LEARN NEW SKILLS FROM THE PROS
Ever fancied getting writing tips from Margaret Atwood, or learning how to cook with Gordon Ramsey? What about getting into filmmaking with Spike Lee? All of these courses are available on Masterclass – one of the most well-known learning platforms to explode in recent years. You can access anything on Masterclass free for 30 days, before paying £14.17 per month thereafter. An annual membership comes in at £170. There are more than 85 classes on offer, with an average length of 20 lessons per course, all of which tend to come in under ten minutes.
UP YOUR PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIALS
If you’ve just come off furlough, you might feel like you’re a bit behind when it comes to professional skills. From essential Microsoft Excel training to learning the art of the elevator pitch, the LinkedIn Learning hub is a hidden gem when it comes to thousands of free and paid-for professional courses. Want to learn about forming a credible back-up plan with Sheryl Sandberg or building a personal brand with millennial business coach Chelsea Krost? These are two of the many options available on the platform. Meanwhile, those looking to get into the nitty gritty of finance and business should head to E-CoursesYou, which offers a range of one-off or bundle courses designed to cover everything from trading to taxes.
GET TO GRIPS WITH A LANGUAGE
You’ll have long heard people extol the benefits of language learning apps like Babbel and Duolingo, but with a bit more money – not to mention more time – to encourage a long-term commitment why not consider something more hardcore? Rosetta Stone courses are considered the gold-standard in the languages and linguistics community, while those looking to take it all the way to degree level would do well to check out Coursera. Right now, Rosetta is offering a summer special, with access to 24 new languages for £199 – as well as a three-day free trial – while Coursera harnesses some of the best university-accredited courses from all around the world, with plenty of subjects beyond languages available.
EARN A NEW QUALIFICATION
For many, the pandemic has prompted a re-think when it comes to our career, so what better time to re-qualify and start to pursue your dream job? Thanks to Udemy, you’ll be able to find more than 150,000 different courses – some of them free but most starting from £12.99 – including personal training qualifications, nutritional diplomas and even a full MBA. With industry experts and fully accredited institutions on hand to take you through from start to finish, consider this one of the most complete resources on the web when to comes to online learning.
These days, knowing how to code is not only a valuable hobby, it can seriously improve your chances of employment. And when it comes to online learning, it doesn’t get much better than Code Academy, which has helped more than 45m users get to grips with this technical skill. Breaking down courses into themes – be it building a website, learning to analyse data or mastering a specific coding language – students can pick which course best suits their needs before parlaying their new skills into a second, third or fourth course. Complete beginners should check out the Code Foundations course, which can be tried for free. Elsewhere, we love Pluralsight for more technical courses (more than 7,500 in fact), most of which can be taken for £24 per month or £163 a year.
HEAD BACK TO UNI
Whether you opted to forgo university or just crave the classroom feeling, there are multiple resources out there offering the benefits of higher education. The Open University is a classic choice for those looking to get serious straight off the bat, but those looking for something a little more flexible and low cost should log onto the Department of Continuing Education at Oxford University to discover a plethora of online courses, from social entrepreneurship to literary deep dives on the Brontës. Most courses kick off in line with the new academic year in September, so there’s plenty of time to peruse the online catalogue to find something that interests you.
PICK UP A NEW INSTRUMENT
Didn’t think it was possible to properly learn an instrument online? Think again. With easy-to-follow lessons, step-by-step instruction and plenty of time at home to practice, there might not have been a more ideal time to get musical. Wannabe guitarists should check out the Fender app (which comes in at £9.99 a month), while budding pianists should log into Flowkey. The latter doesn’t even require students to buy their own instrument – it can be used on a tablet or phone. Simply find a song at your skill level to start off with, use the slow-motion setting to learn every note and take advantage of the loop function to perfect each chord. Fancy learning direct from a world-class performer? Check out the Benedetti Foundation (created by violinist Nicola Bernadetti) Facebook page which hosts a variety of music-based lessons every day between 12pm and 12:30pm – the perfect lunch break activity.
UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVITY
If you’re looking for a creative outlet, now might be the right time to find one. Whether it’s learning to sing, dance or act online via City Academy, perfecting your artistic skills with the London Art College, learning the basics of professional photography with Shaw Academy, or taking an interior design course via Skill Share there are plenty of institutions offering digital opportunities. On a budget? London’s Royal Academy is offering up a free life drawing class via its website, while the Royal Academy of Dance is hosting online classes via its RAD@Home programme. With dance classes available for beginners, seasoned pros and children, there’s something to suit every ability. Elsewhere, if you’re looking to get into art history, rather than the practical side, check out the online courses on offer from Sotheby’s, The Courtauld Institute or The National Gallery.