Virtual University. The major difference is that these courses are taught from renowned professional from around the world. More importantly, most of the courses are offered by recognized universities and the best thing about it is that any student can get educated by taking these courses, right from his home.
How MOOC’s will work in Pakistan?
MOOC’s are offered by many websites. However, the most reliable websites in my opinion are the one that I will be describing below. As, these websites are old and have been providing online courses from a long time.
The MOOC’s work in a simple manner. Anyone can take these courses if he just wants to get educated. However, he has to pay some fee if he wants to get a degree also known as verification certification. Most university online courses ask for around $47, which is around 5000 rupees for Pakistanis (See it’s not that costly).
Side issues of MOOC’s:
It looks like that the MOOC’s do not have any side issues but it will be dishonesty if I do not reveal the assumptions that I have heard. Most of these courses are difficult to complete because the professional teachers who are teaching these courses have their own way of checking out assignments and marking exams that you will give at the end of the term. So, a better option is to take courses free of cost. After all, you never know if you will get the certificate. Moreover, you can also opt for certificate after you complete the free course with excellence.
Second short come that is not actually a short come is that most online degrees are not acceptable throughout the world. I have not tried it myself but the case looks like the same in Pakistan.
Solution to these side effects:
There are three type of courses offered online.
One – the social science courses. These types of courses will not land you a job, as social science courses will only increase your knowledge level.
Two – engineering courses. These type of courses will provide you knowledge of engineering subjects from a to z but without the degree you will not be able to get a good job in Pakistan.
Third – Computer science courses. These courses are helpful. It is a fact that most of the software houses, movies studios, special effects studios that are working for the west are actually based in Pakistan. Moreover, computer science students can easily start their own startups if they have the right education, inspiration and a creative idea.
Therefore, the third level is the best one if you want to get a good job in Pakistan.
How will the courses land you a job?
Right, this is a ‘must ask’ question if you want to take MOOC courses.
There are two ways. One, you are already on a job and want to increase your level. This option is the best one as you can increase your level and don’ have to risk anything.
Second, those students who do not have a job but want to get a job related to computer science.
The students should take MOOC courses and then polish their skills by working on dummy projects. When students think they are experienced enough to work in a company than they can start to apply for jobs.
Websites that offer Online Courses:
1. Khan Academy:
Khan academy is one of the oldest websites that is providing free education to people world wide. The website was initially started by Mr. Khan for his cousin who was weak in maths. At that time, Mr. Khan used to provide video tutorials to his cousin through youtube.
Later he used all those tutorials and started putting them on his website.The website is being funded by donations.
Khan academy offers courses related to social sciences and sciences. It is one of the best sources even for students who cannot understand what is being taught in their school or college. The website is offering full course on mathematics, economics and science.
Coursera is another MOOC website that has been offering university level courses for students around the world. The website has a very good interface and also provides freebooks, translation – though almost all courses are in english – and assignments on a weekly basis. Students can directly interact with each other through a forum that is specially made with each course. Most courses are of around six months. But there are few courses that also offer a specialization and they are of around one year.
Edx is also similar to coursera. The website also offers free online courses on many subjects related to science, politics and social sciences. One course that Edx is offering is related to data journalism. This course is not available on any other website so that makes this website exclusive. Just like coursera Edx also has a courses section that ask for some fee. Though, Edx courses are availble on youtube but students that cannot access youtube – like in Pakistan – can download the courses from the website.
Udemy is another website that offer free online courses or MOOCs. The best thing about this website is that it mostly focuses on computer science education. Those students who want to excel in the field of coding, designing, data science or office automation can achieve that purpose through courses available on udemy. Udemy courses are availble through an application on android. So, it is easy for students who are using mobile phones to use udemy courses on the go – with the availability of 3G in Pakistan, that is.
Now, If you want something more than just a 4 week course, than this website is right for you. Especially for those of you who want to get in to the entreprenuer line.
Udacity is all towards computer science courses. But the best part about this website is that it offers everything right from the start, that is basics.
Who said, free education is just an assumption. With all these courses in air anyone can become educated and land a job that suits his needs. Obviously, most courses will not land you a job as everything has its pros and cons. But in this matter, MOOC’s pros surely outweigh cons.