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Advice / Career Paths / Training & Development

13 Cheap (or Free!) Online Classes You Can Take to Boost Your Digital Skills

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We live in a digital world. Just look at where you’re reading this article right now—without that phone, tablet, or laptop in front of you, this content would never reach you.

Now, I’ll be honest and say that I’m old-fashioned, which is why I prefer using Post-its instead of Apple Calendars, holding a physical book rather than reading with a Kindle, or talking in person rather than through social media. But like everyone else, I’ve had to adapt to life’s changes—and quite honestly, it’s actually made me a lot more productive and efficient in everything I do.

So, while none of the skills below are completely necessary to survive and thrive in this world, they might be pretty useful to pick up in your free time. If nothing else, understanding what other teams in your office do will help you communicate more clearly with them when you’re collaborating on projects.

The best way to learn anything nowadays? Online classes—they’re cheap (or completely free), and you can take them anytime, anywhere, and in any fashion you prefer. See, the future isn’t so bad after all.

To get you started, here are 13 courses you can take—starting today—to boost your digital knowledge (and even add some bullet points to your resume!).

1. Social Media Marketing With Facebook and Twitter

You probably write “Proficient in Facebook and Twitter” on your resume in reference to posting photos of you and your friends or tweeting about your latest antics, but do you really know how to use these platforms in a professional sense? Check out this social media tutorial to learn how to create a valuable and attractive online presence that’ll benefit your career, as well as your personal account.

Cost: Free with trial or $19.99/ month for unlimited membership
Length: 1 hour, 26 minutes/ 9 lectures

2. Beginners Adobe Photoshop Tutorials

Just like with social media, editing photos is one of those skills many people claim they have, but don’t really know how to do anything beyond the basics. Luckily, Adobe’s offering a free course on all you need to know about this popular program. If nothing else, you can make your LinkedIn photo perfect.

Cost: Free
Length: 13 hours, 31 minutes/ 26 lectures

3. Final Cut Pro X 10.2 Essential Training

If your company does anything with video content, it might be in your favor to learn how it’s done. This course will take you through filmmaking from start to finish, from cutting and refining your movie, to adding audio and other media, to uploading and sharing your creation with others.

Cost: Free with trial or $19.99/ month for unlimited membership
Length: 8 hours, 31 minutes/ 14 lectures

4. WordPress for Beginners

For all those out there who have ever wanted to start their own website or blog on the side, now’s your chance! This tutorial will teach you all the basics of WordPress, a common platform for website beginners—and a great way to advertise your hobbies, from crafting to writing poetry.

Cost: Free
Length: 2 hours/ 19 lectures

5. Programming for Everyone (Getting Started With Python)

Ever wanted to learn how to program but never had enough time—or someone to teach you? This simple Python tutorial covers all the basics and provides all the essential materials for you to move forward with more advanced programming, such as Java or C++—either at your job or just for fun.

Cost: Free (without certification)
Length: 2-4 hours per week

6. Intro to HTML and CSS

And if HTML and CSS are more relevant to you, or if you’re looking to create your own digital platform, this class is great for learning all the basics—and getting on the path to becoming a front-end developer.

Cost: Free
Length: 6 hours a week/ 3 lessons

7. Search Engine Optimization for Beginners

Even if you may not need SEO for your current job, it’s a great skill to pick up to better understand how the internet works. No, really, SEO drives most of your Google results. In this class, you’ll learn what search engine optimization is, how to craft keywords, and how sites compete with each other for the most visibility.

Cost: $47
Length: 1 hour/ 11 lectures

8. The Complete Google Analytics Course for Beginners

Like SEO, analytics is a great resource for tracking traffic to any site. This course will walk you through the different aspects of the program and how to analyze the data presented to you. With this information, you’ll be able to spot patterns that’ll give you insight into what customers or clients want—and how to continue following that trend.

Cost: Free
Length: 3.5 hours/ 20 lectures

9. LinkedIn Training Course

Boost your professional network and promote your personal brand by learning the ins and outs of LinkedIn in this lecture. In less than two hours, you’ll understand how to efficiently and effectively connect with others, send messages, join networking groups, and share content, and how to do all this on your phone, too.

Cost: Free
Length: 1 hour, 51 minutes/ 26 lessons

10. Outlook 2016 Essential Training

It’s hard to keep track of all your inboxes if you don’t know how to properly use Outlook. With this course, you’ll learn how to save and organize your emails, how to create meetings with others, and how to even use Outlook for completing tasks and note taking. Sure, checking email sucks, but this makes it suck a little bit less.

Cost: Free with trial or $19.99/ month for unlimited membership
Length: 2 hours, 49 minutes/ 9 lectures

11. Fundamentals of Google Docs

Did you know that there are so many aspects of Google Drive you’ve probably never used that could drastically increase your productivity and efficiency? Don’t just know how to use it—become an expert on how to create, edit, and share docs, sheets, presentations, and more.

Cost: Free
Length: 1 hour

12. Google Advance Search—Search the Web as a Professional

If you’re like me and can’t seem to find things on Google that you’re looking for, despite how many keywords you try, this class is perfect for you. It’ll teach you how to take advantage of the search engine, as well as all the tips and tricks to getting the most results.

Cost: Free
Length: 1 hours/ 9 lectures

13. Writing for the Web

Knowing how to write well is an important skill for just about anything, but have you ever considered that doing it for the web requires even more thought and energy? Because we look for quick answers on the internet and social media nowadays, online content has to be short, engaging, helpful, applicable, and easy to find all at once. This course will help just about anyone—from journalists to technical writers to developers to aspiring bloggers—create content that really engages.

Cost: Free
Length: 4 lectures