Take Graphic Design Courses to Launch Your Career as a Graphic Designer, Video Game Designer, UI Designer & More

What can you do with graphic design skills? More and more, it seems, as emerging technologies drive new apps, software, and games. New design challenges are everywhere, from human-machine interfaces, to 3D modeling in video games and animated films, to re-imagining classic designs in print and on screen. In addition to traditional jobs like art director, graphic designer, production artist, and animator, the past few years have seen a sharp rise in demand for User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) designers, roles that require a variety of different creative and technical skill sets.

You could get a four-year degree in design to work in one of these fields, or you could take a Coursera Specialization and be one step closer. Coursera has met the demand for new job skills and tech education by partnering with top arts institutions and universities to offer online courses at low cost. All of these courses grant certificates that show potential employers you’re ready to put your learning to use. If careers in art and contemporary design, graphic design, web user experience and interface design, or video game design appeal to you, you can learn those skills in the five certificate-granting Specialization programs below.

Graphic designers can choose to be as specialized or generalized as they like, but as in all creative fields, they need a thorough understanding of the basics. A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses intended to lead students to mastery, building on the history and foundations of the field. You can enroll for free and try out any of the Specializations for 7 days. After that, you’ll be charged between $39-$49 per month until you complete the courses in a Specialization. (Financial aid is available).

The exciting Specializations from CALARTS and the Museum of Modern Art will bring you many steps closer to a new career, or maybe even a new personal passion project.

Note: Open Culture has a partnership with Coursera. If readers enroll in certain Coursera courses and programs, it helps support Open Culture.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Computer Scientist Andrew Ng Presents a New Series of Machine Learning Courses–an Updated Version of the Popular Course Taken by 5 Million Students

Back in 2017, Coursera co-founder and former Stanford computer science professor Andrew Ng launched a five-part series of courses on “Deep Learning” on the edtech platform, a series meant to “help you master Deep Learning, apply it effectively, and build a career in AI.” These courses extended his initial Machine Learning course, which has attracted almost 5 million students since 2012, in an effort, he said, to build “a new AI-powered society.”

Ng’s goals are ambitious, to “teach millions of people to use these AI tools so they can go and invent the things that no large company, or company I could build, could do.” His new Machine Learning Specialization at Coursera takes him several steps further in that direction with an “updated version of [his] pioneering Machine Learning course,” notes Coursera’s description, providing “a broad introduction to modern machine learning.” The specialization‘s three courses include 1) Supervised Machine Learning: Regression and Classification, 2) Advanced Learning Algorithms, and 3) Unsupervised Learning, Recommenders, Reinforcement Learning. Collectively, the courses in the specialization will teach you to:

  • Build machine learning models in Python using popular machine learning libraries NumPy and scikit-learn.
  • Build and train supervised machine learning models for prediction and binary classification tasks, including linear regression and logistic regression.
  • Build and train a neural network with TensorFlow to perform multi-class classification.
  • Apply best practices for machine learning development so that your models generalize to data and tasks in the real world.
  • Build and use decision trees and tree ensemble methods, including random forests and boosted trees.
  • Use unsupervised learning techniques for unsupervised learning: including clustering and anomaly detection.
  • Build recommender systems with a collaborative filtering approach and a content-based deep learning method.
  • Build a deep reinforcement learning model.

The skills students learn in Ng’s specialization will bring them closer to careers in big data, machine learning, and AI engineering. Enroll in Ng’s Specialization here free for 7 days and explore the materials in all three courses. If you’re convinced the specialization is for you, you’ll pay $49 per month until you complete the three-course specialization, and you’ll earn a certificate upon completion of a hands-on project using all of your new machine learning skills. You can sign up for the Machine Learning Specialization here.

Note: Open Culture has a partnership with Coursera. If readers enroll in certain Coursera courses and programs, it helps support Open Culture.

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Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

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Google Unveils a Digital Marketing & E-Commerce Certificate: 7 Courses Will Help Prepare Students for an Entry-Level Job in 6 Months

During the pandemic, Google launched a series of Career Certificates that will “prepare learners for an entry-level role in under six months.” Their first certificates focused on Project Management, Data Analytics, User Experience (UX) Design, IT Support and IT Automation. Now comes their latest–a certificate dedicated to Digital Marketing & E-commerce.

Offered on the Coursera platform, the Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate consists of seven courses, all collectively designed to help students “develop digital marketing and e-commerce strategies; attract and engage customers through digital marketing channels like search and email; measure marketing analytics and share insights; build e-commerce stores, analyze e-commerce performance, and build customer loyalty.” The courses include:

In total, this program “includes over 190 hours of instruction and practice-based assessments, which simulate real-world digital marketing and e-commerce scenarios that are critical for success in the workplace.” Along the way, students will learn how to use tools and platforms like Canva, Constant Contact, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Hootsuite, HubSpot, Mailchimp, Shopify, and Twitter. You can start a 7-day free trial and explore the courses. If you continue beyond that, Google/Coursera will charge $39 USD per month. That translates to about $235 after 6 months.

If you don’t want to pay, you can audit each course for free, without ultimately receiving the certificate.

Explore the Digital Marketing & E-commerce Professional Certificate.

Note: Open Culture has a partnership with Coursera. If readers enroll in certain Coursera courses and programs, it helps support Open Culture.

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Finding Purpose & Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most–A Free Online Course from the University of Michigan

From the University of Michigan comes a course for our disorienting times–Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most. Taught by Vic Strecher, a professor in the Schools of Public Health and Medicine, the course promises students this:

In this course, you’ll learn how science, philosophy and practice all play a role in both finding your purpose and living a purposeful life. You will hear from historical figures and individuals about their journeys to finding and living a purposeful life, and will walk through different exercises to help you find out what matters most to you so you can live a purposeful life.

By the end of the course, students will:

1. Understand that having a strong purpose in life is an essential element of human well-being.
2. Know how self-transcending purpose positively affects well-being.
3. Be able to create a purpose for your life (don’t be intimidated, this is different from creating “the purpose” for your life).
4. Apply personal approaches and skills to self-change and become and stay connected to your purpose every day.

To take the course for free, selection the Audit Only option available upon registration.

Finding Purpose and Meaning In Life: Living for What Matters Most will be added to our list: 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

Anyone interested can watch Vic Strecher’s TED Talk here.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

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A Master List of 1,700 Free Courses From Top Universities: A Lifetime of Learning on One Page


For the past 15 years, we’ve been busy rummaging around the internet and adding courses to an ever-growing list of Free Online Courses, which now features 1,700 courses from top universities. Let’s give you the quick overview: The list lets you download audio & video lectures from schools like Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford, Harvard and many other institutions. Generally, the courses can be accessed via YouTube, iTunes or university web sites, and you can listen to the lectures anytime, anywhere, on your computer or smart phone. We haven’t done a precise calculation, but there’s about 50,000 hours of free audio & video lectures here. Enough to keep you busy for a very long time–something that’s useful during these socially distant times.

Right now you’ll find 200 free philosophy courses, 105 free history courses, 170 free computer science courses, 85 free physics courses and 55 Free Literature Courses in the collection, and that’s just beginning to scratch the surface. You can peruse sections covering Astronomy, Biology, BusinessChemistry, Economics, Engineering, Math, Political Science, Psychology and Religion.

Here are some highlights from the complete list of Free Online Courses. We’ve added a few unconventional/vintage courses in the mix just to keep things interesting.

The complete list of courses can be accessed here: 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities. For more enriching material, see our other collections below.

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1,000 Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free.

4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, Documentaries & More.

Learn 48 Languages Online for Free: Spanish, Chinese, English & More.

200 Online Certificate & Microcredential Programs from Leading Universities & Companies.

Online Degrees & Mini Degrees: Explore Masters, Mini Masters, Bachelors & Mini Bachelors from Top Universities.

 

Russian Invasion of Ukraine Teach-Out: A Free Course from the University of Michigan

From the University of Michigan comes a free short course on the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Here’s how they set the context for the course, which you can find on the Coursera platform:

“The armed conflict in Ukraine first started in the beginning of 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed the Ukrainian region of Crimea. Over the past eight years, there has been ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, with regular shelling and skirmishes occurring along Russian and Ukrainian borders in the eastern part of the country. On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, plunging the entire country into war and sending shockwaves across the world. With casualties mounting and over one million Ukrainians fleeing the country, the need for dialogue and de-escalation have never been higher. In this Teach-Out, you will learn from a diverse group of guest experts about the history and origins of war in Ukraine, its immediate and long-term impacts, and what you can do to support people in this growing humanitarian crisis. Specifically this Teach-Out will address the following questions:

– How did we get here? Why did Russia invade Ukraine?
– What historical and cultural contexts do we need to know about in order to understand this conflict?
– How is cyber and information warfare impacting the conflict in Ukraine?
– What can be done to stop this war?
– How can we support Ukrainian refugees and displaced peoples?”

Sign up for the course here.

If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, Venmo (@openculture) and Crypto. Thanks for your support!

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Google’s UX Design Professional Certificate: 7 Courses Helps Prepare Students for an Entry-Level Job in 6 Months

During the pandemic, Google launched a series of Career Certificates that will “prepare learners for an entry-level role in under six months.” One such certificate focuses on User Experience Design, or what’s called UX Design, the process design teams use to create products that provide meaningful experiences to users.

Offered on the Coursera platform, the User Experience (UX) Design Professional Certificate features seven courses, including the Foundations of User Experience, Start the UX Design Process, Build Wireframes and Low-Fidelity Prototypes, and Conduct UX Research and Test Early Concepts. In total, this program “includes over 200 hours of instruction and hundreds of practice-based activities and assessments that simulate real-world UX design scenarios and are critical for success in the workplace. The content is highly interactive and developed by Google employees with decades of experience in UX design.” Upon completion, students can directly apply for jobs with Google and over 130 U.S. employers, including Walmart, Best Buy, and Astreya. You can start a 7-day free trial and explore the courses. If you continue beyond that, Google/Coursera will charge $39 USD per month. That translates to about $235 after 6 months.

Explore the User Experience (UX) Design Professional Certificate by watching the video above. Learn more about the overall Google career certificate initiative here. And find other Google professional certificates here.

The new certificates have been added to our collection, 200 Online Certificate & Microcredential Programs from Leading Universities & Companies.

Note: Open Culture has a partnership with Coursera. If readers enroll in certain Coursera courses and programs, it helps support Open Culture.

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‘The Character of Physical Law’: Richard Feynman’s Legendary Course Presented at Cornell, 1964

Lecture One, The Law of Gravitation:

“Nature,” said physicist Richard Feynman, “uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.”

With those words Feynman ended the first of his famous 1964 Messenger Lectures at Cornell University, a talk entitled “The Law of Gravitation, an Example of Physical Law.” (See above.) The lectures were intended by Feynman as an introduction, not to the fundamental laws of nature, but to the very nature of such laws. The lectures were later transcribed and collected in The Character of Physical Law, one of Feynman’s most widely read books. In the introduction to the Modern Library edition, writer James Gleick gives a brief assessment of the charismatic man at the lectern:

Feynman, then forty-six years old, did theoretical physics as spectacularly as anyone alive. He was due to win the Nobel Prize the next year for his groundbreaking work in the 1940s in quantum electrodynamics, a theory that tied together in an experimentally perfect package all the varied phenomena at work in light, radio, magnetism, and electricity. He had taken the century’s early, half-made conceptions of waves and particles and shaped them into tools that ordinary physicists could use and understand. This was esoteric science–more so in the decades that followed–and Feynman was not a household name outside physics, but within his field he had developed an astounding stature. He had a mystique that came in part from sheer pragmatic brilliance–in any group of scientists he could create a dramatic impression by slashing his way through a difficult problem–and in part, too, from his personal style–rough-hewn, American, seemingly uncultivated.

All seven of Feynman’s lectures were recorded by the British Broadcasting Corporation and presented as part of BBC Two’s “Further Education Scheme.” In 2009 Bill Gates bought the rights to the videos and made them available to the public on Microsoft’s Project Tuva Web site.


Since then the series has become available on YouTube for easier viewing. As you scroll down the page you can access the videos which, “more than any other recorded image or document,” writes physicist Lawrence Krauss in Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science, “capture the real Feynman, playful, brilliant, excited, charismatic, energetic, and no nonsense.”

You can find the remaining video lectures below:

Lecture Two, The Relation of Mathematics to Physics:

Lecture Three, The Great Conservation Principles:

Lecture Four, Symmetry in Physical Law:

Lecture Five, The Distinction of Past and Future:

Lecture Six, Probability and Uncertainty–The Quantum Mechanical View of Nature:

Lecture Seven, Seeking New Laws:

You can find this course indexed in our list of Free Online Physics Courses, a subset of our collection, 1,700 Free Online Courses from Top Universities.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.