15 Online Personal Development Courses (With Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published July 22, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Personal development courses teach professional skills and abilities, such as strategic thinking, public speaking, personal coaching, finance management, and problem solving. Online courses help you learn at home and take classes when you want. Learning more about these internet-based personal development classes may help you focus more on career improvement in your field. In this article, we define the benefits of online personal development courses and list 15 possibilities for you to consider.

Benefits of online personal development courses

Here are some advantages of online personal development courses:

Raises your awareness

Development classes may teach self-awareness lessons, helping you understand yourself better. You might watch videos from a personal counsellor that help you identify your core values, goals, dreams, strengths, and successes. Online classes may also include self-directed activities emphasizing these lessons, such as video lectures from personal development professionals.

Helps you focus your life and career

Personal development courses may assist you in focusing your life and career by identifying what matters to you. For instance, learning your core values can help you choose a career path that suits your morals and ethics. Your course may include prioritization lessons that let you identify your most important influences, such as work-life balance or family. Identifying these elements may help you focus on them more effectively, such as scheduling more playtime with your children.

Related: Personal Development Goals for Career Success

Improves your motivation

Personal development classes may include motivational lessons to inspire you. These classes may comprise motivational messages from your course professors and techniques to help you start your day successfully. You can learn mental exercises and physical workouts that increase your motivation before you begin each day. These lessons may emphasize the importance of taking action and managing your life.

Related: How To Learn Skills Online and Which To Learn

Enhances your resilience

Development courses can teach resilience lessons to use during challenging times. For example, these courses may discuss relaxation techniques, conflict resolution, and problem-solving skills that increase your personal abilities. These lessons may also help you better understand and prepare for emotional problems and minimize their impact on your life.

Related: 5 Personal Development Tips to Progress Your Career

15 internet-based personal development courses

Here are 15 personal development courses that you can take online:

1. Achieving Personal and Professional Success Specialization

Achieving Personal and Professional Success Specialization is a University of Pennsylvania class taught on Coursera by Richard Shell. Topics covered in this course include success, communication skills, and personal influence. Shell focuses on helping students discover their passion and core values and teaches them how to use these aspects when developing strong leadership skills in their position. The full course takes 16 weeks to complete, with classes for two to three hours every week.

2. Become a SuperLearner

Become a SuperLearner focuses on teaching faster reading techniques and enhancing your memory and comprehension. Instructors Jonathan Levi and Lev and Anna Goldentouch provide multiple exercises that teach you how to read better and learn more. This class includes 63 lectures and nearly six hours of videos discussing these techniques, such as how to avoid distraction while reading.

3. Be Extraordinary

Be Extraordinary is a course taught by Mindvalley founder Vishen Lakhiani and includes lessons discussing success and self-satisfaction. Lakhiani provides guided video lessons that discuss self-esteem, personal strength, and motivation by consciously changing your thought patterns. This course also includes over 50 programs, apps, and videos to improve your emotional health.

Related: Personal Development Goals for Career Success

4. Career Success Specialization

Career Success Specialization is an 11-month course by the UC Irvine Division of Continuing Education and taught by Rob Stone. It includes 10 courses that address problem-solving, negotiating, project managing, team leading, and message writing. Each class focuses on developing its students' employability by teaching them stronger work skills in courses like Finance for Non-Finance Professionals and Hi-Impact Business Writing.

5. Designing Your Life

Designing Your Life is a Creative Live course taught by Stanford University professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. This course covers techniques and lessons taught in their best-selling book Designing Your Life, including understanding your goals, analyzing your perspective, diagnosing dysfunction, and improving your career path. This class also includes video lessons discussing self-confidence, career focus, and distraction prevention.

6. Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization

Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization is a University of Washington course taught by Dr. Matt McGarrity on Coursera. It focuses on teaching salespeople, executives, trainers, and public officials better speaking habits. Dr. McGarrity includes classes on speaking to inform, persuade, and inspire. Exercises include practising speaking techniques and non-verbal gestures during speeches. The full course lasts for four months.

Related: Professional Development Courses You Can Pursue

7. Elaine Welteroth Teaches Designing Your Career

Elaine Welteroth Teaches Designing Your Career is a course by New York Times bestselling author Elaine Welteroth that focuses on entrepreneurs. This course includes 15 lectures that discuss discovering your zone of genius, building your career blueprint, producing an effective network, identifying opportunities, finding side-hustles, and increasing financial confidence.

8. Learning How to Learn

Learning How to Learn is a course by University of California professors Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski. This 15-hour course discusses avoiding procrastination, preparing for tests, using the Pomodoro Technique, breaking big tasks into smaller, manageable ones, and understanding artificial intelligence. Lectures provide real-world examples you can use when applying these lessons in your life.

9. Neuroplasticity: How to Rewire Your Brain

Neuroplasticity: How to Rewire Your Brain is a course on Udemy taught by Gregory Caremans. It focuses on rewiring your brain to improve your physical and mental health. Lessons include changing bad habits, avoiding procrastination, improving mental flexibility, changing bad memories, and overcoming emotional challenges. Caremans provides 30 exercises throughout this course.

Related: 14 Leadership Activities for Professional Development

10. Real Productivity: How to Build Habits That Last

Real Productivity: How to Build Habits That Last is a Skillshare course that focuses on building healthier work and life habits. Author Thomas Frank leads you through lessons emphasizing habit tracking, self-reflecting, and goal setting. This course uses multiple apps that let you track your course progress and assess its effectiveness, such as a goal checklist program.

11. The 4-Hour Life

The 4-Hour Life is a course taught by Tim Ferriss on Creative Live that focuses on personal fitness and uses sports metaphors to emphasize lessons about self-improvement and development. Classes include daily video lessons from Ferris on various subjects. These include overcoming a defeatist attitude and workouts that increase your focus.

12. The Science of Well-Being

The Science of Well-Being is a Yale University course on Coursera taught by professor Laurie Santos. It includes several activities to increase your productivity. Lessons include identifying what makes you content, understanding the science of happiness, and gaining personal insight. You may also learn productivity-tracking techniques that help you focus on your daily activities, such as scheduled rests throughout your workday.

13. The Silva Ultramind System

The Silva Ultramind System is a Mindvalley course taught by Vishen Lakhiani that discusses the four states of consciousness and how you can use them in your life. Exercises include videos discussing these mental states and ways you can achieve them. This course comprises 12 hours of training materials, including videos and activities, and is available in seven languages.

14. Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments

Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments is a Duke University class taught by Dr. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong on Coursera. It teaches students how to argue successfully, including understanding logical statements, argument construction, and logic evaluation. Each class includes short micro-lectures between 10 and 15 minutes long, during which students can take notes and practise various argument exercises. This course lasts around 16 hours.

15. Unlocking Your Potential

Unlocking Your Potential is a Skillshare class taught by Emma Gannon that focuses on identifying bad habits and behaviours in your life. Lectures focus on the creative process, such as writing a book or starting a new business. These lessons include exercises that build creative confidence and pattern-identification tools that help you break bad habits. Gannon provides eight lectures in this program.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions, or organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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