5 obscure but relevant online courses you can take today for free

Due to quarantine measures, more people are using the time to “upskill.” That is, they’re taking up practical courses online that are in-demand in the market today.

However, there are also lesser-known courses that nonetheless help us understand the world — and ourselves — that much better. As a plus, these courses all free to enroll in too!

The Science of Happiness and Well-Being (Coursera)

Apparently, happiness really is just a state of mind.

This course, taught by psychology professor Laurie Santos from Yale University, has racked up an impressive 97% approval rating from people who realized their potential for positivity. It focuses on tackling misconceptions about happiness, overcoming our biases, and managing our expectations to be more mindful, grateful, and generally happy towards life.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing (Coursera)

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If you’re interested in applying as a contact tracer for the Department of Health, then you might want to get ahead of the pack by taking this course.

Here, you will learn about the necessity of and strategies in case investigation and contact tracing, and define a timeline for public health intervention, as taught by a leading epidemiology expert from Johns Hopkins University.

The Science of Beer (EdX)

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In this course, you’ll learn about the entire life cycle of the beloved alcoholic beverage — from how its raw ingredients are cultivated to how marketing strategies have shaped the culture of beer — and mull over ethical discussions regarding its consumption.

It’s taught by teachers from Wageningen University and Research in Netherlands, also home to the Heineken brand, so you know this is the real deal.

Making Sense of the News: News Literacy for Digital Citizens (Coursera)

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In a world flooded by fake news, one can’t help but wish that this course was mandatory to take.

This six-week news literacy course will teach you about what makes legitimate news, when social media became a platform for journalism, how to evaluate anonymous news sources, and where to find reliable news in this digital era.

Intellectual Humility: Theory (Coursera)

Here’s another timely topic — delivered by philosophy professors in Edinburgh, this course centers in on intellectual humility. A broad concept like this really just boils down to one question: why do we hate being wrong?

Expect to be humbled by lessons on how to navigate political, moral, and religious dissent, and on how to hold dialogues with the intent to learn and understand.

These may not be lessons that make you a more marketable employee, but these will surely make you a more well-rounded person, something we should always strive to be.

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