We spend a lot of our younger years learning – because school is our job. However, that does not mean once we land a job (or start looking for new one) that we should stop learning. Upskilling, especially to make yourself more marketable during a career transition or job search, will make you stand out from the crowd of candidates. Some resources to consider are listed below.
Duolingo promotes itself as a “fun and science-based” way to learn a language. The app is free and an excellent way to fill a few spare minutes (with something more worthwhile than Candy Crush). Being able to communicate in another language can be valuable to many careers, especially customer service. Babble is another language learning app worth checking out, and Rosetta Stone is a trusted program for a more intense language-learning option.
- Toastmasters International
This is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills. At its website, you can search for the club nearest you. Attend a few different meetings to see which local club you like best. Once you decide to join, it is only a $20 new member fee and dues of $45 every six months.
This may seem like an unlikely place to gain new skills, but you never know what kind of help organizations might need. It is a way to practice your skills without applying for a job that requires them and pretending you have the credentials.
- TED Talks
This compilation of influential videos from expert speakers will entice you to learn more by teaching you the basics of new subjects. They are also useful for making information memorable. Amazon’s Echo has a TED Talks skills so you can listen passively too. YouTube is another option for streaming educational video content. Just make sure the material is coming from a reputable user before you subscribe to it.
This app will allow you to read even if you do not have time to curl up for hours on the couch with a book. Some Audible favorites include “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” “Building a Better Vocabulary” and “How to Win Friends & Influence People.” Libby, an app by OverDrive, will give you access to library eBooks and audiobooks. Any subject is fair game; you just need a library card.
Your favorite podcasting app is an easy, passive way to upskill. There is a podcast for anything these days, but Stitcher lists “RadioLab,” “Stuff You Should Know” and “Planet Money” among the most popular shows that are streamed.
This website has a slew of webinars you can participate in – subjects from performance management and corporate finance to digital marketing and big data analytics. Membership is free, and webinar prices vary. Organizations will also offer webinars (usually free), so follow those that interest you for alerts to upcoming presentations. HubSpot is a valuable marketing resource, and Harvard Business Review provides regular webinars worth checking out too.
- Eventbrite & Meetup
These two managing websites are ideal places to search if you are interested in live, local events. Individuals and groups host events on a wide range of subjects, including tech, learning and business. If you feel so inspired, you could even start your own gathering with the purpose of gathering people who are interested in swapping professional skills. Now there is an idea!
- LinkedIn Learning
This e-learning portal will give you a free first month to try out its personalized learning experiences. Real-world professionals teach the courses offered, and you can add skills to your profile and save content to finish later. You may have heard of Lynda.com in seeking upskilling opportunities; LinkedIn acquired Lynda and now offers all its courses.
- Industry Associations
Industry associations sometimes offer continued education. If not, they should be able to point you in the right direction for certification programs and other learning opportunities. If you plan on climbing the career ladder in your chosen field, industry associations will be able to guide you to useful resources.
- New Skills Academy
This private online training company boasts more than 200 online courses that you can study at your own pace. Born in the UK, the organization is accredited by the Continuing Professional Development (CPD), so you can rest assured that qualified industry experts have reviewed the materials.
This online learning platform is a unique continuing education option in that you can gain valuable credentials online from top universities like Yale, Michigan and Stanford, as well as cutting-edge companies like Google and IBM. You can register for courses or a specialization (a series of courses). You will learn a new skill in four to six weeks for approximately $29 to $99.
- Open Educational Resources (OER) Commons
OER Commons is a public digital library of open education resources. You can search by subject area, level and materials type for something that fits your fancy.
This online interactive platform will teach you how to code – for free. If this is a valuable skill in your industry, it is a no-brainer. Even if you are not going to use the new skills actually to code, gaining a thorough understanding of the information may help you work better with programmers Select your interest: web development, programming and computer science or data science. Then, Codeacademy will tell you what language to learn.
What are you waiting for? It is time to get your “learn” on!