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After earning my Masters Degree in Toxicology I began to reevaluate my academic and career goals. After writing out my goals in detail and making connections I decided it was time for me to explore some science careers. I am interested in global health and vaccines. Specifically, I’m interested in malaria and dengue vaccine research. A PhD in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology may be an option for me.

In order to prepare myself for this academic and career journey I decided to plan and take action. If I want to pursue a career in vaccine development I must learn what experts in the field are talking about. For the past few months I explored different learning resources called Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) and discovered Coursera.org.

coursera

Image Credit: Coursera.org

Coursera.org is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) site I highly recommend for scientists or anyone that wants to gain knowledge in a particular field. After completing a course with a grade of 80% or higher you can earn a Signed Certificate. Some courses have an additional option to earn a Verified Signature Tract with your course with a fee. Even though you cannot earn credits, Coursera.org is a good way to learn and stay up to date on information in your field. *Update: You can pay for different certificates and earn a completed program certificate once you take multiple courses within a track. 

Coursera offers many courses in science, engineering, math, business and much more. Most courses last about 5-15 weeks and you have the chance to take courses from different universities all around the world. Take the plunge and sign up for a course or two.

When you enroll in a course you will have access to video lectures with audio and text, quizzes, homework, projects and final exams. Some courses have specific timelines, while others are self-paced. If you see that a course already started to check the archives for more information or wait to see if it offered again. For example, Virology I was a popular science course last year and at the beginning of this year Virology II was added.

Courses I’m Currently Taking /Starting Soon:

Virology II

Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health

Courses I Completed & Recommend: 

Virology I

Virology II

Vaccines

Epidemics of Infectious Diseases

Introduction to Global Health

Side Note:

Are you interested in virology, microbiology or infectious diseases? Check out: Dr. Vincent Racaniello’s Blog and Dr. Marcel Salathé  (and play the simulation game, called VAX!), you won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend them! I learned so much about virology and infectious diseases from their courses. I cannot wait to see what they will come up with next.

After taking a few courses I feel more knowledgeable and that I am taking actions to enter a vaccine development career. I still have many things to achieve on my action item list, but this is a good start.

Let me know if you have tried Coursera.org. Also, if you have any suggestions on other Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) websites or want more information let me know. Check it out and pass it on!

Will you check Coursera.org out? Comment below.

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