Your Online Course Cheatsheet.

A great way to level up your skills + career? Online short courses.

During the season of quarantine (which include loss of routine, and mild cabin fever), if you’re anything like me you probably feel the need for some sort of normalcy. A great way to keep occupied is through online courses. Its a constructive way to take advantage of the time quarantine has to offer (and escape the series and Youtube rabbit holes).

If that’s not enough to convince you to take up an online course, then it could be helpful to mention the benefits of:

  • Adding a new skillset to your CV
  • Keeping your mind engaged and challenged through this uncertain time

A recent article shows you won’t be alone. Many South Africans have been seen engaging with the platform TEFL as a means of getting a new source of income through online teaching. As of February, other popular online courses include programming (but for everyone), marketing for the digital age, graphic design, architecture, animation and even robotics. Since there are so many options for online courses (which even extend to perfecting hobbies) I’ve compiled a list of 3 online institutions and some of their top courses to get you started:

Google – Digital Skills for Africa

WHO: Although not an actual institution for higher learning, Google is running online courses that specialize in the digital aspect of running businesses or general careers. This is aimed at giving many African startups and entrepreneurs the tools to grow their businesses and make them more appealing and relevant.

WHAT: The features include being able to tailor the course to your needs, learning at your own preferred pace, and getting a certification from Google which is connected to your LinkedIn (more CV boosting!). You can enroll in one of the courses whether a student doing online schooling in your bedroom or a business owner unable to operate their company as usual.

TOP PICKS: The courses covered range from learning how to build an effective and aesthetically pleasing website to public speaking, all in an effort to produce well-rounded career people of the digital age, and there are 124 more courses to choose from. This one is free!


Get Smarter

WHO: This Cape Town-based online schooling platform works to link you to top universities across the world and provides internationally recognized certifications on a range of skills.

WHAT: Not only are you spoilt for choice in terms of world-class universities, but you are also given a variety of short courses to choose from within many well-sought after disciplines. Perks? You get certification from leading universities, a personalized and excellent learning experience, and you get the chance to gain relevant skills (which don’t look bad at all on your CV).

TOP PICKS: Always been keen to learn graphic design? Try this short course offered by UCT. Management, data analysis, disruptive tech, leadership, and marketing are just a few others. The website is also easy to navigate and the searching feature allows you to narrow down your search to what interests you most.



WHO: Similar to Get Smarter, Coursera offers online short courses from different acclaimed Institutions. However, they take it a step further by including development programs from companies. Institutions featured include the CAL arts, Imperial College London, Duke University, and other wells know tertiary education establishments. The companies offering courses are Goldman Sachs, IBM, PWC just to name a few.

WHAT: Coursera offers the option to trial courses before buying them to obtain a certification. You can pay per course or opt into Coursera Plus which gives you access to most of their courses for ONE yearly cost. PS: They also offer financial aid.

TOP PICKS: You can search for a course based on skills, level, job title, duration, and other means which make the search more effective. Why not learn a new language, like Mandarin?


Feature image: Zoya Pon