In the modern workplace, it is important to keep learning, developing and growing your skillset, due to new technology, updates in the way we conduct business and lots of extraneous variables it's important not to stay stagnant.

Whether you are looking to develop your skillset, or learn something completely new, it can be a great idea to look into the options available. We have all been in a position where we are applying for a new role and are concerned we do not have the skills required, and this is the crooks of upskilling. 

Regardless of what the skill is, it will normally give us a new lease on our professional life and gives you additional confidence when going for a new role, thriving in your current one, or even asking for a promotion. We will be outlining some great places you can get completely free online courses for upskilling and the kind of skills you can learn within each platform. 

What is upskilling and reskilling?

So what is upskilling? A lot of people have different things come to mind when they think of upskilling, but it is literally as simple as learning new skills or developing old ones to stay competitive in your professional life, and sometimes even in your personal life too. Online courses are great for upskilling can really help to upgrade your CV and stand out as an employee of choice. 

Upskilling is defined as learning additional hard skills, or even transferable soft skills, and is often done to help the candidate stay up to date and relevant within the workplace. For instance, if you are a digital marketer, you may want to learn how to utilise emerging social marketing trends, so you would upskill in social media.

Reskilling is slightly different, as the name suggests, you are learning skills in a different area to your current employment. Think of upskilling as upgrading your skills to positively impact your role or career, and reskilling as changing to a new specialisation, you might reskill from a plumber to an electrician for example. 

Six free online courses for upskilling

Upskill training has become a buzzword, especially since the pandemic giving a lot of people time to reflect on their roles and if they want to move into something new. Upskill courses are very popular and there are a lot of free options available for all skill levels and job types. Upskilling has a ton of benefits that will affect you both positively in your work life and even at home too.

We are going to be looking at some examples of upskill courses and websites that offer a wide variety of free upskill training which can help job seekers, current employees and everyone in between. 

1.    edX 

Back in 2012, a few of the world’s leading universities had an idea to create an online platform to help people around the globe learn and upskill via innovative free courses provided by the best universities on the planet. 

One of the best places for free upskilling courses that are backed by recognisable educational institutions, if you have ever wanted to say you had a course at Harvard or Oxford, edX gives you that opportunity. 

With almost 3000 courses, ranging from shark biology to marketing, to science, to the history of music, you will be able to find whatever you are looking for and more

2.    HubSpot Academy

Despite what people think, HubSpot is not just limited to marketing and or sales teams, and the information and upskill courses they provide can be insightful to all of the stakeholders in a business. 

The HubSpot Academy is aimed at helping companies, business owners, and individuals level up their knowledge in a range of different topics within the business sphere. The free courses for upskilling they offer are incredibly helpful regardless of your current role.

If you work in a professional role, you will benefit from upskilling within HubSpot's unique and engaging content.

HubSpot is involved with all types of business and companies, so there will always be something for you to upskill, or even reskill in.

3.    LinkedIn 

The professional social media network can sometimes feel a little daunting, but it does offer a great platform for finding free online courses.  LinkedIn launched a specific upskill course section in response to the pandemic, which is very insightful for anyone looking to upskill, reskill or develop their career in uncertain times.

LinkedIn also has a partnership with the upskill courses by Lynda, a popular learning site that was acquired by LinkedIn. It is now rebranded as LinkedIn learning, which offers even more options for learning and upskilling. 

4.    Google Analytics

You would struggle to find someone who doesn’t use Google or understand its importance and impact on digital business and the internet as a whole. The free upskill courses that Google offer on analytics are some of the best digital learning you will get. 

Often favoured by modern-day marketers, Google Analytics can be invaluable to anyone within a business.

Understanding how organic and paid searches work and how customers will find your company is information that every business should have.

The courses are detailed and extremely helpful, there is a test at the end to get your accreditation which lasts a year. Due to how quickly things move, the information will have changed in 12 months, hence the re-test annually. 

5.    Udemy 

Although Udemy does have paid courses, there are around +10,000 free online courses for upskilling you can access online too. There are a huge variety of topics and upskill course options that you can access via

Udemy’s simple to use site. A lot of these free upskill courses are shorter, meaning you can get a good introduction to a lot of different topic areas. 

The filters allow you to select different difficulty levels and various other features to help you find the right course for you, whether that's business, arts, photography, science or renewable energy.

6.    Duolingo 

With the increasing globalisation and international business that companies conduct, having additional language skills is always a great way to stand out. 

Language skills are valuable in any type of business and can give you additional options and chances to move abroad or open up new lines of business. Duolingo markets itself as the best way to learn a new language, and with the innovative app and simple design, it makes upskilling with a second or third language a lot less like a chore and more like a game.

What’s next?

In order to find out exactly what skills you need to work on or learn, use our handy Skills Checker Tool to find out exactly what skills are needed to excel in your career. Just search by job title to find out the skills and qualifications employers are currently looking for when hiring new staff in your industry.

Did you know your skillset is currently in demand? Jobs in the UK are currently at an all-time high, so now is a great time to switch up your career .Download our Job Applicant Toolkit today for expert advice on every stage of the job search journey.

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