Start learning new skills with these resources.
When it comes to your job search, in-demand skills on your resume can set you apart from other candidates, giving you a competitive edge in the race for a new job. Fortunately, you don't need to go back to school or break the bank to upgrade your resume.
Instead, you can learn new skills and gain certifications by taking online courses and using other online learning platforms from the comfort of your own home. We've compiled a list of the online course platforms you can use, but just note: Cost varies, though many of the platforms offer free courses with the option to add a verified certificate for a relatively low fee.
Online courses for virtual classes
The following online platforms offer courses that cover a diverse range of topics, from career coaching and money management to marketing skills and photography. Many of the courses also include certification options that you can add to your resume.
Coursera offers courses, degrees, and certificates from well-known companies and universities around the world. You can learn at your own pace and choose from more than 3,900 courses, 13 professional certifications, and 20 degrees and MasterTrack certifications — and many of which are free to take.
Udemy has a whopping 100,000 online courses available. Categories include business, design, photography, development, marketing, IT & software, and personal development, with many of the courses providing certification exams included in the class cost. Often, Udemy runs specials where several of their courses cost only $10.99, and once you purchase a course, you have access to it for life.
Khan Academy is a nonprofit that provides free content for both learners and teachers. They also offer personalized learning focused on core classes, such as grammar, science, and history.
Thinkful is geared towards individuals who are looking for tech jobs. It's structured a bit differently than other online course platforms; instead of learning on your own, you receive day-to-day mentor guidance and career coaching throughout the program.
Software engineering, data science, data analytics, UX/UI design, digital marketing, and product management are some of the courses offered through Thinkful. According to their website, they guarantee that you'll get a job in tech within six months of graduation — and if you don't, you get your tuition back.
MIT OpenCourseWare offers actual MIT courses previously taught in a web-based publication. Girls Who Build Courses, Microeconomic Theory and Public Policy, and Shaping the Future of Work are examples of courses you can find on this site.
CreativeLive is for the creative at heart — and the creative in business. More than 1,500 classes are offered and taught by some of the most well-known artists in the world, including Grammy winners, best-selling authors, famous entrepreneurs, and award-winning journalists.
You can access all CreativeLive courses on-demand with a monthly or annual class pass. You can also purchase courses separately, with some courses available for free, as well.
Looking for university-level classes? Choose from more than 2,500 online courses through edX. Teachers come from top institutions, including Berkely, Harvard, and MIT, to teach disciplines within the humanities, business and management, engineering, and computer science.
Alison offers certifications and diplomas for many of its more than 1,000 free courses. Popular courses on the site include Operations Management, Human Resources, Principles of Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems, and General Data Protection Regulation, to name a few.
Online courses for language skills
Learning a new language has several advantages. It gives you a competitive edge, helps you gain a multicultural perspective, and improves your memory and listening skills. There are numerous free and low-cost options available to fit your learning needs and budget.
Duolingo makes learning a new language fun with the rewards you can achieve. You can earn virtual coins, increase your fluency score, unlock new levels, and more. Bite-sized and personalized lessons make learning easier — and it's free to use.
Open Culture allows you to access free cultural and educational media from one location. The site has compiled free resources, from audiobooks to YouTube videos, for 48 different languages.
Mango Live adapts lessons to your learning style. Start with a free trial, and choose from dozens of languages to learn from anywhere.
You can learn any of the 18 different languages that Livemocha offers via their website or app. According to their site, they have more than 15 thousand new users per month from around the globe, so it's an increasingly popular platform for learning a new language. It's also free to use and offers the ability to practice with native speakers.
Busuu offers lessons for 12 different languages along with the ability to get feedback from its network of native speakers for the language you're learning. Using machine learning technology, lessons can be enhanced with speech recognition and personalized study plans, and you can also download lessons to learn offline. Busuu offers a free trial period and language certifications, which you can list on your resume.
Online courses for hard skills
The following three platforms offer certifications for in-demand, tangible hard skills you can add to your list of credentials.
With SuperHi, you get lifetime access to the course purchased and its community of students and teachers, as well as one-on-one sessions during the course.
Skillshare allows you to choose from different categories to learn hard skills. Need to up your writing game? They've got courses for that. Want to learn graphic design or character animation? They got you covered. While some classes are free, you can also sign up for a free two-month membership trial to access unlimited courses.
Online courses for certifications
Although many of the above platforms offer certifications, the three options listed below are certification-only programs designed around specific credentials.
Microsoft IT allows you to achieve industry-recognized Microsoft certifications. Choose from nine different career paths, including developer, administrator, data engineer, and functional consultant. You can take the certification courses for free and then pay to take the certification exam.
Google Digital Garage
Google Digital Garage provides certification in the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing. With 26 modules created by Google trainers, the course is free to take and accredited by Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University.
LinkedIn Learning offers several certification preparation programs, as well as programs that qualify for continuing education credits. Prepare for certifications in Adobe, Amazon Web Services (AWS), video editing, business analytics, project or operations management, and more through LinkedIn Learning. Learning plans can be purchased on a monthly or annual basis, with a one-month free trial to start.
Takeaways on online learning platforms
Acquiring new credentials and certifications is a smart move to increase your career opportunities and choices. If your heart (and career path) desires it, you can find a class online to learn or improve upon hundreds of skills — all you have to do is start with one of the platforms mentioned here.
Is your resume showcasing your skills in a way that's sure to impress? Check with a free resume review now.