10 platforms to sharpen your skills

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Finding talent-specialised niche areas or in those that have emerging high demand is one of the biggest challenges companies are currently facing.

What’s more, a study of global trends in labour talent by consultant Mercer found that 79% of HR executives believe freelancers will increase their involvement in the labour force in the near future.

The first few months of this year only intensified this situation as it became clear that the market was facing sink or swim times.

That is why it is important that freelancers understand they are building a career in a market full of opportunities that is also highly competitive.

It is a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment and in order to stay competitive and continue to get hired for more interesting, specialised and better paying projects, you have to continually sharpen your skills.

According to Workana’s 2019 Independent Labour Report, 72% of freelancers train via digital platforms and e-learning.

So, here is a list of 10 platforms that can help you gain the skills you need to stay competitive in your industry. Some of them even have free options.

• Udemy offers over 5,000 courses organised by the most relevant categories in the freelance world, such as programming, design and marketing.

The courses are not free, but there are many reasonably priced options and the site frequently offers promotions.

 Udacity’s current focus is training professionals in high-level technical skills that companies are looking for.

It offers complete training programmes in programming, development, artificial intelligence, business, machine learning and data science. Most courses do come at a price, but there are a few that are free.

 Edx offers, in partnership with the most prestigious universities in the world such as Harvard and MIT, courses in informatics, data science, languages, business administration and even humanities.

One of its biggest advantages is that many courses have free options, and you only pay if you need a certification.

 Coursera is one of the most popular online learning platforms where you can find specialised courses to help you strengthen your freelancer profile as well as complete programmes to train you to be an expert in fields such as programming, data science, business, engineering and languages.

A few universities offer full master’s degrees through this site.

There are many resources online to help develop your skills and polish your profile. (Pixabay pic)

 Garage Digital is Google’s online learning centre. All of its courses are free, (although a few advanced courses have a certificate cost) and they are generally designed for you to become a master in digital marketing and using Google tools.

A lot of the courses will help increase the value of your profile as a freelancer while others are more focused on quality of life.

 Blue Print (Facebook) is similar to Garage Digital but specialised in Facebook App marketing and promotion tools (which include Instagram and WhatsApp). This platform is perfect for freelancers who are specialised in community management.

 Platzi offers courses in programming, design, marketing, start-ups, video, web and more. Its value proposition lies in allowing the creation of personalised programme according to the professional profile that you want to develop, or even if you want to launch your own venture or start-up.

Instead of charging per course, Platzi offers memberships that give access to all of its programmes.

• LinkedIn Learning offers video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative and business skills. It was originally founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman as Lynda.com and then acquired by LinkedIn in 2015.

It’s a great option to get diplomas and certificates and add them directly to your LinkedIn profile.

If you are a developer probably you have heard about Codecademy. If you are still in the process of becoming one, you are in the right place.

• Codecademy is an online platform that offers free coding classes in 12 different programming languages.

Also, Codecademy wants to help you learn fast and to complete each course, so in the process you’ll win points, gamify your learning and get all the support from a group of peers.

 Iversity is a Berlin-based online education platform. Its main core is providing online courses and lectures in higher education, specifically massive open online courses (MOOCs).

You can take any course you like, it is free and open worldwide. Keep in mind some courses may not be in every language!

And speaking of continuous learning, no matter what area you specialise in, if you work remotely, it is important to learn about the essential digital marketing strategies and smart investments for your freelance lifestyle. Visit Workana to do this.

Conclusion

Constant training is fundamental to achieving goals as a freelancer. The industry is constantly evolving so it is important to stay ahead of the curve.

Invest in yourself by setting aside five or six hours a week to learn something new and keep up with the latest trends in your industry and don’t forget to update your profile with your newly acquired skills.

-Credit to Free Malaysia Today