10 free online courses students can take to boost their CV

free courses
Stand out from the crowd with these 10 courses. Source: Ulises Ruiz/AFP

Now is an excellent time to start thinking about how you can make your CV stand out from the crowd. When you graduate, your CV will need to showcase that you have actively considered your future career. An excellent way to do that is to use your time now to undertake different free courses which will help you boost your CV.

We’ve pulled together a selection of the best, and here we tell you what they are all about.

1. Google Digital Garage

Wherever your future career lies, you can bet you’ll need digital skills. Where better to learn those skills, than from Google? What’s more, many of the options go way beyond the digital.

From networking skills to the science of wellbeing, there is a huge range of courses. Many of the courses are free and you’ll get certification at the end, making them ideal to put on your CV.

free courses

Students wearing face masks amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic take a computerised test at an Islamic junior high school in Banda Aceh on June 10, 2020. Source: Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP

What’s also great about Google Digital Garage is that it brings together courses from tonnes of providers. If you’re not sure where to start, this is a good springboard.

2. Vision2Learn

Vision2Learn has a range of online learning options available for free. Most result in a Level 2 qualification, giving you an excellent launchpad for starting your career. Don’t restrict yourself to things that are only directly relevant to your field of study or future career.

For example, the Level 2 Customer Service course will give you an excellent grounding in communication and customer orientation across the business.

3. Oxford Home Study Centre

The Oxford Home Study Centre offers a number of free courses that you can access remotely. On completion, you receive a certificate.

There is a really eclectic mix of options here such as basic accounting courses and a cybersecurity course, through to report writing and ethics.

4. Codecademy

There’s no doubt that some coding knowledge will help everyone in their future. If nothing else, it helps you to understand what’s possible. Much of the content on Codecademy, especially at the more basic levels, is available for free. You can gain a really good basic understanding of coding without having to leave home or spend a penny.

5. OpenLearn

OpenLearn is a free course platform from The Open University. From personal branding for career success through to learning how to write a SWOT analysis, there are some really excellent options for those at the beginning of their career.

6. BBC Academy

The range of subjects covered by the BBC Academy is enormous. Geared towards journalism and media, there are many different options that can help you. Covering things such as virtual reality production to how to create subtitles, there are some great standalone options.

7. FutureLearn

Not all of the courses at FutureLearn are free. However, many are low cost. They have a huge number of courses covering a broad number of subjects, such as law, teaching, health, history, language, psychology, and more. Therefore, whatever field you plan to develop your career in, you’re likely to find something that fits the bill.

free courses

From BBC Academy to edX, students all over the world can access free courses in a variety of subjects. Source: Ulises Ruiz/AFP

8. Duolingo

Duolingo is a language learning platform. Taking a little and often approach, you can set daily targets of as little as 10 minutes. Pretty much every main language is covered here, and in our international world, you can bet that having additional language skills will give you the cutting edge on your CV.

9. HubSpot Academy

Another excellent provider of free digital learning is HubSpot Academy, but this time centred on digital marketing. Courses are broken down into accessible lessons.

Delivered via video and presentation, backed up with resources and hands-on activities, you can cover lots of digital marketing techniques, such as content management through to building a Twitter strategy.

10. edX

edX brings together multiple providers of free courses. A good example of the courses on offer is “Analyzing and Visualising Data with Excel”. Although you have to pay for certification, you could access the course for free, and learn about Microsoft Excel, which of course is widely used in the workplace.

Identify the skills which will be needed in the jobs you apply for, but also choose a course that interests you. This way you’ll easily gain the skills remotely, but also find it possible to complete the course, meaning you can put it on your CV.

Andrew Fennell is the founder of CV writing advice website StandOut CV – he is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to websites like Business Insider, The Guardian and FastCompany.

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