New online learning opportunities are popping up everyday and creative professionals can find an abundance of relevant subjects offered in a variety of ways from various reputable organizations and institutions.
Reasons to love online learning:
- You can do it from anywhere. You can take a course offered by a Toronto university even if you’re in BC or on the East Coast, you can do it from home, or you can do it from a coffee shop.
- Because there are no class times, you can do your course when it suits you (usually). Most courses provide you with material and a place online to check in, and some have chats at certain times, but most of the work can be done when you have the time to do it.
- It’s a great way to network outside of your area. Courses and classes are a great way to connect with like-minded creative professionals and industry contacts. Online classes and courses are no different and offer the added ability to network with those outside of your immediate area, often people you would not connect with otherwise.
- You can take one or you can take them all. If you have the time and ability to tackle every online learning opportunity you’re interested in right away, then go for it! But if you need to fit your learning into a busy schedule, you can take one webinar or course at a time. Or if you feel that you only need an occasional refresher along the way, a webinar or course here or there could be the perfect fit for you.
- Online courses and webinars are affordable. Of course there are pricier options out there, but a lot of online education is offered for free or at a reasonable cost making it much more manageable to creative professionals who might be on a tight budget.
Sound good to you? Then keep reading!
Here are a few places for artists, writers, musicians, and other creative professionals to look for online learning opportunities:
WorkInCulture is an organization with the intent to “support the people who work in the cultural sector through life-long career development and business skills training” and one of the ways they do that is through their E-Learning Programs.
The courses are only $40 each and there is “no time limit to complete the courses and you can revisit them as often as you like.”
They currently offer three courses:
- Crash Course – Planning a Successful Business
- Crash Course – Managing People
- Marketing – It’s Just Another Conversation
CARFAC works hard to aide visual artists in Canada and one of the ways they have expanded their assistance is a series of business-based webinars for creative professionals.
Along with WorkInCulture, CARFAC Ontario is currently offering a series of webinars titled “Taking Care of Business: a webinar series for professional artists” that offers practical information from “leading professionals” as well as the chance to ask your own questions.
The webinar series includes:
- Finances and Self-Employment (Bookkeeping and Business Entities for Artists) (passed, but recording may be available)
- Marketing (passed, but recording may be available)
- Negotiating Contracts and Public Art Commissions (Feb 05, 2014)
- Insurance for Artists (Feb 19, 2014)
- Copyright and Moral Rights for Visual Artists (Mar 05, 2014)
- Issues for Established Artists (Mar 19, 2014)
Magazines Canada offers a wide selection of professional development opportunities through courses, workshops, seminars, and webinars for those in the magazine industry.
The online professional development opportunities Magazines Canada offers include:
Coursera is “an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free.”
Coursera offers 594 courses including:
The courses through Coursera are offered by 108 partners including:
- The Museum of Modern Art
- Berklee College of Music
- California Institute of the Arts
- Curtis Institute of Music
- University of Toronto
- The University of British Columbia
- University of Alberta
- Columbia University
- Duke University
- Princeton University
- Stanford University
- Yale University
- École Centrale Paris
- Sapienza University of Rome
- University of Amsterdam
- University of Copenhagen
- The University of Edinburgh
- The University of Melbourne
- The University of Tokyo
- University of Geneva
- University of Zurich
And many, many more!
Universities and Colleges
Most universities and colleges now offer online or “distance education” opportunities. Just check out their programs/courses section and look for a link to the online options that are available.
Here are a few to get you started:
- Dalhousie University – Online Learning
- McGill University – Distance Education, Online Courses, and Webinars
- University of Toronto – The School of Continuing Studies, Online Distance Learning
- Ryerson University – The Chang School, Distance Education
- Humber – Distance Learning Web
- University of Saskatchewan Distance and Off-Campus Degree Classes
- University of Alberta – Continuing Education, Online Courses
- University of British Columbia – Distance Learning
The University of British Columbia is also launching a new 3-week online workshop series called Cultural Entrepreneurship which “focuses on the essence, uniqueness and importance of cultural entrepreneurship in the overall strategic management and policy-making process.”
That’s Just the Beginning
These are only a handful of the online education that is current being offered. Keep your eyes open and poke around on Google and you’re likely to find the online learning opportunity that you’re looking for.
Do you know of other online learning opportunities for creative professionals? Have you taken an online course/webinar you really found valuable? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
* Computer image by Tomas Aceytuno.