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5 Coursera Online Certificate Courses for Creative Professionals

Curators’ corner

5 Coursera Online Certificate Courses for Creative Professionals

Professional development is the key to a rewarding career – financially, emotionally and creatively. Without a sense of personal growth, even a job you love can become bland and monotonous. The need for inspiration is magnified for creatives, who must continually refine their skills and build on their knowledge base.

Have you heard of Coursera? It’s a non-profit online education platform that hosts massive open online courses (MOOCs) from top universities around the world. MOOCs are abuzz across the education landscape, and since its founding by two Stanford professors in 2012, Coursera has grown to offer nearly 1,500 courses from more than 130 partner institutions. It truly is a global classroom. Best of all, you can complete the work on your own schedule and get a certificate of completion (for a nominal fee or sometimes even for free).

We’ve navigated the sea of offerings on Coursera to give our fellow creatives a few recommendations. Use any of these 5 courses to learn something new that you can utilize, market, and add to your resume.

Grammar and Punctuation (University of California, Irvine)

Visual creatives aren’t always known for being wordsmiths, but you don’t need to have impeccable grammar and an explosive opinion on the Oxford comma to present yourself formidably in written communications. This 4-week course from UC-Irvine is the perfect brush-up to keep you from subjecting yourself to ridicule.


Digital Marketing (University of Illinois)

Coursera has recently begun offering “specializations,” which are sequences of courses in a given field. Here’s a 5-course series on all things digital marketing, from analytics and strategy through application. Each course is $79. You can take any course you’d like on its own, or earn an impressive certificate for completing all 5 courses and a capstone project.


Design Thinking for Innovation (University of Virginia)

Creatives are creators. Take your passion for innovation to the next level with a course on design thinking from the University of Virginia’s renowned Darden School of Business.

From the course summary:

“At every level in every kind of organization, design thinking provides the tools you need to become an innovative thinker and uncover creative opportunities that are there – you’re just not seeing them yet.”


Entrepreneurship: Launching an Innovative Business (University of Maryland)

Passionate about the startup world? Every month, more than half a million small businesses launch in the U.S. Who’s to stop you from being the next successful entrepreneur?

Here’s another specialization, this one from the University of Maryland on developing innovative ideas into real world products, solutions and companies. You’ll learn about ideation, opportunity assessment, funding and more, with an immersive capstone project that could put your idea in front of a panel of experts including a Silicon Valley seed fund and accelerator.


Modern Art & Ideas (The Museum of Modern Art)

There’s enlightenment to be had in observing the arts. Our friends at MoMA have joined the MOOC movement with a few courses, highlighted by a 5-week course that gives students the skills for “looking at art through a thematic lens.” Where better to learn about modern art than the Museum of Modern Art itself?


These are just a few quick picks. We encourage everyone to visit the Coursera website and browse the full list of offerings. Learn something new and have fun in the process!

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