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Learn about current events with online courses and programs

Analyzing the present can create links to what has happened in the past. By staying on top of global current events, you can boost your critical thinking skills, gain an appreciation for history, and explore social science from new angles.

What are current events?

Current events is a broad term that encompasses important things happening in the world. It’s easy to assume that for events to be current, they need to be recent. However, current events include social issues and movements that may occur over a span of weeks, months, and even years.

News and media outlets, including social media platforms, disseminate much of the information that people consume. Because current events are discussed across so many different types of media, it’s up to everyday consumers to determine which outlets are trustworthy and which are not.

Whether you want to become a more informed citizen and consumer, or you want to start a career that requires a strong grasp of current events and their significance, it’s important to build the right skills. Hone your ability to sift through information, check your sources, and develop informed insights with online courses on edX.

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Current events course curriculum

Staying informed of current events requires more than basic literacy skills. You must also be able to navigate through various sources, synthesize information from multiple outlets, and think critically about the information. Many courses that discuss current events provide opportunities to sharpen these and other skills, such as:

  • Media literacy: Understand an outlet’s agenda, target audience, and biases.

  • Time management: Quickly and efficiently identify valid sources in a sea of information.

  • Multitasking: Follow multiple news sources at one time to stay updated on current events.

  • Fact-checking: Verify information and throw out misleading or false claims.

  • Open-mindedness: Challenge your own beliefs and stay open to different viewpoints.

Learning how to get the most out of current events can supplement your knowledge in almost any field. edX offers a variety of educational opportunities for learners interested in studying these topics, as well as a host of other disciplines. A boot camp can provide flexible hands-on learning for those who want to upskill quickly, while executive education courses are designed for busy professionals. You can also pursue a more comprehensive curriculum in a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. Find the right learning path for you.

Why learn about current events?

Staying informed of current events is important for a wide range of professional paths that require the ability to critically assess information from different sources. Some of these jobs include:

  • Journalist: Needs to stay updated with current events, understand various media channels, and critically analyze information sources.Footnote 1

  • Public relations (PR) specialist: Must be aware of current events to respond to media inquiries, manage crises, and shape public perception of their clients.Footnote 2

  • Politician: Needs to understand current events to make informed policy decisions.Footnote 3

  • Social media manager: Must be aware of trending topics and current events to engage with audiences and align an organization's online presence with current conversations.Footnote 4

  • Crisis management expert: Must be aware of current events to respond effectively to natural disasters, political unrest, and other crises.Footnote 5

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. For example, you may be able to build relevant skills in a digital marketing boot camp. However, some employers may seek candidates with a degree in engineering depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.

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