I’ve spent enough years in the tech space to know you’ve got to commit to lifelong learning. Here’s my go-to list of great places to stay on top of the latest tech skills. If you’ve got a favorite not on this list, inbox me on Twitter at @sharinoland.
Novice to Expert Tech
Whatever you need to learn in the coding world, I guarantee there is a YouTube video to teach you. It’s a great resource for learning everything from coding to digital marketing from everyday people — and some experts. Where I’ve found it to be really useful is when I’m taking a course on another site and I get stuck. I’ll go over to YouTube and see if someone can give me more clarity on that issue.
Several courses are free. This site has collaborations with industry giants like Google, AT&T, Facebook, Salesforce, Cloudera, etc.. However, if you want to earn a “Nanodegree,” which is their techie word for a certificate, you’ll need to pay around $200 a month, depending on the specialization. There is a 7-day free trial for the Nanodegree. Once nice feature with some of the Nanodegree programs is that there is a track you can choose with a job guarantee.
Here’s where you can learn the basics of coding. The lessons are easy to follow. However, if you’re willing to kick in $19.99 a month, you can get extra resources and support, plus a Personalized Learning Plan.
Most people are familiar with WordPress, but for the newly initiated, it’s a free platform for building Websites. WordPress.org has several free tutorials on how to build Websites on the platform, but it takes dedication and focus to charge through all of them. But if you do, you’ll be richly rewarded in knowledge!
If you are a gamer (or your teen is), this platform is great for learning how to create 2D and 3D games. You’ll need to download the free platform onto your personal computer, but there are many video tutorials. It’s a marketable skill and a strong way to kickstart a career in game development.
Facebook has this really useful tool that will enable you to find which classes are best for you based on your experience and age. Not only that, but it has info the in-demand skills that you’ll need to secure a programming gig. This site has most of the sites listed here and even more!
It ‘s a no-frills experience, but it will get the job done if you’re patient enough to plow through the straightforward lessons. The content is spot on, it’s just not the most exciting experience. But hey, it’s free.
This is where the true learning beings for many coders as you check code and get input from the development community. So there are no real classes here, but if you’re serious about coding, you need to sign up and start interacting with other developers. It’s also a great place to showcase your work.
Tech, Social Media and Digital Marketing/Analytics
You can usually catch a deal with Udemy.com and pay under $20 for most classes — many times for only $10. Unlike other sites, any expert (after jumping through a few hoops) can come on board the platform, create a class, and start accepting students. That said, the courses are ranked so you know the more popular ones. I have personally taken several courses on this platform and found them to be very useful, particularly when you want to study for a certification exam and don’t want to pay the hefty fees often charged by other companies. For example, when studying for my Project Management Certification exam, I saw online classes over $1,000. I paid $10 for a class on Udemy.com and passed the very rigorous exam the first time.
The most prestigious universities from all over the world participate in this site, and subject matters are endless. You can explore and non-graded material for free or, in many cases, there’s a 7-day free trial where you get access to everything. Even if you do go the paid route, class prices range from $29-99. I took a course through Northwestern called Social Media Marketing, and it kept me engaged and interested in keeping the videos shorts, assignments doable, and I got ample feedback.
This platform is always changing and getting better so learning from Google Analytics Academy is more of a base than an endpoint. But the classes are pretty good, and all are free. If you’re considering a career in digital analytics, this is a solid place to test your interest.
Tech and everything else!
Lynda.com has a 10-day free trial. When you start, you’re likely to get hooked. I’ve taken several courses on this site, and it’s ideal for that random tech subject matter you might need to bone up on, like Developing Secure Sites on WordPress. The basic plan of $19.99 a month gets you a lot. When I had a creative team, I was able to take advantage of the premium plan and get everyone trained. The biggest challenge with these courses is completing them because there are a lot of lectures and not all the instructors are the most engaging. I often bounced around the site, zeroed in on the particular lecture within a course that suited my needs and moved on. But if you do complete the course, you can share verified completion on your LinkedIn page, which is a nice feature.
There is something for all ages on this site, not just tech. And it’s all free! In my experience with my kids, these courses are excellent. Even the school will recommend lessons on this site.