Private providers such as Coursera, Edx or Udacity have fundamentally changed the e-learning landscape and enable everyone to continue their training on the monitor. Whether design thinking, blockchain, soft skills or leadership training, the range of online courses is as extensive as a wedding buffet. We have selected 10 current e-learning courses that can advance technicians, engineers and computer scientists.
Continuing education is no longer required in musty seminar rooms. Instead, education-hungry people around the world have relied on Moocs for several years. These are online courses, mostly free of charge and with an unlimited number of participants. They are offered by private companies such as Cousera, which work with universities around the world, and with non-profit organizations such as Edx or the Khan Academy. In Germany, the Hasso Plattner Institute of the University of Potsdam is particularly outstanding. This way, even working people can take sophisticated university courses for further and advanced training – quite simply in front of the computer, individually and independently of time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work without effort. The workload fluctuates depending on the course and provider, it can be only a few, but also 100 hours. Whoever registers should be serious anyway. Here are 10 course tips specifically for engineers:
1. Machine Learning: Stanford
Machine Learning is one of Coursera’s most popular online courses. The workshop will be led by Coursera founder Andrew Ng, who worked as a deep learning specialist for Google and Baidu. The course covers the entire spectrum from neural networks to Matlab software and could be of interest for development engineers, for example. It always starts every two weeks, each participant can choose their preferred period, but must complete within twelve weeks. You should plan a total of 55 hours. If you want to have a certificate to polish up your own CV, you pay 69 euros. Participation is free for everyone else.
2. Management in engineering: MIT
Almost every fifth startup founder in Germany has a degree in engineering, says the German Startup Monitor 2018. As co-founders, founding engineers are happy to bring a business economist on board. They could also acquire the business know-how themselves. The renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is there to help you from afar. In the Management in Engineering course on the Mooc platform Edx, not only potential founders learn how to develop a business strategy, make good decisions and drive sales and marketing. Participation is free. If you want a certificate, you pay $ 175.
3. Introduction to Design Thinking
Design thinking can help to find innovative solutions. But what is actually behind the buzzword? Microsoft wants to show it in the introductory course at Edx. A premise of design thinking is to take the perspective of the customer or user. Not only entrepreneurs and developers can benefit from the expansion of the horizon, but also engineers. Edx suggests a workload of three to four hours over five weeks to the participants – that is doable. The following also applies here: Participation is free of charge; a certificate is due for $ 99.
4. Patent law: How to protect your innovations
Konrad Zuse wanted to apply for a patent for his new computing machine, but his application was rejected. Later, American companies in particular made massive profits with PCs and software. The Germans invent, the Americans reap the fruits – this has been the case more often in economic history. This scenario can be prevented with the appropriate expertise. The Hasso Plattner Institute (HPI) provides assistance. For example, with the patent law course – this is how you protect your innovations – in German, of course. At the end there is a graded confirmation of participation.
5. Artificial intelligence
The German government plans to invest a total of 3 billion euros in artificial intelligence by 2025. Many new AI jobs are to be created in the course of this. One of the few AI Moocs in German comes from the Hasso Plattner Institute. The online workshop artificial intelligence conveys the basics and gives practical examples. The participants do not have to have any previous knowledge. Time against it. If you participate successfully, you will receive a confirmation of participation. Participation costs nothing, only those interested cannot avoid registering online at the HPI.
6. Self Driving Car Engineer
Self-driving cars are supposed to revolutionize road traffic. But they don’t build themselves. The online academy Udacity wants to train the necessary engineers on its own. For Udacity founder Sebastian Thrun, it’s probably a matter of the heart. The German is considered the pioneer of Google’s Street View car. But Udacity doesn’t let anyone in. Interested parties must have previous knowledge of physics, statistics and the programming language Python – and submit an application. Anyone who is successful with this will be trained in computer vision, deep learning and sensor fusion. Opinions differ on the value of the certificates. The high-ranking cooperation partners BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nvidia and Uber speak for online training. But the price is also impressive – around 1.
7. Lean production
Only two German universities are Edx partners: RWTH Aachen and TU Munich. For their Mooc Lean Production, the Munich company, in turn, uses a partner from industry, namely the automotive giant Toyota. Using the Japanese as an example, they want to show how lean production can improve quality and productivity and avoid waste. The Far Eastern Kaizen plays here-Philosophy, which puts the constant striving for improvement in the foreground, a main role. Interested parties can continue their education here – without having to meet fixed deadlines. However, you should plan a workload of three to four hours per week over a total of six weeks. And $ 88 if you want to get a certificate. Basic math skills are definitely necessary.
8. Excel for (construction) engineers
Engineers often cannot avoid the Excel spreadsheet. Many of them learn how to deal with them at university, on YouTube or through learning by doing. It also works with the help of Udemy: The private US provider has had an Excel course for engineers in its program since 2017. The Americans are something like the popular scientists among the Mooc platforms. They do not work with universities, but let users offer and market their own courses. The German-language Excel course for engineers: Force decomposition, truss bridge, civil engineers with Excel deficits can try out without greater risk. It is very manageable with 3.5 hours of video material and currently only costs around 11 euros.
The blockchain – strange and legendary. Engineers will very likely have more points of contact with miracle technology in the future. But if you ask for the exact functionality, you will mostly get questioning looks. The Hasso Plattner Institute provides the answers. In the two-week blockchain course – security even without a trust center teaches the basics of Berlin. The course is aimed at beginners who want to understand the blockchain. Everyone can join for free. In the case of active participation, there is a confirmation of participation, and in the case of proof of achievement, there is even a certificate.
10. Electric cars
The future belongs to electric cars, and everyone is now in agreement. In the car company, however, they still have to assert themselves. Without political support measures, this seems difficult. Which incentive systems promise success? And how do you deal with social values and norms? The Technical University of Delft wants to sensitize engineers to this problem and make them fit for political discourse – using practical examples from the Netherlands. Are you interested in electromobility in the area of tension between politics and society? Some Edx Electric Cars courses are ongoing.