Have you ever thought about what it looks like to truly develop yourself as a professional?
In the corporate world, some might say getting that next job promotion or even joining a new team in a completely different role are a few ways you can advance professionally.
As an entrepreneur, to take your biz to the next level, you could raise your prices, land your dream client or even expand your offerings.
Whether you are in the corporate world or have your own business, it is vital to consider HOW you want to grow your skillset and WHAT you intend to do to help you reach those goals.
In a world full of blog posts, social media group masterminds, podcasts, YouTube videos and more, it’s easy to feel constantly bombarded (and slightly overwhelmed) with the amount of information that is thrown our way on a daily basis. A resource that is often overlooked (and later remembered) when it comes to professional development is an online learning platform.
While a few platforms are a bit pricey, the majority are affordable with a low monthly fee or fixed course price. Most offer thousands of courses to choose from that are taught by top professionals in that field. Some platforms even offer advanced learning degree or certification courses to add to your resume.
If you want to spend hours learning extensive concepts or you simply want to add a new skill to your toolbox, below are my recommended top ten online learning platforms to help you crush every goal in your career and become the next-level professional you envisioned!
Similar to Wikipedia’s approach, courses on Udemy can be contributed by anyone. The site features top-rated businesses, technical and personal development courses for companies, governments, nonprofits and entrepreneurs. The carefully curated collection ensures every professional is engaged in a dynamic course that will help them prepare for the ever-evolving future of work. It is constantly updated and maintained to ensure relevance and offers reviews of each course, the instructor’s history and demand for the topic at hand. Some courses are free while others range from $20-200 (and there are often sales).
Want to interact with your instructor and learn from mentors in your field? With courses online and in person, General Assembly focuses on development, design and data. The value you receive from these courses is often said to be worth every penny because you will be in touch with mentors and instructors drawn from local professional organizations long after the course is over. (Think: possibly a product designer at Facebook or even a web developer at Coca-Cola!) These could often lead to future job connections and networking opportunities. While the price is steep starting at $13,000 for full-time coursework, the direct experience with top company professionals is beneficial.
If you’re in the creative field, then you definitely want to check out Skillshare where you can join a community of other professionals who are interested in helping you learn new skills (and they earn cash while doing it). There are more than 25,000 courses available. Some are free, or you can access all of them for only $15 per month.
Interested in learning from minds in Silicon Valley? Check out Udacity for courses on cutting-edge topics like machine learning, artificial intelligence and more. The site’s “Nanodegree programs” provide courses developed with industry partners who are said to hire many of the programs’ graduates. Udacity’s cost varies by each program, but you can expect real-world projects from industry experts, a 1:1 technical mentor, a personal career coach and career services, and flexible learning options.
For day-to-day skill building, LinkedIn Learning is the way to go! Previously known as as Lynda.com, LinkedIn Learning offers short courses that help you gain knowledge on any subject quickly. With thousands of fast courses, you get unlimited access for $29.99 per month, and some premium LinkedIn subscriptions already offer the learning site as part of their package.
Founded on the ideals of the free flow of information and open-source ideas, Alison is a free learning platform (with advertisements), and the instructors often already teach the same course in-person. There are also paid versions of the courses where you can receive a certificate of completion for $20.
With more than 2,700 courses in almost any field imaginable, Coursera allows you to learn new skills for free or offers a paid version where you complete course assignments and take quizzes to earn a certificate. Each instructor’s credentials are listed, and they are all affiliated with a university, corporation or organization. While you can view any of the course material for free, pricing can range from $29-99 or more for certain certifications.
edX was founded by Harvard and MIT grads and boasts more than 20 million learners along with professors from top-ranked universities and industry-leading companies. The platform features a variety of curriculum for those who are just entering the working world, seeking a promotion, changing careers or simply want to learn new things. Prices range from free to a few hundred dollars depending on the course of study and/or degree program.
Interested in learning how to code or how to take your coding abilities to the next level? Codecademy teaches material quickly and thoroughly. Instructors even offer reviews of your code and personalized feedback. If you’re wanting to learn programming, web development or data science in an intensive environment, try this platform for free or get the pro version for $39.99 a month.
CreatorUp offers something for everyone. With an applied learning approach at the forefront, the courses cater to different types of learning styles, schedules and budgets. Prices vary, but most courses are budget-friendly with lifetime access, and you can even try out the platform for free before you commit.
Have you tried any of these online learning platforms? If not, which one are you interested in trying? Leave a comment below.
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