From introductions to design to management, you can learn it all.
The job market is tough and higher education is expensive — but not all of it. Some schools offer free online classes to help you gain marketable (and hopefully enjoyable) skills without hurting your wallet. HEC Montréal, the business school of Valérie Plante's favourite university, is offering a range of UX-focused (user experience) classes starting right now, so if you're hoping to break into the field, the time just might be now.
The courses offered by HEC Montréal are massive open online classes, or MOOCs, hosted by the popular free online course platform edX, which also offers classes from universities across the world (including McGill, but no classes are open for registration at the time of publication). These courses are accessible to any number of students, and most are self-paced.
What HEC Montréal online courses are available right now?
The options currently offered by HEC Montréal are a series of UX classes, which each focus on a different aspect of studying and designing to improve user experience.
If you're a total newbie, you can start with Introduction to User Experience, a course that provides the foundations of understanding user experience — defined as "the result of the internal states [...] of a user, the characteristics of a system [...] and the context of use of the interaction between the user and the system," according to the class description. There are already more than 17,000 students enrolled!
For those with a little more background, there are courses that specialize in management, research, design and even more.
The full list of English courses can be found here:
How do HEC Montréal MOOCs work?
First, you'll need to register for the class, which requires making an edX account. Each of the UX courses is self-guided and paced to six weeks, except the introductory course, which takes only four.
All of the available courses require between six to nine hours of time per week, meaning you can take these classes on the side while pursuing your other passions. The UX classes are also self-guided, so you can learn at your own pace.
If you want to have access to course materials after November 6, you'll have to pay for the "verified track," which costs $275 and provides graded assignments and exams as well as a certificate upon completion of the class. Without this upcharge, you'll have to settle for the satisfaction of learning itself.
Are HEC Montréal online classes taught in English?
The UX courses currently available are offered in English, but there are French course options available as well in similar areas. HEC Montréal's primary curriculum for paying students is typically offered in French, with occasional English (and even Spanish!) classes as well.
To enroll, just explore the HEC Montréal edX offerings, select your class(es), sign up for an edX account, and the world is suddenly your computerized oyster. The UX courses currently available have no registration caps, part of the beauty of an online, remote course.
Convince a few of your friends to register, and you've got yourself a study group!
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.