Sure, you could spend a year or two learning a new skillset that would reward you in the job market–and maybe you should. (In fact, yes, you should!)
But what if you need a quick boost to get you a running start on some new skills, if you need to level up right now to move on in your professional life? Something to get just beyond the beginning stages, something that would impress coworkers and maybe lead to discovering some new talents…where do we go to find that?
As always, the Internet offers up some great food for thought. Think about the options presented below. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, and none is guaranteed to make you king or queen of the world, but each could present you with an opportunity to begin building a set of valuable skills and give you something to consider adding to your repertoire.
I’ve used most of these myself and recommend them because I know they offer something worthwhile. Check these out:
HubSpot Inbound Marketing
HubSpot’s inbound marketing site is a wealth of information for someone looking to learn more about marketing or working better with marketers. As the FAQ page says, it’s for “anybody who is looking for the big picture of how inbound can help them to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers, and delight customers into promoters.”
If you aren’t exactly sure what landing pages are, need to think about how to create content that brings in visitors, or if you want to add a FREE and industry-relevant certification to add to your toolkit of skills, consider this. Plus, there’s a lot more you can do with HubSpot beyond this if it captures your imagination. When I did it, it was worth my while.
The name says it all. If you want to understand how search engines and other key components of online marketing work, it’s perhaps best to start with the 800-pound Google in the room.
The Google Analytics Individual Qualification would look good in anyone’s toolbox, and taking advantage of this FREE offering in the Google Analytics Academy will teach you enough to master ecommerce, reporting, and analysis of data on a website. This is the first stop on your road to grasping digital analytics.
Moz is perhaps the leading company in its class, and there is nowhere better to explore if you want to expand your search engine horizons. Start here on the learning page and you will soon be more expert than anyone who doesn’t do SEO for a living (and your learning can be FREE). You’ll find numerous invaluable tips and facts to speed you on your way. Moz has a Udemy course as well, if you’d prefer the class format.
While you’re there, remember to subscribe to the Moz Top 10 email for regular updates in the online marketing world. Moz’s founder also teaches a weekly Whiteboard Friday lesson you would do well to keep in mind; it’s probably the best thing you could do next time you watch something while you eat lunch or take a break at work.
Build Responsive Real World Websites with HTML5 and CSS3
Billed as the easiest way to learn modern web design, HTML, and CSS, I can tell you from firsthand experience this course truly is helpful. It’s a Udemy course, but you should access it via the instructor’s personal website for cheaper.
As you follow along yourself on your own machine, this course walks you through designing and coding a website’s HTML and CSS, which means afterward you’ll have a really good-looking website–and, most importantly, the skills to build more of them. I got a lot out of doing this one.
12 in 12 Weeks in Ruby on Rails
I can’t claim to have done all of these lessons by Mackenzie Child, but I’ve done enough to verify they are of high quality and worth doing. If you want to learn Ruby on Rails, consider doing some or all of these challenges, perhaps after beginning at one of the common introductory websites like Codecademy.
These are great tutorials for learning how to get going with real-live projects that come close enough to things you’d come across when browsing online. In other words, you’re gaining very valuable skills and knowledge with these projects, which is exactly the kind of spirit that animates Rails itself. Great place to learn lots of new things.
MongoDB’s Database Administrator course
MongoDB University’s DBA course (which even non-techies can get through) is a great way to get some exposure to how databases work. MongoDB is one of the newer (and largest) NoSQL databases to crop up in recent years, and doing this course would give you a real boost in understanding any database you ever have to use. It’s also only a few weeks long, which makes it great for exploring what it is.
I recommend doing this if you have any interest in putting something technical on your resume, working more closely with tech-oriented people, or you already know another database and want an entry point into learning MongoDB.
I know it’s not strictly programming, but practically all software programs and apps of any real size or complexity rely heavily on databases. Besides, it’s a valuable FREE resource so I’ve included it. Take a look!