Honing and expanding your skill set is essential to edging out the competition. Thankfully, you can learn practically anything you want thanks to the Internet. When making your New Year’s Resolutions, add one or a few of these resources to your list to kick start your year.
I admit it. I’m addicted to Skillshare. As a devout follower of Jessica Hische I couldn’t help but sign up to learn the deep secrets to her success (spoiler: years of late nights and hard work) but after her class I was hooked.
Skillshare’s unique platform lets you choose a topic from business to design, film, culinary and more. (I’ll let you read the navigation bar.) Each course is taught by a professional in their given field, showing you their approach to a skill. I came for the hand lettering, and stayed for WordPress tutorials, proposal writing and how to design a mandala.
The best part? Quite a few classes are entirely free. If you want to dig a little deeper and access their expansive library, it’s eight bucks a month for a year. So for the same price as an occasional mindless marathon, you could be adding to your résumé.
After I finish writing this I’m going to watch the newly posted, hour long tutorial on how to brew the best cup of coffee.
Fine. I’m addicted to these as well. While these videos may not have something tangible to show for themselves in relation to your work, just a few minutes can completely change your perspective on how you view the world. Is our memory as reliable as we believe it to be? Do you need more time off? Brilliant minds sharing their perspective with you right on your computer screen.
One of my favorite features is how the library is categorized: do you wish to be inspired or persuaded? See something beautiful or informative, or both? TED’s promise is spelled out in the navigation: you will leave here changed.
Before applying to Roundpeg, I knew I should brush up on my coding. There are many, many places to learn how to code on the Internet, and one of my classes in college used Lynda.com as part of the curriculum.
For my interests, General Assembly Dash was perfect (read: free). I particularly enjoyed the game approach, stars and pats on the back included.
The concept is pretty simple: they show you how to code a thing, you copy them, and then you try to make it on your own with hints. At the end you’re left with a misguided sense you could code a page on your own thanks to all the positive affirmation, but if you’re looking to learn the basics or brush up on what you know, this is a great place to start.
I’ve also heard excellent things about codecademy, and while I haven’t tried it out myself, that shouldn’t stop you from digging a little deeper.
Ivy League & Other Prestigious Universities
In case you haven’t heard and you’re looking for something a little more academic, several prestigious institutions offer free classes online, including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Berkeley, even MIT. While it has a little less renown, iTunesU offers free access to courses as well.
If the resources available to you online are an iceberg, the ones I’ve mentioned are barely a snowflake. So many times I type a word followed by “tutorial” and am delighted by the array of people who are willing to teach me whatever I want. Like how to play the bodhran, perhaps.
Be curious and take the time to learn a new skill to make your 2016 better.