No matter where you are in your individual career, continuing education can be an invaluable asset. Here are eight free online classes that can help you accomplish your professional goals this year.
Introduction to Interactive Programming: Taught at Rice University, this online course is available with a free trial from Coursera. Designed for virtually anyone with a basic understanding of high school mathematics, the class includes a browser-based programming environment, where you learn to build basic games such as Asteroids, Blackjack and Pong. The entire class takes from seven to ten hours per week for five full weeks.
Web Design: Ever wish you could apply your own creative skills to your company's online presence without having to hire an expert? Take this brief, three-hour course from Codecademy and learn the fundamentals of web development. Consisting of four projects and four quizzes, the class will show you how to construct a website using both HTML and CSS.
Image Editing in Photoshop: Provided by Pluralsight, this class consists of a series of step-by-step videos that help you get familiar with Photoshop lingo, while showing you how to get started using the software's most basic techniques and tools. You will begin by resampling and resizing images, before learning how to remove unwanted information and correct colors. The entire course lasts just 90 minutes and is available with a free trial to Pluralsight.
Professional Logo Design: If you run your own company, it's critical that you build a killer brand that is unique, memorable and relevant to your industry. Provided by Udemy, this seven-hour course includes 45 lectures that show you how to craft your very own brand using Adobe Illustrator. Available at no cost, the course gives invaluable insight into what makes a logo effective, while offering a methodical approach to developing your very own logo, using techniques that emphasize simplicity and readability.
Online Advertising: Available through OPEN2STUDY, this course shows you how online ads are priced and delivered by major digital platforms, including social and mobile. Consisting of 33 videos, the course teaches you the steps involved in digital campaign planning, while showing you how to set measurable, realistic campaign objectives. If you want to understand all the processes that go into selling an online ad program, this is a great place to start.
Entrepreneurship: Ever dreamed of ditching your nine-to-five and starting your own business? If it all seems too overwhelming, this free class from edX can help. Designed in partnership with MIT, the course teaches you the skills and mindset you will need to succeed as a budding business owner. Through a combination of brief videos and activities, you will learn how to develop new business ideas, perform market research, design and test your offering and pitching, and overcome some common initial challenges. The entire course lasts just one to three hours per week, over a span of six weeks.