Harvard's Free Courses: Are They Worth Your Time?

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Harvard's Free Courses: Are They Worth Your Time?
Harvard University on a sunny day

Do you dream of studying at Harvard University but are unable to pay the tuition costs? Live abroad? Don't think you have the brains to get in? You can, however, access some of the best course content available anywhere in the world by taking advantage of Harvard's free online courses. The question is, d o these courses merit your time? We'll examine the benefits and drawbacks of Harvard's free courses in this blog to help you determine whether they're appropriate for you.

I'm excited to share my experience with Harvard's free courses, starting with 'U.S. Public Policy: Social, Economic, and Foreign Policies.' Recently enrolling, I feel I am well enough suited to weigh in on whether they are worth the time or not. Without spoiling the conclusion, this certainly wont be my last free course, as I am already eyeing up my next one!

What are the free courses at Harvard?

The free online courses offered by Harvard cover a wide range of subjects, including business, computer science, and history. The one I am currently undergoing is U.S. Public Policy: Social, Economic, and Foreign Policies.  Since there are no time constraints or deadlines, you can begin and finish the course at your own pace. The instructors are well-known Harvard professors, and the courses' content is just as excellent as what is taught on campus.

Advantages of enrolling in free courses at Harvard

First off, the courses' content is of the highest calibre and provides an excellent learning environment. A Harvard-branded certificate you receive after finishing the course could give you an advantage in your career or academic pursuits. Thirdly, you get to study under some of the best professors in the world and gain from their knowledge and experience. Last but not least, you have the freedom to finish the courses at your own pace, which is perfect for people with hectic schedules. As well as my dissertation, writing my blog and working on coursework, I am completing this course in my own time, whenever I want, for however long I want.

Cons of enrolling in free courses at Harvard

There are some drawbacks to take into account. The course cannot be used as a direct route to a Harvard degree because, first of all, you won't receive any academic credit or a degree. Second, because the courses are self-paced, there is little interaction and assistance from the teacher or other students. The courses are also very well-attended, which means there is stiff competition from other students, making it challenging to stand out. Did I mention to make it worth it and get a Harvard certificate you have to pay $99? Although certainly worth it, if you want to add it to your CV you'll have to fork out a bit of money.

Who should enrol in Harvard's free classes?

For those who want to learn something new but don't have the time or resources to devote to a full degree programme, Harvard's free courses are perfect. They are also appropriate for professionals looking to advance their credentials or those looking to explore different career options. Finally, they are ideal for those who want to add a Harvard certificate to their resume or portfolio because of its prestige. For me, as a history student wanting to travel to America and study International Relations, the US Foreign Policy course is perfect for me. I not only receive high quality foundational knowledge on IR as a subject, it is tailored towards America and therefore gives me transferable skills to take with me across the Atlantic.


So, do the free Harvard courses justify your time? Yes, without a doubt, provided you are aware of the advantages and disadvantages. The courses give you the freedom to learn at your own pace, the opportunity to study from renowned Harvard faculties, and high-quality course materials. But it's important to remember that there isn't much interaction and support, and the courses doesn't result in any kind of academic credit or degree, unless you pay money for a certificate after. Overall, Harvard's free courses are a great option if you're looking for a top-notch educational experience to learn new skills or to add a prestigious Harvard certificate to your credentials to further your CV.