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Learn metadata with online courses and programs

Metadata provides structure to the data you create, making it easier to find and manage your data more effectively. If you are interested in how to learn metadata, explore the different educational paths made available through edX.

What is metadata?

Metadata is the data that describes digital media, like images, videos, and files.Footnote 1 Examples of metadata for a document include author name, creation date, and file size. The extra information that metadata provides makes it easier to manage data. Learning about metadata and how it works can help you standardize how you index and organize your digital assets. 

There are three main types of metadata:Footnote 2

  • Descriptive: Descriptive metadata describes the contents of a digital asset, such as titles, publication dates, genres, and more. This helps users search for and find the right information.

  • Administrative: Administrative metadata contains more technical details, such as copyright information and license agreements. It can also define usage rights and access controls. Creative Commons are examples of administrative metadata.

  • Structural: Structural metadata provides information on the organization of a digital asset. Examples include the table of contents, chapters, and page numbers of a book. 

Metadata | Introduction Image

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Metadata tutorial curriculum

Learners can take a metadata tutorial to better understand the organization of digital assets. A metadata course may cover introductory and intermediate topics, such as:

  • Metadata definition: Metadata meaning and real-world use cases

  • Different types of metadata: Descriptive, administrative, and structural

  • Metadata standards: Controlled vocabularies and taxonomies

  • Metadata quality: Accuracy, completeness, and reliability of data

  • Digital Asset Management (DAM): Best practices and software solutions

More advanced topics may focus on  artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning as well as data governance, which involves establishing standards and policies to ensure the integrity and usability of data. Learners who complete a metadata course should have a better understanding of how to use metadata in data management, how to apply metadata schema, and how to connect users with digital assets.

If you want to learn about metadata, consider exploring the different educational opportunities made available through edX. From accelerated boot camps that provide practical, hands-on experience, to full degree programs that enable learners to pursue bachelor’s degrees or (for more advanced learners) master’s degrees; there are many different formats available that can help you build valuable skills. Busy professionals even have the option to enroll in executive education courses that can be a convenient choice for upskilling. Discover the power of online learning and propel your professional development forward with edX. 

Explore jobs that analyze metadata

The amount of data created today continues to grow at a staggering rate.Footnote 3 Skilled professionals who can help companies organize and manage their digital assets are important.

Some jobs that use and analyze metadata include:

  • Software engineer: Software engineers may build and design software systems to store and manage files. They create user interfaces for these systems.Footnote 4

  • Digital marketer: Digital marketers and marketing managers can use their knowledge of metadata to improve their company’s search engine rankings in Google.Footnote 5

  • Project management specialist: These professionals may create the metadata for documents like business plans, project charters, and status reports.Footnote 6

  • Business owner: Business owners can use administrative metadata to restrict access to certain digital assets.Footnote 7

  • Data scientist: Data scientists may use metadata to sort and categorize the data they’re working with. Metadata can also help them access relevant data to extract insights.Footnote 8

Other roles include metadata analyst, metadata manager, and information architect. Learn how to encode and structure metadata to make it machine-readable by enrolling in a coding boot camp. edX also offers a data analytics boot camp to supplement your education.

How to use metadata in your career

Professionals like data analysts, information managers, and librarians use metadata in various ways. For example, data analysts can use metadata to identify patterns based on the structure and content of data. Meanwhile, metadata can help information managers and librarians monitor access and archive digital records.

Learners interested in pursuing careers that involve metadata may start with a course that covers topics like metadata standards, data structures, and information management. They should also understand the use of technologies like Extensible Markup Language (XML) to store and read metadata.Footnote 9

Finally, educational requirements can vary depending on the position. Those interested in pursuing a particular job should research its requirements first and aim to develop their skills in those areas.

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