Top 15 Trending Online Courses in 2021 [For Both Students & Working Professionals]

Professional certifications provide excellent avenues for developing your knowledge and skills. They can help you demonstrate your interests and potential to prospective employers while building your profile for lucrative job positions. There are many trending courses lockdown has made prominent once again, to guide and prepare candidates for modern workplaces. We have detailed some of these programs for you below. 

Professional courses and certifications have many advantages. They can help you in:

  • Demonstrating your skills and gaining credibility
  • Enhancing technical knowledge and upskilling
  • Qualifying for senior-level jobs
  • Staying abreast of the latest trends
  • Acquiring experience and hands-on training

Top Trending Online Courses 

1. Data Science

Study programs in data science typically focus on big data analytics, data visualization, statistics, and predictive analytics. The curriculum is designed for individuals pursuing technical job positions, such as data scientists, data analysts, business analysts, and machine learning engineers.

Whether you are a fresher, a marketing professional, or a software engineer, data science knowledge can advance your career. 

Usually, no prior coding experience is necessary for this course. If you have a bachelor level degree and a knack for numbers, you can enroll in a postgraduate level data science program. Many online options are also available, which provide accredited master degrees and diplomas in addition to placement support.

upGrad’s PG Certification in Data Science aims to equip working professionals with the following capabilities:

  • Python programming
  • Using Python and SQL for predictive analytics
  • Data visualization using Python, exploratory analytics, ML algorithms, and so on.

Upon completing the course, you earn a certificate from IIIT-Bangalore and get a chance to connect with a global community of data science professionals from diverse industries. The engaging pedagogy of upGrad courses includes case studies, projects, group coaching, and live sessions to provide personalized feedback and facilitate improvement. 

Learners receive an average Salary hike of 58% with the highest being up to 400%.

2. Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are the exciting technologies of the 21st century. AI and ML certifications can help boost the careers of IT professionals who have a background in mathematical or statistical fields.

Such programs cover various programming languages, tools, and libraries to equip students with the required competencies. Examples of the technologies taught include Python, MySQL, AWS, Docker, Kubernetes, Keras, REST-API, etc. Moreover, learning opportunities would expand when the syllabus is delivered via videos and real-life industry projects. 

upGrad offers an online Master of Science in ML & AI for working professionals looking to jump-start their careers. The degree is recognized by Liverpool John Moores University, a prestigious educational institution in the UK, and comes with access to LJMU’s digital library.

And you can attain this qualification at a tenth of the cost of the offline program. Alternatively, you can go for advanced certifications that allow you to specialize in Big Data, Cloud, Deep Learning, and NLP. These upGrad courses arrange for resume feedback, interview preparation, career counseling, and job assistance.

The skills you learn prepare you for lucrative job opportunities like Big Data Analyst, Data Engineer, Machine learning engineer, etc. Hiring partners include Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, PayTM, Make My Trip, American Express, Accenture, Standard Chartered, Adobe, Genpact, MobiKwik, and many other leading companies. 

3. Big Data

Big data certifications can help you go after more diverse roles than specific data science jobs. You can opt for different specializations depending on your background and career aspirations. Generally, learning tracks of big data certifications include:

  • Business Analytics
  • Data Engineer
  • Natural Language Processing
  • Deep Learning 
  • Business Intelligence

For example, the PG Diploma in Data Science from IIIT-B is certified by NASSCOM and delivered in partnership with industry leaders like Actify, Zee5, Uber AI Labs, AIQRATE, Genpact, Flipkart, Myntra, and Gramener.

The course follows an integrated approach to teach you about different programming languages and tools. These include Python, Tableau, MS Excel, Hadoop, PySpark, Power BI, MongoDB, Keras, TensorFlow, AirFlow, and many others. 

4. Business Intelligence

BI professionals put their numerical ability to work and solve real-world business problems. Their insights can translate into actionable metrics, leading to changes in planning, operations, product development, and strategic management.

Therefore, their primary responsibility is to maximize the use of data in an organization to direct it on the path of successful performance. Training in business intelligence can help IT professionals build aptitude in:

  • Data mining and analytics
  • Data visualization
  • Management reporting
  • Using Excel, SQL, R, Python, Spark, Hadoop, etc.

The Business Analytics Certification is one of the trending courses 2020 has drawn attention to, especially for those competing for business analyst and managerial roles. 

You can also check out upGrad’s Executive MBA program from NMIMS Global Access School. The degree is AICTE-approved and incorporates a three-month capstone project and one-on-one interaction with industry mentors.

The faculty includes subject experts in Analytics, Marketing, Human Resources, Economics, Finance, and Supply Chain, and Operations. The MBA(X) course offers a Business Analytics specialization that qualifies for better job prospects in management consulting, business leadership, and growth and strategy roles. 

5. Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is one of the top IT fields that is experiencing an emerging trend in 2020. As organizations around the world go after dynamic and scalable applications, the demand for cloud services is only going to rise.

While making the shift, companies encounter many technical challenges. So, having qualified people with domain expertise would be necessary. It is already a top IT job globally. Software developers can go for specialized programs in cloud computing to learn the following things:

  • Understanding of cloud migration and multi-cloud environments
  • Knowledge of serverless architecture
  • Cloud security skills
  • Building cloud-native technologies, virtual machines, microservices, etc. 

PG Diploma in Software Development (cloud computing specialization) is suitable for engineering graduates who want to occupy titles like Cloud Developer, Cloud Architect, Cloud Administrator, and other similar positions. 

6. Project Management

Project management is one of the trending courses 2020 has generated interest in, for both employers and aspirants. Project managers ensure that work assignments are delivered within time and budget constraints. They assign tasks to the concerned members, set deadlines, and drive the project team to achieve the desired goals. 

Those in core IT careers can gain knowledge in this discipline by earning a project management certification or take admission in an MBA program. Nowadays, top universities are offering online degrees in partnership with industry players. The syllabus has everything from core management concepts to business communication to strategy and leadership.

You can consider applying to the online PG Program in Management from IMT Ghaziabad, one of India’s leading business schools. The course is structured to acquaint students with Sales and Distribution, Marketing Management, Business Economics, Organizational Behavior, Accounting and Finance, and Decision Sciences.

These subjects allow candidates to develop their managerial acumen for senior positions. Moreover, the live projects help navigate the entry into work life as they are presented in collaboration with companies like Vodafone M-Pesa, LinkedIn, HP Enterprise, and ITC. 

7. Software Development

The primary duties of a software development job include designing, managing, and testing software applications. Being successful in this field requires efficiency in writing and implementing code. To build the necessary proficiencies, you can undertake training in Java programming, C programming, automation testing, SQL database, among other topics. Here are some of the job titles associated with this IT career:

  • Computer systems analyst
  • IT Coordinator
  • Network administrator
  • Systems architect
  • Computer and information research scientist
  • Junior software engineer
  • Senior programmer
  • Web developer

Online postgraduate degrees in software and technology are among the trending courses lockdown has made feasible. The MSc. in Computer Science from UK’s Liverpool John Moores University can get you the same quality and exposure in 18 months as any on-campus degree.

Moreover, you can choose from seven different specializations, interact with experienced professionals, and network with your fellow LJMU and IIIT-Bangalore alumni. 

8. Full-stack development

Full-stack development is concerned with both front-end and back-end technologies. A typical full-stack development course would familiarize you with programming languages and tools like Spring, Java, Typescript, Oracle, Git, Hibernate, React, AWS, Selenium WebDriver, and so on. The extensive program structure prepares you to work as:

  • Full-stack developer
  • Back-end developer
  • UI developer
  • Senior web developer
  • IT manager
  • Technical operations officer

After gaining relevant experience and spending several years in the industry, you can occupy senior-level positions like Director of Technology and Chief Technology Officer.

If you are searching for industry-oriented education programs that prepare you to work in a similar domain, upGrad’s PG Diploma in Software Development would be an excellent choice. The specialized learning track in full-stack development would teach you how to create robust and scalable applications, replete with back-end APIs and an interactive web UIs.

This 12-month program is delivered in an online format, dedicating sufficient time for introductory modules, experiential learning activities, and a capstone project. 

9. Cybersecurity

In recent years, the instances of data breaches and cyber attacks faced by companies have increased. In the wake of rising cyber crimes, the demand for security experts has also picked up. Most software development courses provide a specialized learning path for those interested in cyber security careers. Here is a snapshot of the skills taught in a postgraduate-level cyber security program:

  • Application security
  • Network security
  • Data secrecy and cryptography
  • Training in Python, Java, git, AWS, etc.

With upGrad and IIIT-B’s advanced PG Diploma, you can study cyber security in a way that goes beyond the classroom. This online software development course packages more than 400 content hours, six programming languages, over seven projects, and more than ten live sessions. In 12 months, you would learn, apply your skills, get mentored, and move ahead in your chosen career path. 

10. Networking

Hardware and networking professionals build and maintain computer networks and ensure their smooth functioning, thus contributing to organizational success. Their job is not restricted to working behind the scenes on IT infrastructure but also involves aspects of analytics, security, and automation. 

A professional credential in networking can serve as a testimonial of your competencies to hiring managers and make a strong first impression. One of the accredited courses that can help you obtain and improve your computer programming skills is Master’s in Data Science.

11. DevOps

As the title suggests, DevOps combines the Development and Operations arms of software applications. In today’s fast-paced marketplace, tech companies need to stay ahead of their competitors. And DevOps enables agile methods in software development. A DevOps-oriented study program would emphasize the following things:

  • Agile methodologies for integration and deployment
  • Creation and management of software lifecycle
  • Continuous deployment through CI/CD practices and many more. 

To gain an in-depth understanding of the mentioned concepts, you can enroll in the specialized DevOps course, earning a software development diploma from IIIT-B and a data science certification from upGrad. 

11. Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is an exciting subject for professionals like brand managers, sales personnel, entrepreneurs, and marketers. With increasing internet penetration and online activity, the scope of traditional marketing has also expanded. Digital marketing encompasses topics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), content marketing, social media, and marketing analytics. 

Some popular examples include PG Certification in Digital Marketing and Communication on upGrad. This online course is offered by MICA, a leading higher education institution in India. 

12. Blockchain

Blockchain is a rapidly growing discipline capable of bringing about significant transformations in the fields of real estate, healthcare, finance, insurance, among several others. The syllabus of blockchain development certifications comprises Ethereum, Smart Contracts, Hyperledger, Composer, Javascript, NodeJS, Solidity, etc. A background in engineering, mathematics, or computer science is a prerequisite for this stream. 

Blockchain is touted to be the disruptive technology that will dominate industries beyond 2020. Having a working knowledge of blockchain can prepare you for software development jobs and assist you in getting an accelerated start in business development, engineering, and operations. 

You can also complete an advanced course while working. For instance, IIIT-B & upGrad’s PG Diploma in Software Development (Specialization in BlockChain) requires you to dedicate 10-14 hours per week for 12 months. At the end of the program, you would have learned over ten software tools and worked on business problems for clients like Quora, Imgur, and DCB Bank. Additionally, you would receive comprehensive career support in the form of job fairs, mock interviews, and dedicated mentorship. 

13. Internet of Things

IoT enables the exchange of information between people, things, and processes. Examples of “things” include wearable health monitors, smart home security systems, wireless inventory trackers, biometric scanners, and other connected appliances. 

According to IDC, there would be 41.6 billion connected IoT devices by 2025. The IT research agency forecasts that these devices would experience a compound annual growth rate or CAGR of 28.7 percent from 2018 to 2025. With every new connection, there would be possibilities of new security vulnerabilities and privacy concerns. So, companies adopting IoT would also have to take care of data hazards to maximize customer benefit. 

Enrolling in an online IoT course can support your quest for knowledge and keep you engaged during the coronavirus pandemic. You would learn how to develop IoT solutions with the aid of sensors and other functions. After completing the training, you can apply for jobs like IoT developer, IoT architect, IoT cloud engineer, etc.

14. Computer Science

The program design of MSc. Computer Science consists of software development, primarily using languages like Java and Python. Online MCS programs allow you to select any specialization from full-stack development to big data to DevOps to Blockchain and IoT. Whether you hold a technical undergraduate degree or already working in an IT company, getting an advanced degree can improve your earning capability. 

Recent studies have highlighted that certifications can help candidates stand out in the job market. Having completed a technical course in a specific domain can improve your chances of landing work or scoring a promotion. However, a certificate may not be enough to make a difference.

You would also have to seek out opportunities to gain industry experience and hands-on practice. Here, mentorship and live projects can prove immensely helpful. It is thus best to opt for programs that include such components in the curriculum. 

Conclusion

With this, we have put across the most relevant and trending courses lockdown has brought to the fore. We attempted to make you aware of the available options and make an informed choice about your career. So, pick a certification that matches your needs and start learning. 

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