Written by Shannon Lawrence
There’s never a better time to learn a new skill than during the summer. School’s out, and all of a sudden you seem to have all the time in the world on your hands - what are you going to do with it? There are so many new skills that you can learn online, either through apps on your phone, or online learning platforms on your computer, that can be both helpful and exciting to learn. From a new language, to learning how to code, or photoshop cool images - there is so much that you can choose from.
Here we have condensed 5 different skills that you could learn online this summer, as well as where you could learn them. These skills are all highly sought after by employers, and really don’t take that long to learn! Choose what you’re passionate about, and get cracking!
Learning how to code can not only allow you to potentially earn a high salary (the average salary for Software Developers in 2019 was $107,510), but can also teach you abstract thinking and creative problem solving skills. Coding is also a useful skill for many different career paths that may not seem to be directly coding-related at first. Some common applications are:
1. Building a website or webapp:
• CSS is for modifying colors, fonts, and arranging page layouts
2. Developing/modifying video games and mobile apps:
3. Managing Servers and Databases:
• Python, PHP, and SQL
freeCodeCamp is one of the most popular coding bootcamps that lets you choose from various programming languages to learn for free. Another great option for learning Web Development specifically is The Odin Project, which was created by a community of friendly developers to help beginners learn everything from scratch, such as how the web works, or how to use the command line, which are fundamentals that most other learning platforms don’t teach.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies have become a hot topic in the recent past, as more and more people have realized the potentials of this technology in the future of finance and business. According to the latest report by Upwork, Blockchain engineering is the second most highly demanded skill by companies around the world.
Udemy has a great course called “Blockchain A-Z” which explains why Blockchain is important, its underlying theories, and how to build your own Blockchain. A basic understanding of Python is helpful in this course. edX is another platform that has a number of free courses from Berkeley, MIT, Harvard and the Linux foundation that both introduce you to Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies and allow you to get certified upon completion.
3. French/Spanish/Mandarin with a real tutor
Has learning a new language always been on your bucket list? Not only can it enable you to travel to that foreign country and actually speak with the local people like you’ve always wanted to, but it can also strengthen your brain’s neural pathways and delay the onset of dementia1.
The best way to learn a new language is through speaking with someone who is native to that language, and who is patient and willing to see you through your language journey. Learning from someone who has taught the language before will be especially beneficial because they know exactly what your learning curve might be and how to overcome that.
The TUEX app has excellent English, Mandarin, Cantonese, French, Spanish and many more language tutors that you can talk to one-on-one either on zoom or in-person to learn that new language. Crossing a new language off your bucket list has never been easier.
4. Digital Marketing (SEO, marketing, social media)
Google has created a unique “Fundamentals of Digital Marketing” course which gives you a certificate at the end that is highly sought after by employers on resumes and cover letters. The course is 40 hours, free, and includes short and easy to watch video tutorials that make learning this new skill straightforward and fun.
5. Adobe Photoshop/ Graphic Design
Photoshop is not hard to learn, and it only takes 30 minutes to learn the most basic tools in the library. Professional photographers may take up to 2-3 months to learn all of the more advanced tools and abilities that photoshop can give you, but it all depends on how deep you want to dive in.
Skillshare is one website that has a number of free and paid photoshop courses, as well as some more focused on graphic design and content creation. Enter the world of retouching and editing, animation and 3D lettering.
Google. (n.d.). Fundamentals of Digital Marketing. Google Digital Unlocked. Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://learndigital.withgoogle.com/digitalunlocked/course/digital-marketing
Meinke, H. (2020, August 24). Why learn to code? the surprisingly broad benefits of coding. Rasmussen University. Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://www.rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/why-learn-to-code/
Sharma, T. K. (2022, March 24). How can a newbie start learning about blockchain? Blockchain Council. Retrieved May 2, 2022, from https://www.blockchain-council.org/blockchain/how-can-a-newbie-start-learning-about-blockchain/
Learning sites referenced: