This year has been a strange one, and it's totally understandable if self isolation, furlough or other external factors have left you wanting to try new things. Maybe your job isn't satisfying you anymore, or you're finding yourself with way more time on your hands. Which could be where an online learning course could come in.
We are very much firm believers that you don't have to commit this time to self improvement (hey, just existing right now is good too), but if you feel like you want something to fill some of your free time, or help you make your next job move, a short virtual learning course could be just the ticket.
"Online courses are a great way to fill the 'skills bridge' as we call it," Director of Insights at FutureLearn Hanna Celina explains. "Often, people need to learn how to keep up with new technologies and how to interact with them, or even fill softer skills like social interacting and how to work with people."
Hanna continued, "Even before the pandemic, in a fast moving world - change is the only constant. In order to keep up with the accelerating pace, you should try to invest in reskilling and upskilling, in order to keep up with innovation."
You don't need to tell us twice!
Watch: How To Negotiate A Pay Rise
Understanding human resources
If the uncertainty of this year has left you looking for a career change, why not brush up on gaps in your CV or explore another industry with a short course? Maybe you've always been interested in your colleague's role, or think you might be better suited in another industry. This is your chance to try it out. Duration: two weeks.
This 'Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialisation' course is offered by Michigan University, and promises to help you build a strong understanding of how to take brilliant photos and grow your knowledge in everything from cameras to composition. Duration: five courses.
Web design and development
Want to try and futureproof yourself? Try your hand at LinkedIn's web design and development with this coding for beginners course, which will aim to equip you with all that you need to become a website-designing whizz. Duration: three hours 38 minutes.
You might have a killer idea and buckets of enthusiasm when it comes to turning it into a business idea, but when it comes to actually putting the wheels in motion? Not a clue - which is where a short course comes in. Improve your knowledge of entrepreneurship and discover how to plan, develop, nurture, and build a successful business. Duration: four weeks.
Ever wanted a personal cooking lesson from Gordon Ramsay? This is a good second best (especially since we're all social distancing right now..) The celebrity chef takes you through how to cook 13 restaurant quality meals using "everyday ingredients". Duration: eight courses.
Learn a new language
Ever wanted to be fluent in Spanish? How about French? What about Italian? Now could be the time to put your free time to good use and pick up a second (or third) language, with online courses that promise group coaching and real life conversations to develop your conversational skills. Duration: ongoing!
World politics and globalisation
Want to really get your teeth into something that interests you? FutureLearn offer a course spread over 11 weeks, exploring the threats our world faces, and helping you to understand how cultures and organisations can work together to overcome them. The course also features three courses and one assessment. Duration: 11 weeks.
Wellbeing and mindfulness
This course comes from Yale University, and is lead by a Professor who hopes to give you the tools you need to increase your own happiness and build more productive habits. The course aims to help you recognise factors that might be having a negative impact on your life, and explain how to form happier practices. Duration: approximately 19 hours to complete.
LinkedIn's course on 'Learning Adobe Animate CC: Animation' gives you an insight into how to create animations and make things move on Adobe. The video course helps you to add text, images and effects, as well as create symbols and apply motions. Sounds fun! Duration: two hours 17 minutes.
Oh no big deal, just actor Academy Award nominee director Spike Lee talking you through the independent film making process and offering guidance on how to make a movie of your own. Spike advises on everything from song choice to editing, in these video lectures. Duration: 19 videos.
Margaret Attwood, who's behind the little known novel The Handmaid's Tale, has a creative writing course, in which she goes through everything from crafting dialogue to landing a killer conclusion. She also touches on how to beat writers block, and the best way to nail your writing style. Wannabe bestselling authors, this one's for you. Duration: 23 videos.
How to play an instrument
If you can see yourself being the next Lizzo (the flute, anyone?) but haven't quite got your music career off to a flying start, having some lessons might be a good place to start. The internet is full of brilliant online learning courses for everything from how to write a song to how to play the guitar or even beginner lessons on how to be a music producer.
Introduction to psychology
If you're interested in the idea of being a therapist or the human brain, how about trying out an introduction to psychology course? Hosted by the university of Toronto, this course promises to explore cognitive behaviour as well as human development and various forms of mental health. It sounds v interesting. Duration: approx 26 hours to complete.
Ever wanted to put up a shelf and had no real clue where to start? What about fixing a leaky pipe? Or relaying a carpet? No, us neither. And while it can feel like everyone all over Instagram has been doing house improvements this month, you may as well make sure you're clued up enough before you get involved. Duration: course lengths vary
Personal training for beginners
If you've found yourself loving your home workouts while in isolation and are considering taking it to the next level, why not try a PT course for beginners? This one promises to help you build a fitness plan for your future clients, as well as teach you an understanding of the perfect form, and human anatomy. Duration: 3 hours.
So many potential opportunities!
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