The start of the new year is a great time to set new career goals. A good way to start taking control of your journey towards career advancement is by acquiring new knowledge and skills. You can take advantage of company-sponsored trainings or courses, or invest in yourself by enrolling in programs to keep yourself up-to-date or to learn something new.
If you have limited resources and time, online courses are perfect for you! Many of these are free and are designed by top learning institutions (even Ivy league schools) so you are sure that that they are legitimate. This is why many companies now recognize online learning as an alternative to classroom courses.
But if you’re not convinced yet, here are a few other reasons why online education could be a great option for you:
- It is flexible. Many courses allow you to study at your own pace and accomplish requirements without strict deadlines.
- It is easily accessible. Not ready now? You can take the course when you have time. Many online courses leave their materials available online even months or years after it is done. You can also access the learning materials any time of the day, wherever in the world you are.
- The variety of things you can learn seem endless. There are courses on coding, marketing, learning languages, etc. Want to try out a new field? You can learn new skills online. Some courses can even be credited towards earning a university degree.
- Taking online courses is a great way to show your employer that you have initiative and are self-motivated. If you need proof of learning, you can get a certificate for a minimal fee.
- Online networking is fast and easy. You can build your professional network by participating in the courses’ online forums.
Suggested courses for 2019
- Workplace Communications, English Online (Multi-Week Workshop) – learn essential digital skills required to succeed in your career. The four-week course, two to five hours a week.
- Buffer Email Courses – email courses are even simpler than online courses. In this type of learning, you receive an email a day on a certain topic. All you need is about two to 10 minutes per day to read and learn. Buffer offers Social Media 101 (learn social media marketing in seven emails), Actionable Media Strategies (25 emails), and Mastering Social Media (10 emails). They also offer Twitter Tips for Beginners and Save Time on Social Media (working smarter with tools and tips) but do not have schedules as of yet.
- Introduction to Public Speaking (University of Washington) edX – this is an online course that will train you how to craft presentations, speak confidently and critique speeches insightfully. You will need to allocate 3-5 hours a week for 10 weeks.
- How to finally start your side project, The Muse –this is an email course for those who want to test out a startup or business idea. It has three lessons emailed in 3 days.
- Writing for the Web, Open to Study – this is an online course designed to teach you to write specifically for the web and its audience. Lessons are delivered via a series of brief and informative videos. It has four lessons and quizzes taking 16 hours in total.
- The secret sauce of great writing, Udemy – this is delivered by a seasoned journalist and editor. It will help you improve your business writing, blogs, PR and copywriting skills. It has 10 lessons, an hour each. You may need to create an account to access courses.
- Basic French language skills for everyday life, ALISON – it is a series of engaging videos to start you off learning Canada’s second official language. The course will help you quickly pick up conversational French if you are intending to visit a French-speaking country. It will take six to 10 hours in total to finish it.
- Make a website, codecademy – having a personal website is becoming a must in the competitive job market. You can expand your online presence by building your own website. This course will teach you how to build your own in five lessons, taking a total of three hours.
- Adobe InDesign made easy, Udemy – this is an intensive course for beginners who want to learn how to build comprehensive page layouts using Adobe InDesign. It has 105 lessons (11 videos and 1 article). You will need 12 hours for this course.
- Build Essential Work Skills for the Workplace, Coursera – this is a 10-course program to help you develop into a sought-after employee in today’s dynamic workforce. Each course has four to eight hours of videos, readings and quizzes. Some topics include Project Management, Time management for personal and professional productivity, and Communication in the 21st century workplace. Enrolling in each course or taking the full course is not free. However, you can browse some of the courses’ video lectures and certain assignments. This will allow you to explore whether the course is for you. To enroll, the cost is $500++.
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1. A good way to ______ in your career is by ______ new skills and knowledge.
2. ________ for programs is a good way to keep your knowledge and skills ______ .
3. Online courses are great for those with ______ time and resources.
4. These days, online courses are viewed as a/an ________ option to traditional face-to-face courses.
5. The materials provided are ______ at any time and you can study at your own pace.
6. Taking online courses demonstrates that you are an employee who is ______ and takes learning into your own hands.
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