Get Ahead: Online Courses


With direct costs of college tuition and fees having nearly skyrocketed since the 1980’s, it is recorded in America, that it costs a student nearly 559% more than it did compared to the mid-1980’s (Torgovnick, 2012). Therefore, it is easy to admit that many students have taken up more part-time jobs while still trying to balance rigorous class schedules, assignments and bills.

Similarly, though many students are still in high school, many cannot afford to attend pricey summer schools or attend private institutions at all. It is an unfortunate cause that puts many students at a disadvantage if they need the appropriate resources. For example, nine elementary school students in Nova Scotia were seeking financial support to help pay for private school tuition since they needed a better learning environment, resources and easier schedule (CBC News, 2014). Thence, there is still a need for appropriate resources for all students in public school education across Canada.

However, change cannot be immediate and one of the greatest tools for students to still get ahead during the Spring Break or Summer is to take Summer courses. Taking such courses are often free or at minimal cost.

University professors such Daphne Koller, from Stanford, once explained that such reasons are why sites such as “Coursera” have been “created to bring great classes from top universities” to you (TedGlobal, 2012). Taking  such online courses are useful for those wanting to advance their career or find passion in certain studies. Khan Academy is a great resource with personalized practice schedules for SAT exams and AP exams.

Certain websites offer courses from top level universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Columbia with a diploma. This is great for university transcripts and demonstrative of using the tools around you to stay productive and develop yourself. The main point of an online course is that you can go at your own pace and accomplish in your interests.


Coursera provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online. Universities and institutions that provide courses are University of Toronto, Stanford, Google, IBM, John Hopkins, University of Edinburgh, Yale University and much more. Registration is free and courses range from business, computer science, social science to engineering.


Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. With more than 130 global partners, several courses provide may provide credits to university programs.

Google Analytics

Specifically for those interested in computer science, Analytics Academy helps you learn about Google’s measurement tools. This includes learning the basic features such as implementing tracking code, analyzing basic reports and data collection/processing. Very useful for those wishing to be self-employed in the future or run your own e-commerce business.

In all, it is up to you to decide which organization or websites are interesting. Taking the opportunity to look through and develop your curriculum is very useful and can help narrow down on university programs and career choices.

For any more questions or comments, feel free to contact Uma Tiurpenko at