Free Skills Courses To Kickstart A Career With I Oxford Open Learning


    Free Skills Courses To Kickstart A Career With

    As we enter a new year and find ourselves back in Covid lockdown, it is a great time to think about the skills you could gain to set yourself up for a job.

    Building a CV

    Although you might be thinking it’s too early to start planning for your career whilst preparing for your GCSEs, the earlier you start writing your CV, the easier it can be to keep track of your achievements.

    Coursera is running a free online resume/CV course that will teach you how to organise, write, and format an impressive CV.

    Canva is a really useful free tool for building more creative CVs (and countless other visual graphics) that look the part. It’s easy to use, and a popular digital marketing tool. Ability in digital marketing is a great skill to be able to demonstrate to employers.

    Soft Skills

    Soft skills are defined character traits and interpersonal skills that allow someone to interact well with other people. These skills can make it easier for you to create trust, build relationships, and lead groups.

    Many high profile studies into the future of work argue that these skills are the most important – while technology is quickly replacing the need for technical skills, machines will never substitute an individual that can communicate effectively.

    The Department for Education has recently introduced a new scheme called ‘An Hour to Skill’, a campaign that encourages young people to spend one hour a week learning online with the Skills Toolkit, with up to 40 hours of free training available. The 18 courses on offer contain lots of options for building soft skills, such as adaptability, resilience and remote working.

    Extra-curricular activities are a brilliant way to develop these types of skills and they look great on a CV. For example, positions of authority such as school council roles show leadership, and any participation in interest groups illustrate a great willingness to learn.

    Training Courses

    For those studying at sixth form or wanting to gain greater insight into the world of work, specialised training courses are a brilliant way to upskill yourself. Online courses can boost your annual pay by £3,640, according to think-tank Demos.

    Digital skills are becoming increasingly important – in recent years, the number of digital jobs grew almost three times as quickly as other occupations, with Covid having increased the pace at which workplaces are moving online.

    The Skills Toolkit offers everything from coding and computer science, to marketing, social media and design, with courses provided from Google, Amazon and FutureLearn, as well as the Institute of Coding, the University of Leeds, and University Arts London Creative Computing Institute.

    LinkedIn is also offering free classes until January 31st for the skills that they have identified as the most important to employers in 2021, such as data analysis and project management. There are also general career development courses on interview preparation available.


    With courses taking as little as an hour, why not use a rainy afternoon in lockdown 3.0 to start thinking about your future? Because when it comes to your career, there are no wrong decisions – if you aren’t a fan of the course you take, it simply means that you’ve refined your career path further!

    See more by

    Having recently returned to the UK after a ski season in the French Alps, Hannah has decided to swap the skis for her laptop keys. As a History graduate from the University of Leeds with an Exchange BA from the University of Rochester, New York, she has always had a passion for writing. She has written musings for magazines, copy for companies, and is now braving the blogs. She hopes you enjoy her work.