Enhance Your Career Skills for Free

Perhaps you're re-entering the workforce after taking time off to raise a family, or you've managed to nab a job at a company you've been eyeing for years. Maybe you're just looking for a career change. Either way, a number of free online programs and courses can help you hone your business skills and increase your self-confidence. That promotion may be just around the corner.

 

Effective Public Speaking and Communications

Speaking in public is often a stumbling block for those seeking to advance in the corporate world. While some people are natural orators, others would rather be anywhere else than in front of a crowd giving a presentation. edX, a firm that highlights free self-improvement courses, offers an Introduction to Public Speaking class created by the University of Washington. The course is 10 weeks long and requires three to five hours of work each week. The archived course is available anytime, or you may join one of the regularly scheduled classes, which are announced periodically. 

edX also offers a Communicating Strategically class created by Purdue University. This five-week course requires up to six hours of work each week and is designed to improve communication skills for those in the sciences and the professional world.

 

Graphic Design Online Courses

Suppose you're starting out in the copywriting section of a marketing firm and you want get into design. You'll want to brush up your online design skills, even if you already know the basics. Adobe has its new free Adobe Photoshop CC Course, which lets beginners get a feel for the program. By the time you're done with the 13-hour program, you'll learn how to organize files, enhance photos, work with filters and use the drawing tools. 

Udemy offers aspiring artists its Learn Adobe Illustrator from Scratch course. A series of 41 lectures with examples guides you through the learning process. You must have access to Illustrator, which is usually a paid program, but the actual course is free. Learning these graphic design programs may help you get ahead in advertising, real estate marketing or assist you in starting your own web design company.

 

Computer Programming Courses

Several free online courses are available that apply to the computer industry. The Introduction to Computer Science class created by Harvard University is one of the most well-rounded and intense. The course has nine problem sets, each one taking 10 to 20 hours to complete, along with a final project. The course is free but if you want that Harvard Certificate verified it will cost you $90 as of 2016. Certificates are awarded to students who get satisfactory scores on the problem sets. The course is available through edX.

 

Online Marketing

Online marketing is king in the world of the Internet. If you're just starting to master social media, courses such as Learn Social Media in Just 2 Minutes a Day, presented by Buffer, gives a basic overview of social networks and effective posting. After taking that course, you should be ready for your Diploma in Social Media Marketing Course, created by the Advanced Learning Academy. The various modules cover the basics of Facebook, Twitter and effective blogging, and they teach you how to podcast. The course also touches on auto responders, how to manipulate images, creating confirmation emails, and the basics of affiliate marketing. The entire course takes between 15 and 20 hours to complete, and it includes tests and a completion certificate.

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