Virtual Learning Platforms to Advance Your Skills at Home

Everything from workouts, to guitar lessons, to language classes are readily available online. The worlds of academic and professional development are no exception. Committing to an online course today will mean that in the future when the crisis has finally passed, you will emerge from social isolation with a brand-new skill-set under your belt. This will be particularly useful as the economy regains momentum.

1. Coursera

Coursera is an online learning platform offering thousands of courses taught by expert academics and world-class business leaders. Up until May 31, the site is offering 100 of its online classes for free. This includes features that are usually behind a paywall, such as the grading of work from course leaders, reading material, and a certificate of completion to add to your LinkedIn profile.

Courses available for free include Code Yourself! An Introduction to Programming, Machine Learning for Business Professionals, Converting Challenges into Opportunities, and Communication Strategies in the Virtual Age.

The full list of courses that are available for free can be found here.

2. edX

edX offers more than 2,500 online courses taught by 140 institutions. Harvard and MIT founded the global non-profit to remove the barriers of cost, location, and access to provide an opportunity for people to learn on their own terms.

In the wake of the coronavirus, edX is working with universities across the globe to provide students with free access to courses and programs from all its partner universities.

edX, Coursera, and many of the other sites on this list, offer MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) developed by universities and other institutions to provide free, unlimited participation and open access.

3. Masterclass

Star-studded Masterclass gives anyone in the world the chance to learn from the very best in several disciplines including writing, sports, business, and science. Since 2015 this San Francisco-based, VC-funded startup has provided a range of online classes led by world-famous experts and masters. Among the course offerings, you can learn about cooking from Gordon Ramsay, filmmaking from Martin Scorsese, creative writing from Margaret Atwood, and comedy from Steve Martin.

The site offers more than 80 classes, which are further broken down into approximately 20, 10-minute lessons from your chosen expert.

For a limited time, Masterclass is offering two annual memberships for the price of one.

4. General Assembly

Boasting over 20,000 expert instructors, General Assembly provides part-time and full-time courses both online and on campuses. The site specializes in many of today’s most in-demand skills, including coding, web development, data science, design, python programming, and business.

As their website highlights, more than 45% of their part-time students receive funding from their employers to support their further education. So, if there is a specific skill you’re looking to develop as part of your current role, it might be worth speaking to your employer.

General Assembly offers various payment plans and a free Learning to Code course for those interested.

5. LinkedIn Learning

With LinkedIn Learning, formally known as Linda.com, you’ll gain access to 15,000 expert-led courses and receive a certificate whenever you complete a course. Currently, fees are $29.99 a month or $299.88 per year. There is also an option to expense the membership to your employer — with their permission, of course.

You can find a list of the most popular LinkedIn Learning courses from 2019 here, which includes JavaScript Essential Training, Body Language for Leaders, and Critical Thinking.

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