Broaden your skills with these free online classes!
Sometimes, you might wish you knew more about a certain topic but it’s not covered by your degree. If you want to learn something new or gain new skills which could be valuable for a range of different jobs but it’s completely different to your degree, online courses can be super helpful.
Online courses are normally free (although, some may have a small fee) and have a schedule that you need to follow in your own time to help get you up to speed on new topics or skills. Online courses normally include reading, watching videos and digital lectures and answering questions to test yourself on what you’ve learnt. Some great websites to take online courses include Coursera, edX, Future Learn, HubSpot and Class Central.
Sometimes these courses can be done in a day and sometimes they’ll take a week, but you can usually go at your own pace meaning you can fit in an online course around your regular schedule. A lot of online courses will give you a certificate or additional qualification that can be recognised by employers, so they can be a really valuable addition to a degree.
Lots of jobs have some kind of “hard” skill required that you may or may not be familiar with and while a lot of jobs will train you on these skills, you’ll definitely stand out to employers if you already have the skills. These skills could be anything from advanced Photoshop to SEO (social media optimisation), if you’re doing a writing based job. However, online courses don’t just have to be for jobs! You can learn lots of fun and new information too, so you could do an online course in a topic you don’t know much about but have always wanted to learn about.
You can do free online courses in pretty much any subject, but here are the ones that are actually worth doing:
Free online courses
This course will take you 3:25 hours and is split over 7 lessons, consisting of videos and quizzes. You can learn everything you need to know about inbound marketing from how to create content to how to make it relevant and optimise it using AI tools. You’ll get a certificate at the end, so it’s great for anyone considering going into inbound marketing as a career, without having studied marketing at uni.
Developed by the University of Exeter and the MET Office, this short course will teach you everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the large-scale processes that lead to our weather, air masses and their characteristics, how to interpret a weather and more.
After completing this course you’ll get a professional certificate, that could really help you to advance your career. You’ll learn key skills in user experience (UX), UX research, wireframe, prototype, user experience design (UXD) and usability testing and it will only take up less than 10 hours of your week.
If you want to learn more about cryptocurrency you can learn the basics in 6 weeks, averaging at 3-5 hours per week so you can take your time. Pick up the basics of smart contracts, how to destroy Bitcoin, the Ethereum platform and how to build decentralised applications as well as the mechanics behind Bitcoin and the real-world aspects such as wallets and mining.
This class is self-paced and free, but you do need to pay for the certificate at the end. You’ll learn about nutrition and diets and how it impacts health, focusing on problems with overnutrition. The course covers how macronutrients are absorbed and stored, how fats, carbohydrates and proteins affect human health and familiarise you with nutritional research and methodologies.
If you have zero graphic design experience, but really want to explore it this course is for you. You’ll learn basic graphic design elements, colour theory, typography and much more. This is a great course for picking up the basics and becoming familiar with design language if it’s something you’re curious about trying.
For curious marine biologists who might not have chosen that route at uni, this is the course to enrol onto. Learn the basics of oceanography, an overview of marine biodiversity, how humans are impacting the health of the ocean and an introduction to paleoceanography.
This 3-week course will teach you everything you need to know about pulling off a successful sales pitch and closing the deal- something very appealing to potential employers if you want to get into sales for the first time. Learn the basics of how to smash a presentation, close a deal, the key skills needed to succeed in sales and how to wi over new customers.
This course is the first of two designed to get you up to speed with using Python. Regardless of your prior experience in computer science you can learn the Python programming language, simple algorithms, and how to think computationally to tackle useful problems.
Over the course of 4 weeks, with just 3 hours per week you can learn about the complexities of climate change. You’ll learn the fundamentals of climate change, the interaction between science, economics and public policy and environmentalism. You’ll also learn about climate policies in the US and China and what they need to do to reduce their climate impact, learn climate policy ideas and learn clean energy solutions.
Don’t forget to check out all of the places where you can go to university for free, to help offset some of the costs associated with studying.