6 FREE ONLINE TOOLS AND COURSES

5 Jun 2020 | Student Advice

Hopefully a combination of Uni work, chatting to friends, Netflix boxsets and walks outside has kept everyone busy during lockdown so far. As summer draws closer and future plans are not much clearer, this time could be incredibly valuable for your personal and academic development. 

Maybe you’re looking for a way to develop your CV or are simply wanting to do something for self preservation? With all of us spending more time at home, this is the perfect opportunity to explore the many free e-learning courses and tools that are available. Whether you love Shakespeare, painting, the Byzantine Empire or algebra, there is a great course out there for you. Here are just a few suggestions to get you started.

The Open University: Open Learn

Here you can find over 1,000 free courses available on topics including criminology, art, history and mental health. In short, there’s something for everyone! There are normally three levels within Open Learn, introductory, intermediate and advanced. Generally the courses don’t carry a certification or formal credits but can be attractive to future employers.

Google Digital Garage

The Google Digital Garage offers 125 free courses within the topics of ‘Data and Tech’, ‘Digital Marketing’ and ‘Career Development’. You can learn anything from the basics of coding to how to land your next job. Google’s ‘Fundamentals of Digital Marketing’ Course has also proved to be a very valuable and popular course (see your LinkedIn feed) and offers free certification when you pass.

Future Learn

Future learn offers a broad range of fantastic courses from leading universities and cultural institutions around the world, including Kings College London and the British Council. They offer a structured approach, with each week’s lessons becoming available only during that week of learning. It also offers a more social experience where ‘the student’ can discuss their learning with others.

Oxford Home Study Centre

All of OHSCS’ courses are available for free with online certification. Regardless of age, location and educational background they offer courses for everyone – which are regularly updated. Some of their courses include, ‘Cyber Security’, ‘Fashion Design’ and ‘Management’.

Alison

Alison is a free online course provider at Diploma and Certificate levels. They offer over 1,500 courses within 15 different categories, including humanities, business, marketing and lifestyle as well as frequently updating them.

Reed

As well as acting as a jobsite and recruitment firm, Reed, offers over 50 free courses which can help people secure a job. Some of these include: ‘Bookkeeping for Personal and Business Accounting’, ‘Essential IT Skills Level 2’ and ‘Understanding Autism’.

My best advice is to be proactive! Is there a particular skill that you know you need to learn for next year? This is a great time to get a head start. Perhaps you need to master Python for engineering, or maybe you want to teach yourself shorthand for a future NCTJ? We may never have an opportunity like this again so make use of the time that you have! Brushing up on a new skill can help you to feel more confident and motivayed for when things go back to “normal”.

By Ilona Cabral

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