12 Online Courses From Reputable Universities That Will Boost Your Career in 2020

online courses to master

Looking to advance your skills and stay ahead of the competition? These online courses will help you realize your goals and boost your portfolio.

For folks who have never taken an online course, getting started can be a little intimidating. Most people are used to the traditional face-to-face learning model, where they attend physical classrooms and learn in person from tutors. They are used to choosing courses based on their availability that semester, having a one-on-one interaction with peers and attending regular class schedules. In other words, they know what they are in for.

Of course, online courses often do not come with set class times or one-on-one meet ups with classmates. Neither are they limited to course selection. However, what they lack in the traditional learning environment is compensated by several benefits that come with learning online.

Benefits of studying online

Online learning is mobile and flexible

Online learning can be a deal-breaker for learners who have a tight schedule commuting to campus. This is also true for learners who are seeking to balance the demands of work and family life. Online education comes with the flexibility to fit just about any schedule. Whether you are taking a course on the go, in the morning before starting your work, over the lunch break, or after putting kids to bed, online courses will definitely fill the gap.

Online learning is more affordable than classroom classes

Another amazing advantage of online education has to do with the price tag. And this is never because the instruction is cheaper – rather, online courses come with less of the institutional overhead of a large brick-and-mortar school set up.

Of course, online courses do come with some overhead that includes the cost of course development, hosting, and promotion. However, this cost does not come close to the cost of owning and operating a campus. More and more learners are looking for ways to improve their skills without getting into student debt. And online courses are meeting this need with more affordable education solutions.

Online learning offers variety, allowing them to address niche interests

It takes a lot of input to develop a course for a traditional learning environment. First off, course developers need to be certain that enough learners will be interested in the course for it to be worthwhile, and there must be demand from learners close enough to attend the class. And that demand must be continuous, year after year.

On the other hand, since online courses are not restricted by geography, it is much easier to attract learners who are especially interested in tailor-made courses. And these courses are more likely to be available whenever the learners need to access them, rather than disappearing after a semester or two.

Online courses have a global reach for a more diverse learning community

Talking of a global audience, online learning can bring learners from around the world together. This enriches the learning experience for all students, getting them in touch with different ways to apply the skills they have learned in their own countries. And with more experiences to draw from, learners are able to gain new richness and depth in the knowledge that they may not have gained from the traditional classroom environment.

Online courses are more innovative and experiment-driven

Online learning relies on technology to compensate for the lack of traditional classrooms. This, in turn, opens up new ways for tutors to experiment on how they train their learners. From designing creative course assignments and projects to innovative technologies like VR and AR, online education is changing the way people learn. This is especially because online courses do not come with the same set of challenges as traditional classroom courses.

Online courses help learners acquire new skills and advance their careers without taking time away from work

Most learners are turning to online learning as a means of acquiring new skills to further their careers. Most jobs have specific skill requirements and professionals certifications tailored to meet these requirements can greatly boost your career prospects. These certifications are not usually offered directly by universities and community colleges. Rather, they are offered by organizations or industry experts in collaboration with online learning platforms like Coursera and Udacity.

Online courses are more accessible for learners with special needs

Finally, online learning makes it possible for individuals who would otherwise not be able to get education due to various constraints. For instance, learners with restricted mobility might have challenges in attending class, especially when transportation is a hindrance. Learners with special needs often find it more helpful to learn from the comfort of their privacy, where they can learn at their own pace. And this is what they get with online education.

Best Online Courses from Top Universities

Having talked about the amazing benefits of online learning, let’s go further and discuss some of the best courses you can learn online from top organizations and reputable universities. These courses are facilitated by Johns Hopkins, Wharton University of California, Google, Imperial College of London, Rice University, Duke University, and New York University.

Stand out from competition. Sign up for any of these online courses and earn a powerful career credential.

1. Big Data Specialization

Big Data Specialization

Big Data skill is one of the most in-demand skills in recent times. Mastering Big Data will equip you with the skills of the future and give you a competitive edge in the job market. This online program is created by the University of California, San Diego. This program includes the following six courses:

  • Introduction to Big Data ( three weeks of study at 3-6 hours per week)
  • Big Data Modeling and Management Systems ( Six weeks study, 2-3 hours per week)
  • Big Data Integration and Processing
  • Machine Learning with Big Data ( 5 weeks of study, 3-5 hours per week)
  • Graph Analytics with Big Data ( 4 weeks of study, 3-5 hours per week)
  • Big Data Capstone Project

What you will learn:-

  • Big Data Analytics Using Spark
  • Hadoop with MapReduce
  • Processing Using Splunk and Datameer

2. Business and Financial Modeling

business modeling certification

This is yet another futuristic skill worth adding to your skillset. This online program is ideal for everyone, you do not need any prior experience to get started. Offered by The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, this program comes with the following five courses:

  • Fundamentals of Quantitative Modeling ( 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours per week)
  • Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models ( 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours per week)
  • Modeling Risk and Realities ( 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours per week)
  • Decision Making Scenarios ( 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours per week)
  • Wharton Business and Financial Modeling Capstone

What you will learn:

  • Data-Driven Decision-Making, Revenue Optimization, and Risk Analysis

3. Coaching Skills for Managers

coaching skills for managers

An excellent online course from the University of California, Davis, this is yet another program for those seeking to advance their managerial skills and stay ahead of competition. There are a total of four courses in this program.

Here are the courses:

  • Managing as a Coach
  • Setting Expectations and Assessing Performance Issues
  • Coaching Practices (4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours per week)
  • Coaching Conservations ( 4 weeks of study, 2-3 hours per week)

What you will learn:

  • Establishing Accountability, Expectation Setting, Navigating Difficult Conversations, Performance Assessment.

4. Data Engineering

Data Science is certainly one of most rewarding careers in data engineering. And mastering the skill will definitely take you far in your career. Consider enrolling for this Google powered specialization today and get ready for the skill of the future.

Courses in this specialization:

  • Google Cloud Platform Big Data and Machine Learning Fundamentals ( 1 week study, 6-10 hours per week)
  • Leveraging Unstructured Data with Cloud Dataproc on Google Cloud Platform ( 1 week of study, 5-7 hours per week)
  • Serverless Data Analysis with Google BigQuery and Cloud Dataflow ( 1 week of study, 6-8 hours per week)
  • Serverless Machine Learning with TensorFlow on Google Cloud Platform ( 1 week of study, 8-12 hours per week)
  • Building Resilient Streaming Systems on Google Cloud Platform ( 1 week of study, 6-8 hours of study)

What you will learn:

 – Unstructured Data Analysis, Machine Learning Models, Cloud Datalab, BigQuery.

5. Data Visualization with Tableau

data visualization with Tableau

Another popular online course from the University of California, Davis, Data Visualization is another one of the in-demand skills to seek. Go ahead and give your career a boost with this online course. You do not need any prior experience to sign up for this course.

Courses in this specialization:

  • Fundamentals of Visualization with Tableau ( 4 weeks of study, 3-5 hours/week)
  • Essential Design Principles for Tableau ( 4 weeks of study, 5-7 hours per week)
  • Visualization with Tableau ( 4 weeks of study, 5-7 hours per week)
  • Creating Dashboards and Storytelling with Tableau ( 4 weeks of study, 5-7 weeks per week)
  • Data Visualization with Tableau Project ( 6 weeks of study, 3-8 hours per week)

What you will learn:

  • Data Migration and Merging, Exploratory Analysis, Design Best Practices, and Dashboard Creation.

6. Engineering Project Management

data visualization with Tableau

A great online course from Rice University, sign up for this program and master the strategies and tools you need to effectively and successfully manage projects for your organization. This specialization comes with 3 courses, each taking about 3-5 weeks to complete.

Courses in this specialization:

  • Initiating and Planning (5 weeks of study)
  • Scope, Time and Cost Management (5 weeks of study)
  • Risk, Quality, and Procurement (5 weeks)

What you will learn:

  • Scoping Development, Cost Estimation, Time Management, and Quality Assurance Planning.

7. Excel to MySQL: Analytic Techniques for Business


If you are looking to learn how to formulate data questions, explore and visualize large datasets, and make strategic business decisions, then consider enrolling for this online course from Duke University.


Courses in this specialization:

  • Business Metrics for Data-Driven Companies ( 4 weeks, 3-5 hours per week)
  • Mastering Data Analysis in Excel ( 6 weeks, 8-10 hours per weeks)
  • Data Visualization and Communication with Tableau ( 5 weeks, 6-8 hours per week)
  • Managing Big Data with MySQL ( 5 weeks, 8-12 days per week)
  • Increasing Real Estate Management Profits: Harnessing Data Analytics ( 8 weeks of study, 8-10 hours per week)

What you will learn:

Cash Flows, Entropy, Linear Regression, and Binary Classification

8. Executive Data Science

Executive data science certification

Want to learn how to assemble the right team, ask the right questions and avoid costly mistakes that derail your data projects? Then enroll for this online certification program. This specialization is created by Johns Hopkins University and comes with a total of 5 courses. You need commit 4-6 hours per week to complete each of these courses:


Courses in this specialization:

  • A Crash Course in Data Science ( 1 week of study)
  • Building a Data Science Team ( 1 week of study)
  • Managing Data Analysis ( 1 week of study)
  • Data Science in Real Life ( 1 week of study)
  • Executive Data Science Capstone ( 1 week of study)

What you will learn:

  • Data Analysis, Data Science Team Leadership, Data-Driven Decision-Making

9. Machine Learning and Reinforcement Learning in Finance

Machine learning reinforcement

Anything associated with Machine Learning is a skill worth gaining. Being a skill of the future, mastering ML will definitely set you apart from competition. This online course is provided by the New York University.


Courses in this specialization:

  • Guided Tour of Machine Learning in Finance
  • Fundamentals of Machine Learning in Finance
  • Reinforcement Learning in Finance
  • Overview of Advanced Methods of Reinforcement Learning in Finance

What you will learn:

  • Sequence Models, Pattern Recognition, Markov Decision Process

10. Market Research

market research certification

This online course from University of California, Davis, does not require any prior subject knowledge to get started with.


Courses in this specialization:

  • Qualitative Research ( 4 weeks of study, 2-5 hours per week)
  • Quantitative Research ( 4 weeks of study, 4-7 hours per week)
  • Research Report: Delivering Insights ( 4 weeks, 3-5 hours per week)

What you will learn:

  • Conducting Focus Groups, Research Planning, Quantitative Survey Design, Synthesizing Findings and Deriving Insights.

11. Mathematics for Machine Learning

This online course is offered by the Imperial College of London. This program will introduce you to the prerequisite mathematics for application in machine learning and data science.


Courses in this specialization:

  • Mathematics for ML: Linear Algebra ( 5 weeks of study, 2-5 hours per day)
  • Mathematics for ML: Multivariate Calculus ( 6 weeks of study, 2-5 hours per week)
  • PCA: Mathematics for ML ( 4 weeks of study, 4-5 hours per week)

What you will learn:

  • Regression Analysis in Python, Linear Mapping, Principal Component Analysis

12. Mastering Software Development in R

software development in R

This is one of the most popular online certification programs from the Johns Hopkins University. This course will equip you with the skills you need to build the tools for better data science, distribute R packages, design software for data tooling, and build custom visualizations.

Courses in this specialization:

  • The R Programming Environment
  • Advanced R Programming
  • Building R Packages
  • Building Data Visualization Tools
  • Mastering Software Development in R Capstone

There you go! The above online courses are perfect for anyone seeking to give their profile a much needed boost. Each course is design with the future in mind. And the best part is, these online courses are offered by top organizations, colleges, and universities. And most important, each of the online courses come with a certificate upon completion that you can present to potential employers during a job interview.

Happy Learning!


Never miss important courses!


Select Category

Most Popular Coursera Courses

1. Data Science

2. Gamification

3. Learning How to Learn: Powerful Mental Tools

4. Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies

5. An Introduction to Interactive Programming in Python

6. Social Media Marketing

7, Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters

8. Responsive Website Basics: Code with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

9. Ruby On Rails: An Introduction

10. Full Stack Web Development

11. Game Design and Development

12. Graphic Design

13. Machine Learning

14. How To Start Your Own Business

15. Inspirational Leadership: Leading with Sense

16. Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR

17. Python For Everybody

18. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

19. Strategic Leadership and Management

20. Web Design for Everybody (Basics of Web Development and Coding)

21. TESOL Certificate, Part 1: Teach English Now!

22. iOS App Development with Swift

23. iOS Development for Creative Entrepreneurs

24. Business Foundations

25. Foundations of Business Strategy

26. Algorithmic Thinking

27. Android App Development

28. Leading People and Teams

29. Business Analytics

30. Entrepreneurship

31. Digital Analytics for Marketing Professionals

32. Foundations of Graphic Design

33. Foundations of Business Strategy

34. The Technology of Music Production

35. Innovation Management

36. Cracking The Creativity Code: Discovering New Ideas

37. An Introduction to Programming the Internet of Things (IOT)

38. Content Strategy for Professionals

39. Digital Marketing

40. Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business

41. Introduction to Marketing

42. Principles of Computing

43. Java For Android

44. Strategic Career Self-Management

45. Basic Statistics

46. Big History: Connecting Knowledge

47. Introduction to Sustainability

48. Server Side Development with NodeJS

49. Introduction to HTML5

50. Introduction to CSS3

Get unlimited access to 3,000+ courses with Coursera Plus