7 Online Learning Platforms to Level Up Your Digital Skills


Continuing education is important, regardless of the field you're in. And since making the

best use of our time each day is also paramount, the following post, courtesy of Laurence Bradford, provides 7 different online sources where you can get your skills up to date, on your own schedule.

In today’s world, having up-to-date skills is crucial, whether you’re searching for a job or trying to advance in your current role.


And let’s face it: the world around us is digitizing, meaning that more and more positions are requiring some degree of technical know-how.


Not sure where to start? Here are seven places where you can go online to level up your digital skills.


Lynda.com


Lynda.com is unique in that it has a huge library of courses—over 3,000 at the time of writing. Lynda’s online course library has subjects from web design to interview preparation for how to run your own small business, as well as much more.


And Lynda is adding new courses every week, so it’ll keep being useful for a long time. While it is not free, Lynda is an affordable option.


Team Treehouse


Team Treehouse specializes in web development related courses—but it does offer some courses in design and business.


While the courses available on Treehouse are not as numerous as those on Lynda, the Treehouse courses do go more in-depth into web development. It’s the place for specialized knowledge instead of a more surface overview.


Also unlike Lynda, Team Treehouse courses come with online quizzes and interactive challenges.


Udacity


Compared to Lynda and Team Treehouse, Udacity is more like a college course.


They offer nano degrees. Some of their courses are free, while others cost money.


Udacity offers courses on topics not found almost anywhere else online. For instance:


  • Intro to Machine Learning

  • Intro to Hadoop and MapReduce

  • Knowledge-Based AI: Cognitive Systems

  • Other (more advanced) computer intelligence classes


Although it’s free to simply access course materials, the full course experience (including feedback and personal coaching) is available for a fee. Prices vary depending on which course you enroll in.


Coursera


Unlike the others above, Coursera is entirely free. (They do have special certifications that cost additional fees, but these are optional.)


For more free places to learn how to code, continue here.


Coursera is very academically oriented. All the courses are taught by actual university professors.


Course topics vary as they would at any college, but Coursera does heavily emphasize computer science-related courses.


Codecademy


Codecademy is free. The platform is based on interactive learning—meaning there are no video tutorials to follow (like all the previous ones feature).


The material on Codecademy typically places an emphasis on web design and development. It also offers learning paths where you can complete projects like “Make a Website” or “Make an Interactive Website.”


MIT OpenCourseWare


MIT OpenCourseWare is entirely free. Basically, users get full online access to MIT courses. It’s almost like you are right in the classroom with the professor—except you can’t ask questions.


Of course, MIT’s courseware has an emphasis on technology. However, just like MIT itself, they offer other courses that relate to business, health and medicine, mathematics, and more.


One Month


One Month is different from others on the list so far because each course costs $99. This is based on the premise that all the courses should take one month to get through.

However, you actually have access to the course material for a full year, so you can revisit it as often as you like if you need refreshers.


One Month courses emphasize web development and digital topics, such as HTML & CSS, Ruby on Rails, and iOS.


Closing Thought


With all the affordable (or free!) online resources available today, there is no excuse to not level up your technical skills. You can sign up for just one, a combination, or all of them if you’re feeling ambitious. Hopefully they’ll help you find exactly what you need to take your marketability to the next level.

(Source: Laurence Bradford, The Balance Careers)


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