Ten online learning courses that will give you the skills to change your career now.

Whether you want a career in tech or you’re just keen to keep up with the times, new jobs and entire industries are popping up around-the-clock, and most of them are linked to the internet and technological innovation. If you want to pick up the kinds of skills that these future jobs will be looking for, you should be watching interactive video lectures online and creating a digital portfolio to show off your talents and learning. Now is the time to future-proof your CV and upgrade your business skill set.

It is simpler than ever to learn new skills thanks to the abundance of online courses, which might just be the easiest way to change your career. The world’s leading universities often put their courses and best professors online, creating a golden opportunity for learners who want to pick up new skills from home.

‘While the cost of higher education at traditional Universities has reached a level of bubble-like proportions, technology has actually been democratising learning and bringing down the cost of learning for the next decade’s most important skills,’ says Kyle Pearce, founder of DIY Genius, a site that explores the future of education and the internet. Here is a list of ten online learning courses that will give you the skills to change your career in 2020.

Study Artificial Intelligence

Learn with Google AI

The totally fascinating artificial intelligence (AI) industry is so fast-paced, you need to stay on your toes. The bright sparks at Google believe that AI can meaningfully improve people’s lives and that the biggest impact will come when everyone can access it. In a bid to make AI better understood by the masses, Google has created an educational website called Learn with Google AI. This site offers many online courses, from a crash course of the core basics to advanced implementation and designing neural nets. From the comfort of your own home, you can learn how to apply AI and machine learning (ML) to solve real-world social, humanitarian or environmental problems. The Google AI Crash Course, which Google requires all its engineers to do, is free and takes about 15 hours.

Learn Cloud Computing

Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect Certificate

Have you moved to the Cloud? You should. While in years gone by, you ran programmes from software that you had downloaded onto a physical computer (or server within the building), you can now access the same applications via the internet courtesy of Cloud computing. This allows you to be more flexible, more efficient and reduce costs while increasing your data security. Employers are looking for candidates who can offer Cloud-based solutions to their businesses. Train online to become a Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect, which was the highest-paying IT certificate of 2019.

Get to grips with renewable energy

Our Energy Future – University of California San Diego

Curious about sustainable energy and environmental protection? In years to come, renewable energy jobs will be in great demand. You can start this course, designed to introduce students to the issues of energy in the 21st-century, instantly and it will take approximately 35 hours to complete. The entire course is online and has flexible deadlines. The course covers biology, engineering, economics, climate science, and social science perspectives. An understanding about renewable energy is likely to become increasingly valuable, regardless of your profession or expertise.

How To Be A Digital Entrepreneur

Innovation: From Creativity to Entrepreneurship Specialization – University of Illinois

Whether you fancy yourself as a digital entrepreneur, or as an employee in an established firm, you need to learn to think flexibly and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. This online digital entrepreneur course from the University of Illinois will help you navigate a business world that is characterised by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Learn innovative skills and how to recognise and question assumptions and constraints. This is a beginners’ course and if you take the suggested four hours a week studying, it will take approximately seven months to complete.

Embrace Viral Marketing

Viral Marketing and How to Craft Contagious Content – University of Pennsylvania

What makes some brands popular and others bomb? If only you knew, you’d be a billionaire. Why do some online newsletters work and others flop? If you want to know more about viral marketing, and what makes ideas sticky and behaviours contagious, this short six-hour online course is for you. You will learn how to increase your online influence, how to generate word-of-mouth and how to best use social networks to spread your information. Professor Jonah Berger, who wrote the bestselling book ‘Contagious: Why Things Catch On’, shares strategies for you to use buzz to create virality on your campaigns making them more shareable on social media.

Become A Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant Business Course – Centre of Excellence

Do you want to work at home, be your own boss and find work that fits into your lifestyle? Praise be to the internet for allowing you a freedom previously denied to others. The VA business is growing, as large corporations opt to employ virtual assistants (rather than ones physically in their office) for typical secretarial work, website editing, social media marketing and customer service. The Virtual Assistant Business Course, which takes 150 hours to complete, will teach you a skillset enabling you to work over the internet, sell your services online and find work as a freelancer. This course covers how to use social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, to your advantage as a virtual assistant. Are you cut out for it?

An honourable mention would be to learn digital marketing. You can combine the various digital marketing area with VA work and a digital marketing skill can upgrade your potentials. You can take a look at these digital marketing courses to get started.

Learn To Code

Web development, Computer Science, Data Science - Codecademy

HTML, CSS, JavaScript. All gobbledygook to you? It needn’t be. Want to become a great coder and forge a career in tech? You don’t need a computer science degree to sign up to this course; you just need some time, a computer and a willingness to learn. Developers are hugely in demand in the UK and they earn good money so learning to code is a savvy move. Codecademy is an online interactive platform that has taught over 45 million learners how to code. Firstly, decide your ambitions. Do you want to build websites, take up computer science or analyse data? Learn Python fundamentals, one of the hottest and fastest growing programming languages. Sign up to one of the coding courses and even if you start with zilch experience, you will be writing real, working code in minutes. Impressive.

Become A Web Designer

Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development and Coding Specialization

Almost anyone can make a webpage thanks to the many software programmes available, but do you want to understand how that page was made? This course will help curious beginners understand web design at its most basic, both with theory and practical. It’s a fool-proof introduction to HTML5 and JavaScript. Students will learn what happens when you click on a link in a webpage, how to make their own page and what to do next. You don’t need programming skills or IT experience for this course, but you do need to spare eight hours a week for a period of around three months. It’s worth it; these are very real modern day skills that will help you map out a future in tech.

Train to be a life coach

Life Coaching Course – Centre of Excellence

Hiring a personal mentor or coach was once seen as a sign of weakness. In 2020, it shows you have emotional intelligence and are in tune with self-help and self-improvement. Invest in yourself, and the rest will follow suit. As a result, there is a plethora of life coach courses online, training people to help their clients achieve their personal and professional ambitions, either via Skype or face-to-face. The Centre of Excellence is an online learning platform that runs over 1,000 online courses including several Life Coaching Diploma Courses. This e-learning course, which can be conducted on your laptop, mobile or via audio, teaches the core coaching skills that you can use with clients or in your own personal life. You can gain access to its online TV channel for events and workshops. It is fully accredited by the CMA (Complimentary Medical Association) so the courses enable you to gain insurance to practise and set up a new business in this field.

Understand the GDPR

GDPR Certificate – New Skills Academy

If you can get to grips with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), then you will be offering a future employer a useful skillset. This online course, which only takes two hours and costs £100, will teach you what the GDPR is, why it was introduced, when it came into effect and how to comply with the new rules. If you fancy a job which entails regular collection, storage or handling of personal data, then you will need to understand the GDPR. At the end of this course, you get the GDPR certificate which can improve your career prospects. Becoming savvy with consumer rights and privacy law will hold you in good stead for a job either in a management role or implementing data handling.

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By Annabel Jack
Updated January 2022

Annabel Jack

Contributing Editor

Annabel is a regular contributor to The GWG, with a taste for the finest in food, fashion and interiors.