Business has moved online and this new virtual reality is here to stay. The good news is that there are multiple ways to leverage the online world to build your skills and meet the future’s challenges head-on.
Do you want to add a new skill to your resume? Are you unsure about the new virtual business world and there are gaps in your experience? Do you have some time on your hands and it’s causing you anxiety? MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, have been available for a few years, and most are free. Now is a great time to start investigating what’s available so that you can upgrade your skills to support online business development. Here are ten online training platforms offering affordable – or free – e-learning.
Standard Bank Digital Literacy Online Course Initiative
Standard Bank has partnered with Pioneering Solutions Studio to offer the Microsoft Digital Literacy course. If you’re looking to increase your digital literacy skills to meet the needs of a more virtual world, this is the perfect place to start. It’s free for all South African citizens and will give you a working knowledge of how to use the Internet, a computer and Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
Alison is one of the world’s largest free learning platforms. Learners can access courses in technology, science, languages, financial literacy, entrepreneurship and personal and soft skills – to name only a few. The courses are free and you can take or retake any assessments on the platform, but you can only pass with a score of 80% or more, and if you require a physical certificate or diploma you will need to pay a small fee. https://alison.com/
Coursera offers more than 3 300 online courses from top universities, including Princeton, John Hopkins and Stanford and leading international companies. Fields range from professional development to psychology, and learners can access their courses through a computer or mobile app. It’s free for individuals, although there is a business package for enterprises. https://www.coursera.org/
EdX offers more than 2 500 online courses from 140 top institutions, from the University of Cape Town to Harvard and Berkeley. It was founded by Harvard and MIT and has supported more than 20 million learners. All courses are free and designed to remove the barriers of cost, location and access for learners around the world.https://www.edx.org/
McGraw-Hill Education is focused on career development. Courses and learning material available on the site focus on HR, business, project management, IT and security.
Content on the site is not free, but it has been developed specifically for professionals to upskill their careers. https://www.mheducation.com/
Premium LinkedIn members have access to over 14 000 online courses taught by real-world professionals in their areas of expertise. Courses range from software development to leadership and data science. A premium membership is $29.99 per month, although your first month is free and you can cancel your membership at any time.
SkillShare is designed for busy professionals who need bite-sized classes that they can focus on for only 15 minutes a day. There are 500 free classes and thousands of premium classes to choose from in design, business, and more. The premium package is $15 per month, and the first two months are free. This is an ideal platform for anyone who wants to start a side hustle but needs to upskill before they can. https://www.skillshare.com/
Udacity’s courses range from digital marketing to programming, data science and artificial intelligence. About 200 courses are completely free, although these do not come with a certificate. The rest are available at a fraction of the normal cost of professional programmes and are recognised by top companies across the globe.
Udemy courses are all taught by experts, professors, entrepreneurs, and professionals. They range from completely free to paid-for. Paid for courses can start at $9 and run to $300, but there are frequent (and large) discounts and class specials on offer.