Upskill yourself: The best free online courses with certificates

The massive online course platform, Coursera, is offering a selection of free online courses with certificates until July. That means you have access to free online courses for massively upgrade your career. If you’ve ever thought about learning a new skill by taking an free online course, this is the time to do it.

In normal times, you’d pay $49 a month to use Coursera and make progress towards a certificate. But we’re in coronavirus times. So Coursera is giving away access to free online courses with certificates to help you upskill.

Automation and upskilling is our new work reality

We are in a period of mass disruption in the job market. Not only are layoffs happening at an unprecedented scale but coronavirus is about to accelerate the automation trend.

800 executives worldwide estimated that the number of companies scaling up such automation technologies is set to double over the next two years — and that coronavirus will almost certainly accelerate that timeline.

Axios – The next wave of job automation will be virtual

Automation is the process of using new technology to reduce labor costs. Translation: businesses implement software that can do the tasks that humans do. The result is fewer jobs and a radical transformation of the remaining jobs.

Upskilling is the way to combat automation. Upskilling is a commitment to learning new skills that improve your career. How you define improvement is up to you but learning new skills ensures you remain an in-demand employee as the workplace changes.

Employers are looking for interdisciplinary workers who have digital skills, data fluency, and soft skills. The expectation has shifted from a one career for life model, into a flexible, agile employee model. Employers want employees who can learn skills and adapt on the fly to new technology and business models.

More importantly, upskilling is a jolt to your career. Learning fuels your curiosity. The process of upskilling teaches you new things and opens up possibilities in your career they you may have never considered.

Coursera’s online courses with certificates offer a way to upskill for free. A huge chunk of their free online courses right now are business courses. So take advantage of their free certificates now so you can show employers you’re serious about your learning.

Below are the best free online courses with certificates to help you upskill. (and if you get stuck, scroll down to the bottom of Coureser’s blog post for step by step instructions on how to get the Coursera’s course certificate for free.)

Upskill yourself: Improve your digital skills

This is a huge bucket of skills. Your ability to be comfortable with new software, understand digital design and communication, and learn the basics of programming are all digital skills.

If you want to take your marketing game up a notch or make a career change into digital marketing, enroll in the free online course specialization Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialization. Coursera notes that 75% of people started made a career change after taking these online courses.

Explore a new career path in digital design with a free online course specialization in UI/UX design. The course is beginner level, so you can start no matter your experience.

Increase your basic coding knowledge with Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development & Coding Specialization from the University of Michigan. It covers the basics in html, CSS, javascript – and so much more. This free online course specialization with certificate will signal to employers that you’re committed to upgrading your digital skills.

Upskill yourself: Improve your data skills

Data fluency is a must have in the future of work. You’re ability to work with data and make data-informed decisions is important in today’s workforce.

Fortunately, you don’t need to become a data scientist overnight. Start small with data analytics and improve your Excel skills with this course from Rice University: Introduction to Data Analysis using Excel

If you want to go all in and learn data science, you can get a free certificate from the online course specialization Data Science from John Hopkins. Or you can learn from IBM through their online course IBM Data Science Professional Certificate.

Both online business courses are offered as part of Cousera’s free online courses with certificates. Both offer a practical project, which is a must have for anyone who wants to change careers.

If already have experience coding in Python, the Applied Data Science with Python specialization will put you on the right track to a new career in data science. Coursera shows that “36% (of learners) started a new career after completing this specialization.”

Upskill yourself: Improve your soft skills

The future of work belongs to the lifelong learners. If you’re new to online courses and learning online, try Learning how to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects. This is the course to help you get better at learning. It’s fun and interesting, and science based.

Up your communication game with the online course, Improving Communication Skills. Offered by Wharton, this free online course offers valuable lessons on active listening and crafting clear messages. It’s the best online course a manager or team member could take.

Improve your creativity and storytelling with Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, emerging technologies, and global audiences. You’ll likely come away with new ideas and creative solutions to impress your current employer or a future one.

Get more help upskilling yourself

Make a plan to upskill yourself and improve your career outcomes. Get my book, Punch Doubt in the Face: How to Upskill, Change Careers, and Beat the Robots.

You’ll learn:

  • How to choose the right online course for your needs
  • How to choose a coding bootcamp to upgrade your digital skills
  • How to build new skills in your place of work
  • How to choose a certificate program
  • How to figure out if you should go back to school or not

It’s available wherever books are sold online.

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