If you’re thinking about looking for work in Mexico, you might want to sharpen your skills or even learn some new ones. There is an outstanding website to help you do just that and the best part is that it’s absolutely free.
The courses are only offered in Spanish — which really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone considering this is Mexico. Even if your Spanish skills are a little lacking, this can be a great way to improve them and quickly expand your technical vocabulary.
The website is aprende.org and it’s the creation of the Carlos Slim Foundation. There is also a mobile version available for both Android and iOS.
You’ll have to create a free user account in order to access many of the courses and features. The name that you enter in the registration will be the one that appears on your certificate — so, make sure it’s correct.
If your focus is on job training, click on the blue bar labeled Capacítate para el empleo.
Once inside, you can choose from 100 different courses ranging from auto mechanic to computer programmer. Here are some of the courses listed under the category of Technology:
Here’s an impressive statistic about the site: there are over 806,000 students enrolled from 172 different countries.
Course Format and Duration
The majority of the information is presented in video format. The videos are well-planned, informative and have a very professional look to them. Many of the video lessons are also accompanied by handouts that you can download and print. The number of lessons and the length of time required to finish a course will vary greatly depending on the topic.
Last year, I took the Air Conditioner Repair Course offered through the site. I did it so I could perform routine maintenance and repairs on the three split-level air conditioning units in my condo. I also thought it was a good way to improve my Spanish.
The course was very detailed and I worked on it for a few hours every day. After about a week, I had completed all of the lessons and passed the 15 quizzes. I was issued a certificate in PDF format.
Even though I don’t plan to work in Mexico, I’ve still been able to put the knowledge to use. In fact, this past week I took one of the units apart to repair a water leak.
Job Search Feature
Once you successfully complete a course, you’ll have access to the job search section (Bolsa de Trabajo) for your category. There are 53 companies participating in the program and jobs are posted from around Mexico.
If you’re looking for work in Mexico, you might find this particular feature useful.
A diplomado is a a certification of advanced studies in a particular area. It’s similar to a postgraduate certification or diploma in the United States. The major difference is that the educational requirements in Mexico can be lower depending on the particular diplomado.
The site currently offers six diplomado programs recognized by the Secretary of Public Education of Mexico (Secretaría de Educación Pública). They are all in the field of computer technology:
It will take you longer to get a diplomado because they consist of multiple courses. The good news is that it will give you something useful to write a on resume.
You must meet certain educational requirements in order to be awarded a diplomado. If you’ve studied previously in Mexico, you need a Certificado de Estudios de Nivel Medio Superior or its equivalent.
If you have never studied in Mexico, you will need to have your foreign degrees revalidated by the Secretaría de Educación Pública.
Let’s Wrap This Up
Even if you have no intention of ever working in Mexico, this site can be a valuable resource to help you improve your Spanish. If you’ve been trying to learn the language and you feel you’ve plateaued, this might be just the boost you need to get to the next level.