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Back-to-School for Grownups: Take a MOOC

Stocks in this article: GE


A newer MOOC started by Stanford Professor Amin Saberi was launched in April 2013, with a focus on group participation. It splits the thousands of students enrolled in a single course into smaller groups, based on location or similar interests. The collaboration aims to keep students accountable to the course and one another. NovoED offers a variety of technology and entrepreneurship courses. Some courses are free. Others, like Venture Capital 101, cost $999.


Launched in 2010, this business and career-friendly MOOC put together a roster of CEOs, New York Times best-selling authors and even some Ivy League professors to teach the masses.

Courses have a practical, less-academic approach, with sessions on designing a logo, hacking your sleep and learning to juggle. Udemy also charges for most courses and professors apparently can make a living. The 10 most popular professors earned $5 million in total.


Learning PHP, jQuery, Python or another computer language can be intimidating, especially if you don't know a lick of code. But beginner-friendly and free Codeacademy guides newbies through the basics with clear instructions, a spot to write test code and the actual result. There's group discussion and there's also a cheat button for answers -- and virtual award badges, if you're into that.

As with any online course, it's easy to overlook reminder emails to finish your Codeacademy course, but perhaps reading some of the success stories may inspire you to complete the lesson and launch a new career.


Can't figure out what course suits you best? Knollop is a new aggregator that tracks an extensive variety of courses from many MOOCs. Search by topic, session dates and open enrollment. Each course has a description, links to the MOOC and ratings by users. Not every MOOC course is on Knollop but the site welcomes submissions.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Tamara Chuang is an outside contributor to TheStreet. Her opinions are her own. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @gadgetress.

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