At Artisan we’re big fans of self-improvement and learning new skills which is why we’ve put together a list of our favorite online resources to expand your knowledge and make you more marketable to future employers.
Online courses are a perfect way to hone existing skills and build new ones if you don’t have the time or money to do in-person workshops and lessons. The important thing to remember with online courses and discussing these with potential employers is that you must demonstrate how you used your newly-acquired skills e.g. “after learning X I then went on to create YZ.” Show that you can learn something on your own initiative and then apply it to something else.
There aren’t many jobs we can think of in our industry that don’t require exposure to Excel at some point. While some may work in Excel day in and day out, if you don’t use it too often you can become rusty. “But I don’t use Excel!” we hear you scream. At some point, you probably will and nothing will win your employer over more than having someone on their team who can navigate their way around. Excel Is Fun is a comprehensive YouTube channel with over 2000 tutorials and clips led by Mike “excelisfun” Girvin, a business instructor. There’s also Reddit’s creation, Excel Exposure, and Chandoo with extensive tutorials and advice.
Udemy’s Introduction to Design course aims to teach you design principles and take you further than just using Photoshop. It’s free and includes over 12 lectures to bring you up to speed on design basics. If you want to take it one step further try Alison’s Applying Design Principles which is a more in-depth look at design including production and colors.
Learning languages doesn’t have to be about classrooms and textbooks when you have companies like Duolingo and Memrise. They both make language learning fun and entertaining by working with the theory that if you repeatedly learn, repeat, and memorize a word, it will eventually stick. If you’ve just started working with a new client who is based in Europe, try impressing them on your next status call with your new-found vocabulary.
If you work in design, Photoshop should be second nature to you but perhaps you’re moving into a more creative role or you need to start file checking or updating documents. For just $19 you can take a 30+ hour course on Photoshop. This course aims to teach you the basics and beyond. If you’re looking for free courses, Adobe also offers a 13-hour introduction on how to quickly master Photoshop which we’re particularly fond of.
There are a huge amount of online courses for programming, it can be hard to know where to begin. If you’re looking to move into a pure development role, it’s best to look at intensive courses where you can be hands-on but if you’re wanting to expand your understanding and come to terms with the more technical side, an introductory course can be helpful. Code School is an interactive way to learn front-end development. They teach you by doing, so you’re not just watching online tutorials but you’re putting what you learn into practice via lesson plans and coding challenges. They cover HTML, CSS, Responsive Design, and much more. We also recommend Team Treehouse, too. With a beautiful interface and easy-to-understand modules, learning programming languages has never been easier.
Have you tried online courses before? Which of these courses is the most useful to you?
Laura Pell – Artisan Creative