To help you inexpensively upskill for your career and to prepare for big companies to lift their hiring freeze, I asked founders and other business leaders how you can show your willingness to learn on your resume. From using the OERI to SkillUp from Simplilearn, several online companies offer free to inexpensive courses for continuing your education.
How to Upskill Your Resume with Free Licenses or Certifications
Use Open Educational Resources Initiative (OERI)
One resource that enables you to get free licenses or certifications to enhance your professional skills is the Open Educational Resources Initiative. The OERI provides access to high-quality educational materials that are available for anyone to use and reuse at no cost.
The initiative offers a variety of courses and materials, from business and management to computer science and engineering. In addition, the OERI also provides support for educators who wish to use these resources in their classrooms. As a result, the OERI is an excellent resource for those looking to improve their professional skills.
Try Open edX's Website
One resource that enables you to get a free license or certification to enhance your professional skills is the Open edX website. This website provides online courses and learning resources developed by top universities and organizations worldwide. The site offers a range of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) that you can take at your own pace.
Take Advantage of a Library Card at Lynda.com
Anytime I want to learn a new professional skill, the first resource I turn to is Lynda.com. Lynda.com is an online learning platform that offers thousands of courses on everything from web development to project management. Best of all, many of the courses are available for free with a library card. That means I can access high-quality training without having to pay a dime.
In addition, Lynda.com also offers certification exams for certain courses. Although the exams do cost money, they are generally much less expensive than equivalent exams offered by other organizations.
As someone who is always looking to improve my skills, I find Lynda.com to be an invaluable resource.
Explore Free & Cheap Options On Coursera
Coursera offers various certifications for professionals looking to upskill or learn more about an aspirational role or industry. Many are free, while others are eligible for financial aid, depending on the instructor and course you would like to take. Most instructors are from highly acclaimed organizations such as Google, Microsoft, Meta, and Ivy League schools, among many others. Enrollment is free but often expires after a trial period, costing a variable amount depending on the course. Although some of the best classes are not completely free, many are still very accessible for under $100 a month compared to other educational institutions.
Look for Certifications at Hubspot Academy
HubSpot Academy is an incredible resource for upskilling. HubSpot offers free courses covering technical skills (like SEO), soft skills (such as critical thinking), and community-specific opportunities (like building your business as a Black entrepreneur). You can complete most courses in an afternoon, and HubSpot is well-known and respected enough to put completion certificates on your LinkedIn profile and share them with colleagues.
Upskill at Open Learning Initiative
One such resource for free certification courses is the Open Learning Initiative or OLI. OLI partners with leading educational institutions and organizations worldwide to provide access to high-quality learning opportunities at no cost. They have a ton of great, relevant free online courses for people looking to learn new skills and build their resumes. I'm really impressed by the variety of courses too. They offer courses and certifications on Social Media, Career Coaching, Data, Programming, Law, and even Tasting and communicating flavors!
Stick With LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a fantastic source to take tutorials and certification quizzes related to professional skills. If you want to bolster your SEO credentials, go to LinkedIn. If you want to be more than just a casual practitioner of Microsoft Word and know it frontward and backward, turn to LinkedIn. The same goes for all Microsoft Office software.
The platform even offers video tutorials on goal-setting and interpersonal communication in the workplace. LinkedIn is a fertile training ground for finding jobs and making yourself more recruitable.
Enhance Your Skills With SkillUp from Simplilearn
One way to level up your career is to stay consistent in your education. But that doesn't require spending thousands on degrees and certifications.
For example, SkillUp from Simplilearn allows you to learn for free through their online courses. Pick a topic, such as Design Thinking for Beginners, and spend just one hour learning a new skill.
Once you finish, you'll receive a certification that will become a great addition to your resume.
What other ways or organizations have you found to enhance your professional repertoire that hasn't cost you an arm and a leg?