Having only really discovered online courses in the last two years there has been a lot of learning and catching up to do! Like many of us, I spent so long in a formal education setting (school, sixth form, uni) that I never really thought of taking online courses. On top of everything else you already have to learn, adding extra things can be a little overwhelming. I never really branched out much. In all honesty this is something I regret, though I am certainly making up for it now by taking courses and exploring new hobbies.
The beauty of taking a course online is that you can more or less learn anything, in any time frame that you choose. Whether you have 5 days or 5 minutes free, there is always something you can take away.
In today’s post, I will be talking about my favourite websites for online courses and learning material, alongside the ones I have personally found helpful!
Udemy has been my go-to place for online courses since I started taking them. It is how I got into coding in the first place. I was bored one day and browsing through their £10 sale (something they host regularly). I stumbled across the Complete Web Developer Course by Rob Percival. Working 40 hours in retail at the time, I was desperate to learn something new, so thought I would give it a go. Lucky for me I ended up really enjoying it. It was one of the main reason I did a complete career U-turn. Udemy itself is great as there are so many different courses across multiple genres. I am signed up for quite a few both free and paid. Some of my favourites aside from the web developer course are the Complete WordPress Theme Developer (also by Rob Percival) and Bootstrap to WordPress by Brad Hussey.
These two combined have allowed me to build my own WordPress sites from scratch. Something I am still working on, though these have aided my understanding no end.
Also, I got suckered in by a Youtube advert and signed up for The Ultimate Drawing Course by Jaysen Batchelor. This is much more of a hobby thing but I look forward to trying it out in my free time. I have never been great at drawing though so we will see!
Skillshare is a fairly recent discovery but one I am very pleased to have made. Out of the two, I find skillshare to be the best for more creative projects. After watching one of Aileen’s videos (Lavendaire) I signed up for their Adobe InDesign and Illustrator courses by Daniel Scott.
InDesign and Illustrator are two programs I have wanted to learn for a long time. For some reason, it all just seemed too daunting and technical. I had a brief stint in graphic design at school. The teacher didn’t actually know how to teach us the adobe creative suite software though. I have spent years telling myself I will learn it and the need to supplement my web design skills definitely tipped my decision to dive in. The ironic thing is, each course is only about 4 hours long and I have managed to learn both programs at a basic level in just 2 weeks. It really does go to show that there is no time like the present!
I also have my eye on the UX/UI Design and Photoshop courses next to add to my skillset.
One of the great things about Skillshare is that although there is a monthly fee to pay, you have unlimited access to courses. This way you can save as many as you want, but you are not committing to paying for an individual course that you don’t know much about. The downside to this is that you need to be taking courses regularly, to make the most out of your subscription.
If you sign up with my referral link you can get 2 free months of skillshare to trial it out and see if you like it!
Although I don’t tend to do ‘courses’ on youtube, there are so many videos that are helpful and motivating. For me, it is often more to do with personal growth or practical ways to boost your social media and blog presence. All of these things are helpful in the long run though. Even if it is simply a video with topics on how to study more efficiently!
I have put together a productivity playlist for myself but made it public should you wish to follow it. I add to it every time I find a useful or motivating video so maybe it could help you too!
In terms of adobe creative cloud software, the own brand tutorials are actually really very good. I used the Get Started tutorials before I started the skillshare courses mentioned above. They gave me a great initial understanding of the software. I think in the age of google we often forget to read the ‘instruction manual’ so to speak. It is however always a good place to start, whatever you are trying to learn!
This is a fairly new one for me also but is great for keeping up to speed. FreeCodeCamp is an online community and resource that teaches you how to code in a hands-on way.
You can join coding Facebook groups in your area through their website and meet like-minded people near you. It is a not for profit organisation that works on a donation basis. The challenges are good fun and a great way to start learning or refresh your memory. They get harder and more challenging the deeper you get and also offer a basic certificate system for certain topics. Definitely one worth checking out!
For any of you thinking about learning a new skill or starting a new hobby, I hope this was a gentle nudge to just go for it. Jump in at the deep end, because if you don’t start now you probably never will. Give it a go and then tell me all about it. I would love to hear about what you are learning!