According to Business Insider, once you move past the beginner phase in tech, certain certifications can add thousands of dollars to your paycheck. And even if you are a beginner, it never hurts to have tech skills on your resume for other jobs. Staying up to date on tech advancements is an excellent way to ensure job security.
Below are eight tech courses, some free, some membership-based, to help you level up your skills no matter what career you want to pursue.
EdX offers over 2,500 free online tech courses from universities such as Harvard, Berkeley, and MIT. Each course offers a variety of learning tools from videos to assignments to textbook readings, allowing users an immersive learning experience. You can even access the student forum to interact with your fellow online classmates and teaching assistants for help with assignments.
EdX is a great place to start if you’re just dipping your toes into the tech world because there’s no financial commitment, but you’ll still receive a certificate from each university-level course.
Thinking about going back to school? Some of these courses even offer college credits, depending on which school you attend.
If you already have a little bit of programming experience, you’re in luck. Google is offering a free class for Python coding, which is essentially a high-level coding language that you can impress all of your friends and future employers with.
Like EdX, Google’s Python class is an immersive experience, with everything from written materials to videos and all of the coding exercises you’ll need to become an expert in no time. The best part is that the course is split up into several sections, beginning with basic concepts like creating strings and lists and then helps you build on your knowledge until you’re able to create full programs with Python.
As I mentioned before, you do need a little bit of programming experience, but you don’t have to be an expert—and it’s free, so there’s no risk involved.
Moderately priced courses
LinkedIn Learning, formerly known as Lynda, is not tech-specific but has a massive collection of tech courses from design to coding to development. A LinkedIn Learning subscription is $29.99 per month or a one-time annual fee of $299.88. The nice thing about a LinkedIn Learning subscription is that your investment goes beyond tech courses. You can acquire skills in marketing, writing, graphic design, and more—and every time you complete a course, it adds a certification to your LinkedIn profile.
If you often find yourself wishing you had more time to develop skills in areas such as technology, Udemy is a great option because it’s targeted at working adults who want to fit courses into their busy lives.
All of Udemy’s courses are video lectures, meaning you can pause, play, fast-forward, and work at your own pace, all while learning from industry professionals. Much like LinkedIn Learning, you can find videos on almost any skill that you’re interested in learning.
Some courses on Udemy are free, while others require a fee to access. However, most courses are reasonably priced, and Udemy has $9.99 sales on courses all the time.
SkillShare is an online learning community of over 4 million people with more than 22,000 classes. From UI and UX design to web development to film editing, you can find just about any course on SkillShare.
Like Udemy, some courses are free, while others, such as this $40 Build an HTML and CSS Website From Scratch class are pay-to-play. You can also try two months of SkillShare Premium for free to see if it’s a good platform for you. After that, it is $19 per month or $99 annually.
Courses to invest in
Pluralsight, which, if you’re techy, you might know for its recent acquisition of the popular platform CodeSchool, is the ultimate hub for all classes tech-related. For $29 per month or $299, annually, users have access to the entire Pluralsight course library, community discussions, mobile and TV apps, and offline viewing.
The Pluralsight Premium subscription is $449, annually, and offers certification practice exams along with real-world projects. If you’re not sure you want to invest in Pluralsight, you can try it for free for 10 days or watch 200 minutes of courses.
SkillCrush is for the busy professional who is looking to get certified in tech skills such as coding, design, or digital marketing and increase their salary.
Skillcrush classes are designed to be completed over three or four months and require less than an hour of work per day. The classes are also flexible, so falling a little behind or working a few days ahead is okay.
If you’re new to all things tech, SkillCrush offers a free coding camp before you invest in any of their programs. Their three to four month, step-by-step courses range in price from $300 to $500 and help you get career-ready. These courses include Python for Web Apps & Data, Web Developer, UX Design, and one nine-month course called Break Into Tech, which is $149 per month or a $1,599 one-time payment.
SkillShare also offers an online community for help with lessons during each course. After users receive their certification, they have access to an alumni group where they can network, find jobs, and pitch creative ideas.