Editor's Picks

Best online classes for leveling up your tech skills

Best Online Classes for Leveling Up Your Tech Skills

If you work in marketing, tech, or really any industry, change is the only constant. So, the idea that education stops upon earning a certain number of credits is just plain silly.

But while most of us can acknowledge the benefits of becoming a lifelong learner, it can be hard to find the time or the money to head back to school. Luckily, there are plenty of online courses that allow you to level up your skills in just about any topic you could think of.

With that in mind, here are some valuable opportunities for anyone looking to add a few more lines to their resume that will actually make a difference.

Best online classes for leveling up your tech skills

Introduction to Artificial Intelligence, EDX

This course provides a high-level overview of AI and machine learning, explaining how AI is becoming the driving force behind smarter apps and more efficient organizations.

As part one of the Microsoft Professional Program in AI, the course will show you have to build basic machine learning models. You’ll use Azure Machine Learning and the Microsoft Bot Framework. While this all sounds super high-tech, you don’t need to be a coding expert to start playing around with the technology. The EDX website mentions that a high-school level statistics understanding and a working knowledge of Python are recommended, though not required.

Learn to Code for Data Analysis, Future Learn

Coding for Data Analytics

Data analysis is becoming an in-demand skill that may come in handy when you try to negotiate your next raise. Still, Learn to Code for Data Analysis will be easier to grasp if you know your way around a spreadsheet and are fairly good with numbers.

This course focuses primarily on Python–covering assignments, variables, expressions, functions, basic data types, and if-statements. You’ll practice programming in Jupyter Notebooks, writing and testing your own code.

The final component of the course is analysis. Students will use pandas to read Excel and CSV files, as well as clean, aggregate, and filter data into simple, readable charts.

Of course, the class will be easier if you have some knowledge of coding or data analytics. However, we like that this is an approachable “in” for data science beginners hoping to keep up with the latest technologies.

Video Editing, Lynda

Video Editing Course -- Intro Lynda

Lynda is a good source of online classes of all stripes. But, the video editing course stands out, because no matter your industry, this interactive medium has become essential for marketing and engagement across all channels.

Even small businesses need to learn to run a camera and splice together some behind-the-scenes clips or video tutorial here and there.

Lynda’s video editing course is about three hours and shows you the basics of good video editing. You’ll learn about transitions, composition, pacing, and post-production effects.

While you’ll need to continue your video education after the course is over, this is a great primer for people looking to build on their online content skills.

Diploma in Web Design, ALISON

Diploma in Web Design

ALISON is something of an aggregate for online courses. The site is a central hub that showcases courses from colleges and digital learning platforms, so it’s easy to compare programs during the research phase.

ALISON’s module allows you to sort through their courses based on career goals, which makes it easy to find a new skill that will come in handy down the road.

This particular program allows you to learn web design at your convenience, free of charge. Here, you’ll learn how to use Dreamweaver to create websites with HTML, CSS, Flash, and JavaScript. You’ll also learn the basic basics like registering a domain name and choosing a hosting provider.

Like Hubspot, Google Academy, and MOOCs from MIT, Harvard, and others, ALISON allows you to purchase a digital diploma, which you can show to potential employers.

General Assembly Dash Program


General Assembly is a for-profit educational resource with locations based around the US. Unlike Trump University or ITT Technical Institute, General Assembly provides workshops and longer-term programs that allow professionals to get their tech skills up to speed.

The Dash program, however, is an online course, offered free that teaches development in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We like Dash, as it’s a nice starting point for those who don’t know much about coding—build your foundation before signing up for more advanced courses.

Code Academy Web Development

Web development continues to be an in-demand skill, and Code Academy’s user-friendly approach to teaching you the basics of building web apps and sites is one of our top picks.

This course follows a structured curriculum, they’ll teach you HTML first, then venture into CSS fundamentals, JavaScript basics and go from there. By the end of the course, you’ll be able to put together interactive sites.

What’s more, the website promotes these self-paced paths that allow you to customize your coding journey.

Courses are offered on a subscription basis—$19.99 per month or you can pay $199 per course.

Hubspot Social Media Certification

Hubspot Dashboard Social Media Certification

Hubspot offers a number of certification programs on their site for free, but the social media course is a good one for marketers—or anyone—who wants to gain a better understanding of how to use social media to drive business.

The curriculum is broken down into eight chapters, each with a few short video lessons. You’ll learn to develop a social media strategy, understand the importance of social listening, and learn to expand your reach on social. You’ll also look at things like digital advertising and how to measure your return on investment.

While you might know the basics already, it’s nice to get a quick refresher on just what metrics we should be measuring and how to hone in on a strategy that aligns with your brand.

Wrapping Up

Beyond the courses listed above, each of their home platforms, as well as Coursera, MIT Open Courseware and others provide a long list of options to professionals looking to expand their skillset.

And, with many of these courses being either free or fairly low-cost, there’s no excuse not to explore some new pathways. You may just find a new passion.

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