As the pandemic broke out in 2020 and online classes became common, Shafi Vikraman from India seized the opportunity to learn from anywhere in the world. According to him, he took over 145 online courses offered by global academic institutions, including Ivy Leagues.
Taking the situation as an opportunity, Vikraman enrolled in platforms like Coursera and World Health Organisation, which offered free online courses in a wide range of subjects.
“This is a great opportunity for anyone who is looking for certifications from prestigious universities across the globe. I could learn different subjects, and explore different universities and colleges just by sitting at home, and for free,” he told The Better India.
“I was always interested in learning new subjects. So, getting an opportunity to study and earn certifications from international universities was like a dream for me. It kept me engaged throughout the lockdown period,” added the commerce graduate.
His daughter, a third-year hotel management student, joined her father’s journey and completed over 50 courses online. “My daughter mostly enrolled in courses related to her field, hotel management,” he said. “In the beginning, I too preferred exploring courses related to marketing which aligned with my job. But I eventually ended up doing a lot of medical courses.”
He joined free courses offered by global universities like Princeton, Yale, Wharton, and Columbia, and says he earned over 130 online certifications so far. He had to set a timetable to attend the courses, which ranged from two days to two months.
Have a look at the certficates:
“I started with a course offered by Stanford University. It was a bit tough in the beginning, but gradually I got the hang of it. Eventually, I started attending over 15 courses simultaneously and was managing everything by keeping track of their timings. Currently, I am attending around 20 courses.”
Other institutes from which he earned certifications include the University of Edinburgh, Manchester University, Imperial College London, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, and ESCP Business School of France.
Shafi, a deputy general manager of a foreign exchange firm, quit his job to focus on his studies. “The change in time zones was a challenge. I had enrolled for courses from different countries like the UK, US, France, Germany, and so on. So, sometimes, I had to sacrifice my sleep and study through the night. It was a bit difficult to manage work when I barely slept for 2-3 hours.”
He learned a wide range of subjects including finance, cryptocurrency, blockchain, entrepreneurship, robotics, artificial intelligence, psychology, travel and tourism, food and nutrition, medicine, and earned certifications from 16 countries.
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