Eight Practical Skills You Can Learn Online to Boost Your Chances of Getting a Job

There’s no doubt the ongoing pandemic has brought about a tectonic shift when it comes to careers. However, even before the virus hit, employers were increasingly looking for workers with a diverse skill set. Luckily, the rise in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) from Coursera, edX, Open 2 Study, Futurelearn, LinkedIn Learning and other top providers makes online learning available and accessible to everyone anywhere. Many courses are free or priced reasonably, and come with or without a certificate of completion.

So, what kinds of skills should you be mastering? Here are a few suggestions if you’re looking to upskill, boost your career prospects, or potentially diversify your income sources (a fantastic game plan of many financially savvy individuals)!

Project management and leadership

Successful project managers are crucial for projects to come to fruition. What makes a good project manager? Excellent practical and leadership skills, along with relevant theoretical knowledge to plan and create deliverables within stipulated timelines and budget, managing people with different expertise, and meeting client specifications and demands. 

Project management has always been important, and project management skills along with strong leadership can be learned either through short online courses or an entire degree program. Head to edX to find a wide range of project management courses provided by multiple organisations.

Coding and programming

There are several coding and programming courses out there, and the one you choose will really depend on the coding language required for your job. However, it is worth mentioning that the language Python is an absolute winner given its widespread use in software development, infrastructure management, data science, and analysis (plus, it’s pretty easy to learn!). Big tech giants like Google, and lots of smaller companies, are developing projects using Python. 

If you’re keen to get started, General Assembly and Codecademy are great sites to check out.

Digital marketing and personal branding

As online marketing gains massive momentum, there is a growing demand for digital marketing strategists who know how to lead businesses to tangible success. Influencer marketing is also becoming increasingly popular, as endorsements and product placements by influencers are now the norm. 

Courses on offer in this domain also include Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Google Analytics, social media advertising, organic marketing, and social media ethics to handle privacy and security issues. A quick search on LinkedIn Learning will display dozens of marketing and personal branding courses.

Creative technology and design

With the boom in digital media production, professional photography and video-making courses are becoming more and more common. You can learn graphic design using the Adobe Creative Cloud, concept art and interactive design including 3D and animation, and game design. It’s worth noting that creative courses aren’t limited to digital and online work, as these skills are easily transferable to design fields such as fashion, interiors, and infrastructure. 

Skillshare is a great learning site for boosting your creative skills, and CG Cookie is fantastic for animation and game development tutorials.

Website development

Website development is a powerful skill to learn, as businesses move more of their operations online. There are so many valuable skills you can take on-board, from buying a domain and building and maintaining a website with WordPress, to publishing your own blog posts with SEO keywords to rank higher on Google. 

Depending on what you are interested in, there are courses for every aspect of web development widely available online. Udemy, General Assembly, and other learning platforms usually offer web development courses.

Improving productivity and efficiency

In this fast-paced era of “work smarter, not harder”, productivity is indispensable. Efficient working styles don’t just benefit employers, but they also help individuals work better and more effectively. From learning time and resource management and improving digital literacy (this includes things like using keyboard shortcuts to speed up routine tasks), to self-management tools and techniques, there are plenty of things to learn to make yourself work smarter.

You’ll find several courses on Highbrow that will help you be the best version of your productive self!

Financial literacy

How do taxes work? How should I ask for a raise? How can I budget and save money? What investment avenues should I pursue? How can I create and reach a financial goal? There are lots of courses to help you figure out all kinds of money matters. EdX and OpenLearn are good places to start your search.

Emotional intelligence and mindfulness

Emotional awareness is quickly becoming a key part of the recruitment process. Mastering the ability to understand yourself and manage your emotions will allow you to better interpret other people’s perspectives and actions, and learn how to work effectively in a team. If not for professional use, these courses can help you find your centre and cultivate practices that bring you joy and contentment. Highbrow has an impressive variety of personal growth courses you can explore.