In-depth review of GetSmarter, and my experience completing two short courses, Digital Marketing and Graphic Design.
Choosing the right course to advance your career is always a difficult choice. There are many good online course providers to choose from. Today we’ll review GetSmarter, an interesting option that specializes in offering exclusive short courses from some of the world’s leading universities.
We’ll give you the run down of the courses available, the accredited certificates you can earn, and whether we feel it is worth the cost. I will also be sharing my personal experience of completing the Graphic Design and Digital Marketing short courses from GetSmarter and University of Cape Town.
What is GetSmarter?
GetSmarter is an online learning platform that offers short courses and professional development programs in collaboration with top universities and institutions worldwide. It was founded in 2008 and acquired by 2U, Inc., an educational technology company, in 2017.
GetSmarter partners with top-notch universities like Harvard, MIT, Oxford University, Stanford University, London School, and Cambridge University to create high-quality online courses in different subjects. With these schools, you will feel like you’re getting an Ivy League education.
The online campus is designed to be flexible and accessible. The course’s strategic alignment with the topics allow working professionals and students like me to enhance our skills and knowledge without attending the “normal” classes.
Most courses revolve around business, management, finance, leadership, data science, marketing, and design. They typically run for a few weeks to a month. There are many ways to study them: online lectures, interactive modules, assignments, and discussions. Participants can engage with instructors and fellow learners through virtual classrooms and online forums (depending on the course).
GetSmarter aims to provide learners with practical skills and knowledge that can be applied directly to their jobs. Students often receive a certificate of completion from the partner institution after successfully completing a course. This boosts their credibility and self-esteem.
Online Learning with GetSmarter Review
GetSmarter’s platform contains programs ranging from short-term online courses and certificates in many fields. If you’re going to check out their website, you will see these choices:
1. Online Courses: These courses are typically short-term and focused, allowing you to acquire specialized knowledge in a short time.
2. University Partnerships: The company collaborates with prominent universities worldwide to develop and deliver online courses. This partnership ensures that you get the same quality of education the prestigious schools offer (do you hear Harvard?).
3. Professional Development: The courses are tailored to professionals who want to advance their careers or learn new things. They offer classes in leadership, finance, marketing, data science, and project management.
4. Interactive Learning Experience: The interactive online learning experience with multimedia elements, such as videos, quizzes, assignments, and discussion forums, is well put-of. Students can engage with the materials and interact with instructors and fellow learners just like in a classroom setting.
5. Flexible Schedule: This platform is for you if you have a busy schedule. While there are usually specific start and end dates for each course, the format provides flexibility in terms of when and where you can study.
6. Certificates and Credentials: After completing a course, you can receive a certificate or digital credential to show off to your resume, portfolio, or LinkedIn profile.
Is GetSmarter Legit?
Absolutely! You can’t find GetSmarter reviews anywhere that says it’s not.
It is a well-established online that partners only with the world’s leading universities. GetSmarter has operated for several years and is now trusted by mostly everyone I know. Their collaboration with the best universities makes them more trustworthy. They also give certificates or digital credentials upon completing their courses. This proof can add value to your professional profile and demonstrate your acquired skills.
It’s important to note that while GetSmarter is a legitimate online learning platform, it’s always recommended to research and review specific courses or programs before enrolling. Factors such as course content, instructor expertise, and user reviews should be considered to ensure that a particular approach aligns with your learning goals and expectations.
Snapshot of an GetSmarter Online Course
GetSmarter offers various courses across various disciplines, each with strengths and value depending on your interests and goals. Here are some which I think will interest you:
1. Digital Marketing: This course focuses on the fundamental principles and strategies of digital marketing, including social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, and analytics.
2. Project Management: This course covers essential concepts, tools, and techniques. It can help you develop your skills to plan, execute, and monitor projects effectively.
3. Data Science: This teaches learners how to analyze, interpret, and draw insights from large datasets using programming languages like Python and R. If you’re into more technical stuff like stats and machine learning techniques, you better check this out.
4. Leadership Development: These courses enhance leadership skills and provide strategies for leading teams, managing change, and driving organizational success.
5. Business Strategy: These courses delve into strategic management and provide frameworks for analyzing business environments, formulating strategies, and implementing strategic initiatives.
6. Financial Management: These courses cover essential financial management concepts, including budgeting, financial analysis, investment evaluation, and risk management.
7. Design Thinking: GetSmarter offers courses introducing learners to design thinking principles and methodologies, fostering innovation and problem-solving skills.
8. Data Analytics: These courses leverage data analytics techniques to extract insights, make data-driven decisions, and optimize business performance.
9. Entrepreneurship: GetSmarter offers courses that provide insights into entrepreneurial principles, startup strategies, business model development, and entrepreneurial finance.
10. UX/UI Design: These courses explore user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design principles, helping learners create intuitive and engaging digital experiences.
These are just a few examples of the diverse online courses available on GetSmarter online learning platform. It’s important to consider your interests, career goals, and skill gaps when choosing an online course that aligns with your needs. Don’t forget to read GetSmarter reviews, ask for the syllabi, and decide which is best for you.
Course 1: Graphic Design
The first course I did at GetSmarter online course provider was short one in Graphic Design. I had to complete weekly assignments, and the course convenor would provide feedback on our projects. I learned a new software program called Adobe Illustrator.
This course was not as interactive. We did not make an effort to get to know our peers and learn from each other. However, the course convenor was extremely helpful and answered questions timeously.
Every week we would focus on a different tool in Adobe Illustrator. For example, one week, we would learn about the pen tool. The following week we had to learn about the color combination etc.
The projects were challenging because I was new to Adobe Illustrator. The courses at GetSmarter are very entry-level and are designed for students who are new to the subject; therefore, the perfect course for me.
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- Feedback was given timeously
- Learn at your own pace
- Course content could have been more practical than theory.
Course 2: Digital Marketing
Now coming to the second course in this GetSmarter Review.
The second and more recent short course I did at GetSmarter was an introduction to Digital Marketing.
Although fully online, it was a more interactive course as we were encouraged to participate in group discussions.
We had to debate on the particular subject we’ve learned that week, and we had to share our findings along with our research.
Check my certificate –
The course convenor was extremely helpful and replied to your query within 24 hours.
You get a sufficient amount of time to complete projects. There was a case where I could not submit on the due date due to personal reasons.
I requested an extension, and they approved my request within an hour. Overall, I enjoyed my learning experience with them.
The project itself was challenging as you had to do additional research, including an ongoing project.
I learned how to create a website, read and analyze Google Analytics, how social media works and its algorithms, email marketing, etc. It is an efficient course and exceptionally well presented.
Our project was based on a case study of a coffee shop throughout the course. We had to develop a holistic Digital Marketing Strategy.
We created social media posts, did an email campaign, and wrote search engine optimization content (SEO).
All projects were challenging and new, but they provide you with the necessary tool to succeed. The feedback from the course convenor was constructive; she gave suggestions on how to improve and where you did well.
I completed the course through my work, so they paid for me. However, if I had to pay out of my pocket, I would have paid.
In this case, I was lucky because I completed a course previously by GetSmarter, and by that, I got 15% off to do a second course.
You do get value for money when doing a short course at GetSmarter.
I like GetSmarter because they are upfront about what is expected from you.
Going into the course, I knew that it would be ten weeks long, and on average, I had to at least take 6 hours out of my week to learn the content and submit projects on time.
The GetSmarter short course does not have a mentorship component or career service. It is aimed at people who want to learn new or improve current skills.
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Details of both short courses I took
It starts with accepting the GetSmarter Honour Code, the basic rules of conduct and the rules to be followed on the discussion forum.
- On the left side of the above screenshot, it gives you an idea of what modules you will cover in the course.
- Once you click on a module it starts off with a discussion forum. Participating in the discussion forum is optional.
- The following section is the Module notes. The content is what your project or quiz will be based on.
- In the Graphic Design short course, we had some graded quizzes however, in the Digital Marketing course, there were no graded quizzes.
- It also gives you an idea of how long it will take to complete, especially if you are a mother with a full-time job. It makes managing your time so much easier. The time that they suggest is quite accurate.
- The video was my favorite, and it was very well presented and professionally done.
- It was not just a presentation slide with a voice-over. The video had animation, diagrams and some of the videos were interactive were you have to click the correct answer. It was a beautiful learning experience.
- The practice exercise was optional. It was basically just to test your knowledge, which is quite helpful when it comes to completing projects.
- It was not compulsory to participate in the small group discussion for the Graphic Design course. However, joining in the small group discussion in the Digital Marketing course was mandatory as we were graded on our contribution.
- The last section is your project/ assignment to complete and submit, as well as extra reading material.
- They usually give your project in a Word document; the layout will be as follows:
- Instructions on how to submit
- Guidelines will explain what format it should follow, for example, an essay or report, word count, etc.
- Plagiarism declaration
- Project instruction: here, you will receive tasks, questions, case studies, etc.
- Career support services
With both courses, they go into detail about how the industry evolved from where it was to where it is going.
They speak about modern trends and how the trends emerge, how to identify them, which is a real eye-opener.
Learning about this helps, you plan a strategy to be ahead of the competition.
The course met my objectives, and it was well presented and relevant to the industry I work in.
I have learned so much from both the Digital Marketing and Graphic Design course that I am able to strategically apply to my organization.
Overall it was challenging but enjoyable. By completing the Graphic Design and Digital Marketing course, I moved away from administrative assistant and applied and succeeded in securing a position as a Marketing Lead.
Pros and Cons of GetSmarter
So, let’s know the Pros and Cons in this GetSmarter Review.
- The whole system where you get access to your lectures, resources, chat group, and submit your assignment is super user-friendly and easy to navigate.
- Modules speak to each other.
- You get feedback on your projects timeously.
- The course convenor replies to comments, questions within 24hours
- If you are not happy with your mark, you can contest it.
- They offer payment plans, including split payment plan
- Easy course enrollment
- Accredited certificates
- You have to wait six weeks for your certificate
- Not transparent on course completion rates
The London School of Economics and Political Science
This course is suited for professionals in various industries interested in refining their hard skills, such as by gaining new technical knowledge or improving their existing expertise.
It also emphasizes the course’s value for developing soft skills, which are crucial for fostering productive relationships, effective teamwork, and overall professional growth.
By participating in this online course, professionals can expect to gain practical insights and learn relevant techniques that will enable them to excel in their chosen field of business. Whether students aim to strengthen their technical abilities or enhance their interpersonal skills, this online course provides an ideal platform for professional development and improvement in hard and soft skills.
Cybersecurity: Managing Risk in the Information Age
Executives who typically hold high-level positions in organizations can benefit from this course. It equips them with the necessary insights to make informed decisions and strategic plans related to cybersecurity within their respective organizations.
Understanding cybersecurity at a deeper level allows executives to assess risks, allocate resources effectively, and implement appropriate measures to protect valuable digital assets.
Plus, the online course provider is also valuable for employees in specialist roles. These include cybersecurity analysts, security administrators, or information security managers. These professionals are critical in ensuring the security and integrity of an organization’s information systems and data.
The online course can give them advanced knowledge and skills to carry out their responsibilities effectively. It may cover threat analysis, vulnerability assessment, incident response, security architecture, network security, and other emerging trends. By acquiring this specialized knowledge, participants can enhance their ability to detect and mitigate cyber threats, implement robust security measures, and effectively manage security operations within their organizations.
Overall, the online learning offers a comprehensive and valuable learning experience for executives and cybersecurity specialists. It equips them with the necessary knowledge, insights, and practical skills to navigate the complex cybersecurity landscape. It enables them to make informed decisions, strengthens their organization’s security posture, and contributes to the overall resilience of their digital systems and data.
University of Cape Town
This course is designed to provide aspiring paralegals, legal assistants, and legal secretaries with the foundational knowledge, practical skills, and industry insights necessary to pursue a successful career in the legal field, either within a law firm or in a commercial environment.
Teaching Certificate: The Science of Social and Emotional Learning
By emphasizing PreK-12 and PreK-16 levels, the course aims to cater to teachers who directly interact with students during critical educational stages. It recognizes the importance of addressing these age groups’ specific challenges, teaching methodologies, and learning objectives.
The course focuses on supporting and providing valuable insights to educators working with students in PreK-12 and PreK-16 settings. It acknowledges their unique roles and responsibilities in the educational landscape.
Beyond Smart Cities: Emerging Design and Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The course covers various topics relevant to urban planning and design. These include sustainable development principles, land-use planning, transportation planning, urban infrastructure design, green building practices, public space design, community engagement strategies, and policy frameworks for sustainable urban development.
The course seeks to empower professionals with the knowledge and skills toward sustainable and vibrant urban planning and design practices.
By doing so, it aims to create cities that are not only environmentally responsible but also socially and economically prosperous. If you’re considering building a better quality of life for residents and future generations, this one’s for you.
These five courses are just some of the many classes on the platform. You can easily find the courses since they are grouped by school or field of specialization. The website is user-friendly. Once you visit the site, you will be amazed by its simplicity and functionality.
GetSmarter Online Learning Platform Cost
The cost of courses can vary depending on several factors, including the duration, content, and the partnering school. GetSmarter offers a range of programs, from short courses to longer professional development programs, each with its own pricing structure.
Short courses typically range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Longer programs or professional certificates may have higher costs. It’s important to note that these figures are approximate and can vary based on the specific course or program you are interested in.
To get accurate and up-to-date pricing information for a particular course or program, I recommend visiting the official GetSmarter website. There, you can explore the course catalog and find detailed information about the cost of each subject. While there, don’t forget to check the available scholarships, payment plans, or financial assistance options that could help slash some of the costs.
Is There a Free Courses?
As of this time, GetSmarter does not offer free trials. But this policy may change, so make sure to visit their website once in a while. You can also reach out to their customer support directly. They can provide current information on any trial options or special deals.
How Do Courses Look Like?
Each lesson is designed to provide students a structured and engaging learning experience. While the specific format and features can vary between classes, here’s a general overview of what a lesson might consist of:
1. Online Learning Platform: Courses are accessible from their computers or mobile devices. Once enrolled in a course, students will have their logins to access the materials.
2. Multimedia Content: Lessons often consist of multimedia content such as pre-recorded video lectures, slide presentations, interactive simulations, or case studies. These resources are designed to explain key concepts, theories, and examples.
3. Self-Paced Learning: You’ll get a self-paced learning experience. If you study regularly, you can quickly progress through the course materials within the designated duration. This flexibility allows you to fit your studies into your schedule. You can go at a pace that suits you best.
4. Assignments and Assessments: Lessons may include assignments or assessments to evaluate your understanding of a particular chapter. These can range from quizzes and multiple-choice questions to essays, projects, or interactive exercises. Assignments and reviews are typically submitted through the platform.
5. Discussion Forums: GetSmarter also has forums or community spaces where you can interact with classmates, ask questions, and engage in discussions. This fosters collaboration and allows you to socialize even for just a while.
6. Instructor Support: Courses have dedicated instructors or facilitators to answer questions and guide your journey. Instructors may participate in the discussion forums, provide feedback on assignments, or offer additional resources to enhance the learning experience.
7. Progress Tracking: The platform usually includes features to track students’ progress, such as a course dashboard or progress bar. This allows learners to monitor their completion of lessons, assignments, and assessments.
It’s important to note that the specific features and structure of lessons in GetSmarter courses may vary based on the course’s subject matter, duration, and partnering institution.
These are general characteristics commonly associated with online learning platforms. For more specific details about a particular class, I recommend visiting the course page on the GetSmarter website or reviewing the course syllabus.
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I hope you find this GetSmarter Review helpful and useful. I highly recommend GetSmarter to anyone who wants to add more value to their roles and is looking for that slight push into the industry.
Gaining knowledge in a new sector could be the key to your promotion. It also demonstrates to your company how much you value learning new things, even if you’re a senior manager who is completely comfortable in their current position.
An accomplished marketing leader with expertise in digital marketing equipped with the practical skills needed to implement an effective online and holistic digital marketing strategy. I live by the values of integrity, respect, and compassion.