Over two hundred million people found themselves out of a job over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and while things are getting better, some things are still uncertain, and it might be possible that the businesses that started hiring during lockdown and in the immediate aftermath might cut back on hiring or stop taking on new employees to save money or to follow new guidelines. While the impact of the pandemic on jobs was certainly a global crisis, it has also been an opportunity for many people to start thinking about getting one step further to where they want to be professionally. Many job seekers are put off by the idea of committing to getting a degree that can take a significant investment of time and money, but the good news is that today, there are lots of options for taking online classes, sometimes free of charge, that are designed to help you build skills that are highly marketable and will look great on your CV.
Where Can You Find Online Courses for Free?
There are lots of opportunities to take short online courses today, with programmes often affordable and some even completely free of charge. Check out websites that are designed to help you get into the job that you want – Screen Skills, for example, is an ideal option for those who want to work in the world of film and TV, or you can find lots of opportunities through job sites like Indeed. You can also find free online courses available for you to sign up to from UK universities like the University of Stirling. If you live in Scotland and meet the eligibility criteria, you can study in Scotland for free with a range of online courses available from this university Scotland. The University of Stirling is one of the universities in Scotland that is currently offering free places on fully-funded online short courses to help Scottish citizens become more employable.
What Courses are Worth Getting?
Every job that you might do will require both hard skills, which refers to technical skills you will need to do the job itself, and soft skills like organisation and communication skills. Whether you are looking for a promotion or a completely new job, it is likely that you are going to need a combination of these. There are courses available to help you improve and build on both. When it comes to hard skills, you will usually need to get professional training or attend classes to improve them. Some courses that are in high demand right now include cybersecurity, marketing, social media management, quality management, search engine optimisation, computer science, video editing, accounting, graphic design, and web programming. On the other hand, you might also be interested in signing up for courses where you will have the opportunity to develop and build on some of the most desirable soft skills in your industry such as negotiation, problem solving, management and leadership, public speaking, decision making, critical thinking, stress management, communication, emotional intelligence and more.
How to Use an Online Education Platform
Once you have found an online course that you would like to take or a service you are interested in trying, it’s a good idea to know what to do to make the most of the platform that you decide to use, especially if you are planning to pay for the course. Some of the main things to keep in mind that will help you make the most of your decision to take an online course include:
- Spend time reading reviews: Student reviews can be one of the best ways to help you find out if the course is suitable for you or if there is anything about it that falls short of your expectations.
- Search on various platforms for classes that relate to the skills you are interested in acquiring or building. Today, there are more online classes and courses available than ever before, and not all of them will be the same. Some of them will be taught by experts while others are led by volunteers and other students.
- Contact the faculty and get the chance to speak to the staff with any questions that you might have before you decide whether or not to enrol. Often, you will be able to check out the class syllabus before you decide to sign up, but it’s also good to reach out with any additional questions you might have.
- Consider taking a completely free of charge course first as a risk-free way to see if the content and the platform is a good fit for you. You will usually be able to upgrade and get a certificate later.
After the COVID-19 pandemic, online courses boomed in popularity as more and more people took the opportunity to improve their career. If you are interested in developing more career skills, free or affordable online courses might be an ideal option for you.