11 Ways to Learn New Useful Skills
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11 Ways to Learn New Useful Skills


11 Ways to Learn New Useful Skills

The job market is incredibly competitive and it grows even more so every day. But have no fear, you can keep yourself relevant by updating your current skills or acquiring new ones. Taking an online course, watching a lecture, playing with code, or attending a workshop are all great ways to learn something but also to decide if that something is for you. You wouldn't want to go to school for 4 years only to realize that you actually hate the subject you picked during your second year but keep on forcing yourself to keep going until you're looking for jobs in a field that you have no academic or practical experience in. It happens, but be honest with yourself and explore your options.

1. Coursera / edX (Freemium)

I'm bundling Coursera and edX because they are very similar. Conceptually, they take courses provided by universities and in exchange for your hard-earned dollars you can get a piece of paper that says that you actually were the one clicking the boxes and typing the answers. Alternatively, you can take courses for free and forego the certificates.

2. Udacity (Paid)

Udacity is really fascinating. They have teamed up with potential employers to train you how to debug a self-driving car, analyze data, or build an app. The premise is interesting and can be much cheaper than a traditional coding bootcamp (if you finish within 12 months, you get 50% of your tuition back!)

3. Quora (Free)

Quora has evolved over the years. In a sense, it was a micro-blogging site where people expressed their opinions or shared knowledge on some obscure topic. Today, major publications pull content from sites like Quora to write content for their magazines or newspapers. There is a lot of emotional intelligence (EQ) to be gained, amazing life lessons, and encouragement from people who were once in your shoes.

4. Codecademy / FreeCodeCamp / Khan Academy (Freemium / Free)

The number of resources to learn programming is incredible. If you need more, just Google "like Codecademy" or "how to code" or "how to build X" and you're set. By the way, if you're just starting out definitely check out Free Code Camp. It offers you a foundation and then provides you with projects to test your skills, and as it is in the name... it is 100% free.

5. YouTube (Free)

YouTube is by far one of the most versatile sources because you can learn how to juggle (as I did in 10th grade), or the principles of storytelling, how to cope with stress, or even how to make tiny food! Keywords are: tutorial, how to, learn to, intro to, etc.

6. SkillShare (Freemium)

SkillShare is like Coursera, but primarily for artists. You will find anything from illustrating, to video production, sewing, cooking, photography, anything creative! Plus a few business and tech courses.

7. LinkedIn Learning / Lynda.com (Free Trial / Paid)

LinkedIn Learning is very new. Essentially it is a learning platform powered by your LinkedIn profile. As the gap between qualified applicants and existing jobs widens, LinkedIn (who acquired Lynda.com in the past) now "offers courses to help you learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve your professional goals" on their networking site.

8. Local Workshop (Varies)

There are always free or affordable workshops to find a new passion. I took an Aikido trial class for free. I found a Groupon for poledancing classes and the cost came out to be $8 per class. Or a Ruby on Rails workshop that I attended in San Francisco was free AND there was food for attendants.

9. Trade a Skill for a Skill (Free)

Everyone you meet can teach you something you don't know. So dig deep and figure out which of your skills you can trade with someone in your network. The easiest way to do this is to just ask, either via a direct message or by posting a status to your friends and seeing if anybody volunteers!

10. Volunteer (Free)

Speaking of volunteers... volunteer. I learned how to file my own taxes by helping low-income families file their taxes. Passing out flyers exercises your social skills. You meet a lot of wonderful people when you volunteer.

11. Listen (Free)

Podcasts are amazing. You can listen during your commute, workout, as you're relaxing at the end of the day, or even during your work shifts if your boss says it's cool. Some you'll listen to will touch science topics, economics, current events, or mind-boggle you with a new world, others will introduce you to famous people, others still to regular folks. There's a podcast for everyone.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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