Professional Development on your time

Old school classroom learningProfessional Development – the phrase we all love to hate. Of course we all want to learn skills that will better ourselves, our careers, and our organizations. But really, who has the time or money to invest in PD? Conferences are awesome but they cost so much and can you really afford to spend 3 days away from the office?

Online learning can be a nonprofit professional’s best weapon against the duel problems of “I need to learn this” and “I don’t have the time or funds to dedicate to learning”. There are hundereds of sites, both free and paid, where a person can learn anything from leadership and management skills to Artificial Intelligence for Robotics. The options can quickly become overwhelming. Luckily, Class Central has compiled a list of the 50 top free online learning courses (based on data). Below are a few from that list that nonprofit professionals may find particularly helpful.

  • Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects 
    University of California, San Diego, via Coursera
    This course gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. We’ll learn about the how the brain uses two very different learning modes and how it encapsulates (“chunks”) information.
  • 789Marketing in a Digital World
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, via Coursera
    This course examines how digital tools, such as the Internet, smartphones, and 3D printing, are revolutionizing the world of marketing by shifting the balance of power from firms to consumers.
  • A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment
    Indian School of Business, via Coursera
    789This course, based on the award-winning class offered both at the Indian School of Business and at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, developed by Prof. Raj Raghunathan (aka “Dr. Happy-smarts”) draws content from a variety of fields, including psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral decision theory to offer a tested and practical recipe for leading a life of happiness and fulfillment.
  • Justice
    Harvard University, via edX
    Justice, one of the most famous courses taught at Harvard College, is an introduction to moral and political philosophy, offering an opportunity to discuss contemporary dilemmas and controversies.

Want more? Try nonprofit specific coursespersonal development, and Psychological First Aid (ideal for crisis center volunteers)!

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