Upskilling for your career (without breaking the bank)

Upsilling for your career

Suddenly out of work or needing a change? Deciding on your next career move can be daunting and sometimes scouring job ads can highlight the areas where you lack skills and experience. Thankfully there are multiple online avenues available now that will let you learn about a new topic on your own schedule without spending too much of your time or money. It’s a great way to show employers you’ve invested time in your own development, are focused on learning new things and furthering your career.


Whether you are looking to leverage your CV with added skills, taste test an area you’re interested in or dabble in a new hobby, explore the courses available on the websites below and you’ll be dipping your toes into a new field before you know it.



Massive Open Online Courses are free and available for anyone to enroll in. There are over 13,000 MOOC’s from around 1000 institutes and the best part is some of them are from top universities in the world. You can study Cryptography with Stanford, The Principles of Biochemistry with Harvard, Social Psychology with Wesleyan or Business Analysis with Columbia. There are even personal development courses like Learning How to Learn with The University of California and The Science of Wellbeing with Yale University.



Udemy is an online learning platform with over 57,0000 instructors teaching in multiple languages to over 50 million students. You can find hundreds of short courses to help with specific skills, from Microsoft masterclasses and sales training to more targeted courses in digital marketing and building and running e-commerce websites. Some of them only involve a few hours of your time but will give you a great foundation knowledge on various topics. You can take free courses or pay a small fee (usually around $9.99 USD) to allow access to a certificate on completion along with badges you can add to a website or your LinkedIn page.



An education platform with extensive variety and a large selection of MOOC’s is Coursera, founded by Stanford University professors in 2012. They released a list in May including over 1400+ courses that are now completely free and offer certificates. You can study a diverse range of subjects from Ecosystem Dynamics and Conservation from the American Museum of Natural History, Communication Strategies for a Virtual Age with The University of Toronto, Music Therapy with Michigan State, Building Your First App with Ecole Centrale Paris and Creative Thinking; Techniques and Tools for Success from the Imperial College London. They add new courses regularly and often touch on topical issues, for example, Infection Prevention in Nursing Homes from the University of North Carolina and Disease Screening in Public Health from the University of Geneva.



Alison differs slightly from other learning platforms because they offer courses from subject matter experts and are usually more career and workspace specific. Their site includes a career guide and courses can be searched by their many categories: finance, agriculture, architecture, health science, education, law, the arts, etc. Certificates can be completed free of charge in areas like project management and food and safety hygiene, as well as diplomas in trade skills like plumbing, electrical and carpentry.



For the culture vultures out there, courses are available from the Modern Museum of Art that will broaden your thinking and fuel a creative mind. Courses change regularly, but What Is Contemporary Art? Fashion as Design and Seeing Through Photographs are a few of the courses online at the moment, all free of charge.



Domestika is a community for creatives with a long list of courses in the arts.  Their bestsellers are the introduction courses on children’s illustration, adobe photoshop and modern watercolor techniques and the rest of their offering is impressive with architectural drawing, interior design, photography, ceramics, calligraphy, woodworking, 2D animation, brand strategy, logo design and website creation among the topics they cover. Courses are in either English or Spanish with subtitles and prices start at just $9.90 USD.

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