It can be challenging to acquire the skill set future employers are looking for, especially if you're already balancing college, work, and a life. But, thanks to these online resources, you can begin adding to your resume from home on your own time. Not only are most of these programs free to college students, but some will even grant you a certificate showing that you have a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. So, whether you're trying to change careers, explore a side-hustle, or just interested in learning something new, these sites are a great place to start.
LinkedIn Learning offers courses under the categories of business, creative, and technology with instructional materials not only on theory, soft skills, and understanding, but software too. That means you can finally learn how to use every platform within the Microsoft and Adobe suites. They also provide specific learning paths to help you pick up the skills and knowledge to become anything you want from a graphic designer to a small business owner. This service is free to most college students or can be easily accessed through a free trial if you would like to check it out. After a month, it will require a fee for non-premium members of the platform.
Alison is a great free website for many of the same skills that LinkedIn Learning can teach you, plus many more. You can take basic humanities courses, learn a new language, and get certified in countless other niche areas. Whether you want to be a better boss, learn how to interact with children depending on their needs, or have an interest in nutritional science, Alison has a course for you. While Alison isn't accredited, meaning it is up to employers as to whether or not they acknowledge the certificate, it can give you skills to build up your body of work before applying to jobs as proof that you have mastered the material.
EdX is one of the best places to go looking for resources from some of the world's top Universities. Be it Harvard or MIT, these online courses come with an accredited certificate and the name to back them up. Adding one to your resume may be the most impressive thing you put on there. They offer courses in computer science, humanities, data science, business, engineering, and so much more. While EdX isn't free to actually receive the certificate, all classes are open to audit meaning you can still learn the information for completion and understanding. Even if you do choose to pay for the certificate, the prices are competitive for what they offer you.
While it can be overwhelming to think about taking on another commitment, these programs are self paced and are available to come back to when you feel like it. Taking the time to learn a new skill will not only equip you with the basic skills needed for potential jobs, but it will show that you value education, are self-motivated, and on the look-out for opportunity.
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