| OUTSIDE THE BOX
Five Sites for Upskilling and Reskilling
by Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig
Plenty of companies have felt safe in allowing employees to return to the office under stringent guidelines. But many of those workers no longer want to return to the workplace, choosing to work from home when possible. When that isn’t an option, a number of people are trying to figure out their next career move. Enter the explosion of professional upskilling (learning new skills at your current job) and reskilling (learning new skills in order to start a different job).
These are not new terms, but what’s different in 2021 is that the opportunities to do either—via your employer and/or on your own—are expanding. Remote work has opened up more possibilities in terms of career paths. And individuals are seeking more flexibility and freedom in their work life. Fast Company recently reported that “the 2019 edition of LinkedIn’s Workforce Learning Report found that 94% of employees said that employer-provided learning opportunities would entice them to stay longer at a company. The 2021 edition showed that younger Gen Z employees agreed with the statement that ‘learning is the key to success in my career.’ ” So where should you begin if you want to—or need to—upskill or reskill? The following are some places to kick off your education.
Coursera boasts more than 4,000 courses in topics such as business analytics and graphic design. Founded in 2012, the global, online learning platform partners with more than 200 leading universities, including the University of Michigan, Yale, Universidad de los Andes, Imperial College London, and my alma mater, Arizona State University. It offers courses at no cost and for a fee, starting at $9.99. They can take from a few hours to a few months to complete, and 2-year and 4-year programs are even offered.
Microsoft Learn offers free, online, interactive trainings for Microsoft products and more. Its goal is to help individuals become technologically proficient in a diverse list of skills and tools, including the most basic for anyone, Microsoft 365.
An arm of the social networking platform LinkedIn, LinkedIn Learning (formerly known as Lynda.com) offers video-based courses for individuals and teams to learn in-demand job skills via on-demand content. There are more than 16,000 courses in multiple languages. Many courses are free, and the cost of others depends on skill and length.
If you’re looking to up your game from leading experts and celebrities, MasterClass is the program to invest in. Courses (which start at $15 per month) cover business, science and technology, music, food, writing, and more. The popular learning site occasionally offers “buy one, gift one” free membership, so if you are able to catch this deal, you can split the cost with someone.