Are you looking to learn some new job skills to advance your career, but your boss is telling you there's nothing left in the training budget?
Great news! High-quality training has never been more accessible – or more affordable – than it is now. And if you're looking to change your career path, get a promotion, or make your resume more appealing to potential employers, you won't need to break the bank to build new skills, enhance your marketability, and fill out your resume.
Here are 4 great ways to get professional training on the cheap:
- University-Led Online Courses (also known as MOOC's – Massive Open Online Courses): Many colleges record and put their classes online – the very same classes degree-seeking students pay good money to take. If you're more concerned with gaining the knowledge these classes offer than you are with getting college credit, you can take these classes online for cheap – or even free. And a lot of these e-learning classes cover cutting-edge topics. Check out Coursera (which has classes from top-tier schools including Penn, Michigan, Stanford, and Duke); edX (MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Texas); and FutureLearn (dozens of leading global universities). There are many, many other MOOC's, which can be found listed here.
- LinkedIn Learning: I'm a huge fan of LinkedIn, and there are many great reasons for job seekers to upgrade to a premium subscription. LinkedIn recently gave users another really good reason to pony up for a subscription, LinkedIn Learning. There are tons of prerecorded online courses, ranging from business topics (leadership, project management, finance and accounting) to creative (3D animation, CAD, graphic design) to technology (IT, web development, data science), and more. There's even training on Microsoft Office and other major software packages. The courses are pretty high quality, and the system all you can eat for a single price. NOTE: In case you were wondering, I am in no way affiliated with LinkedIn other than as a paying user, and for my subscription I pay rack rate. But I've been using the system since its early days and while there are things about it I don't love, I firmly believe in its power as both a job search and recruitment tool.
- Continuing Education: Many school districts and community colleges offer adult-oriented classes and training on a variety of topics at a very low cost. For example, Miami Dade College, the community college serving the Miami, Florida area, offers a variety of classes through their School of Continuing Education on everything from GED and ESOL certification classes, to business courses, to technical training, and hobbies.
- YouTube. Just search for "How to... (your topic)." Want to learn how to rebuild an automotive transmission? Or perhaps you'd like to better understand coding in Python. True, YouTube is an informal environment, but if you're looking for down-and-dirty instruction on a topic, it's a great resource.
Scott Singer is the President and Founder of Insider Career Strategies Resume Writing & Career Coaching, a firm dedicated to guiding job seekers and companies through the job search and hiring process. Insider Career Strategies provides resume writing, LinkedIn profile development, and career coaching services, including a free resume review. You can email Scott Singer at firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the website, www.insidercs.com.