As we grow in our careers, we build new skills that make us more coveted employees. Naturally, the more skilled we are, the harder it is to replace us. Professional athletes are perfect examples of irreplaceable employees. Owners with billions pay them millions each year to be the best at what they do. The mega superstars like Lebron James and Christiano Ronaldo are world famous and rake in the checks to show for it. What can you do to build your value?
We can talk about personal finance and taking control of your money until we’re blue in the face, but the talents you possess are the most important factors in increasing your income. The more money you make, the more flexibility you have to reach your goals and aspirations. The learning you do on the job is important in order to get promoted. But what are you doing in your spare time to make yourself more valuable? There is a world of resources that you can access to grow your skills. I’ve put together a list for you to start with.
Seven Cheap Sites to Take You to the Top
Udemy allows freelancers to develop courses on their site in just about any field not limited to Language, Design, Marketing, and Photography. Learn how to do anything. Many of these courses are actually free! Who doesn’t like free? Usually if someone develops a course for free, they have an agenda to rope you in with the free course, get you excited, and up-sell you to the paid one. Like anything, you get what you pay for so the free courses likely aren’t as specialized as the ones the course developer charges for.
Paid courses on Udemy are completely reasonable. Paying $20-50 for a top-rated course that will expand your skills is a steal. If you went to a university, you probably paid close to $1,000 for a class that you weren’t even interested in, but it was required in order to graduate. I know I did and I went to an “affordable” state school. Courses start as cheap as $5 so why not make a small investment in something you want to actually learn?
These are actual online courses offered by universities across the U.S. Didn’t get to take that elective in digital marketing? Make up for it by enrolling in these courses that last anywhere from 1-6 weeks. You can take many courses for free (we love free) or get an accredited certificate to display on your LinkedIn and professional profiles for as low as $29.
Actual college professors teach these courses through video slides. They are from universities across the world and it’s awesome that they share these resources for free online. The one con about this site is that you do feel like you’re in school because of quizzes, reading, and finals.
Don’t forget this isn’t just a place to watch viral videos. You can type in anything to help you learn about a project or service. This is the OG in online video with billions of monthly views across the globe. People make their livings on here because ad companies pay big bucks for access to YouTubers who can engage with younger audiences. Babies grow up with laptops in their strollers nowadays so younger generations are resonating more with online personalities than those on television.
I built this blog strictly from watching this free YouTube video. Shout out to the NYC Tech Club for the great work! You all now know my secret so go build your own blog on whatever you want. Just don’t get distracted. I accidentally watched 6 episodes of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver the other day. Oops!!
If you’re addicted to picking up new skills and learning everything you can, consider a subscription to Lynda. The site boasts courses on just about anything. At $30 a month, you’re looking at a price of a Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Now subscription so it could add up quick. Make sure you’re actually getting your money’s worth.
$30 a month is pretty steep. That’ll add up to $360 a year. When you pay that much in a service, you’ll likely put it to use more so your ROI will pay for itself. There’s a one month free trial and you can always cancel. If you’ve thought about a LinkedIn Premium subscription, it actually comes with a Lynda account! Another perk for subscribing to LinkedIn Premium is that recruiters often have LinkedIn Premium and you can message them or anyone else directly to line up a job opportunity.
These courses are more specific to technology, which are jobs that pay close to six figures starting out. Increasing your skills in careers like coding, web development, design, and data science could set you up for a long time to come. These jobs are in demand so if you’re thinking about changing careers, do some research to see what’s a right fit for you.
There are free courses and nanodegree programs that are much less than getting a Master’s degree or signing up for a bootcamp. Nano degrees are designed to help people finish their expertise in less than 12 months and often guarantee a job soon after finishing. Many of the courses are co-sponsored by companies like Google, Amazon, or AT&T so you’ll be learning day-to-day skills that the jobs actually require.
Similar to all these other platforms, Skillshare has a wide range of courses to choose from. Membership is free and there is available access to 490 courses. Of course there’s a premium option. See a trend? The premium option is $6, $8, or $10 a month depending on if you pay by month, one year, or two years. With the premium option, you have access to 3,835 courses! That’s a lot of learning to do. The site boasts a great community of videos, workshops and tutorials.
7. Khan Academy
Finally, there is a non-profit site in Khan Academy that is completely free. Founded in 2008, the site is dedicated to service and helping others around the globe learn. The site does cater to classroom learning in middle school and high school. They work with teachers to integrate online learning and parents can create accounts to help their children learn. While the content offered on the site goes back to basics, sometimes that’s what people need to get started and push them toward more advanced courses.
Now you know what to use in order to get ahead of the competition? What actions are you going to take to get a promotion or switch gears in your career? With all these great options, there are no excuses to growing your career. Get out there and make something happen!