2020 has been a year of weird ups, and even weirder downs. Businesses have adapted to the roller coaster of economic activity, changing their systems and adjusting their staff, leaving many of us in a weird state of limbo. Furloughs, layoffs, working from home, and home schooling mean we could emerge on the other side of this pandemic with an entirely new set of personal and professional needs.

Without a clear path to success in the future, and without the security to drop a handful of money on professional development, what are we to do?

Enter: inexpensive/free online learning. You can shape your skills with a flexible schedule while we're living in this time of transition. Use online courses to invigorate your skillset, OR just to incorporate some stability and learning into your everyday chaos. If you're looking for something new at the end of this, dip your toe into a different subject and see if it piques your interest. Or take it more seriously and come out with a certificate. There are a TON of options – we're just here to direct you to the right one.


Legitimate institutions (Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Georgetown, and 140 more) offer almost 3000 courses in a wide range of subjects, with an even wider range of costs. Free courses sit alongside MicroMasters programs (a fraction of the time and cost of a full Masters Program), and full Masters programs.
Some of its most popular courses: Intro to Computer Science, Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Excel


As you might guess from its name, Codecademy is chock full of courses on.. drumroll please.. coding! Web design, game development, data science – you name it, they have courses on it. A free model or a monthly plan, you'll be able to dabble in different programming languages while


The platform for the creative soul, a Skillshare visit gets you access to thousands of free classes, with even more if you decide on an annual membership. Classes from industry professionals run rampant on Skillshare, and students love the ability to work at your own pace while also contributing to class discussions and critique.

LinkedIn Learning

Over 16,000 free and paid courses run the gamut from professional development to program-specific. A perk of LinkedIn Learning is that suggestions are tailored for your resume, so if you've listed certain skills in your profile, it will steer you toward courses to develop those in particular, or even other skills common among your coworkers.

Google Analytics Academy

While it's specifically geared toward Google Analytics, these classes take you deep into its capabilities. Experience with tracking business performance over time and understanding data collection and analysis is applicable to any job, so it's a worthy investment (of time, no money needed!).


With courses as low as $9.99, it's easy to find something that works for your needs. You'll see courses on Adobe programs from novice to expert, a large collection of design classes, as well as courses in business areas like marketing and finance/accounting. Downloadable resources and certificates of completion mean you have something to show for it.

These 6 sites are excellent places to begin expanding and developing your professional skills. Make this transitional time a period of growth with classes and courses that fit into your life and won't cost much. Consider it an opportunity to try something out and see if it might be an area of interest. Or, work on growing your talent in a program or subcategory in which you're already proficient. Your career will benefit greatly!

Posted: 8/21/2020 3:26:50 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments