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10 Online Courses That Professionals Everywhere Can Use

10 Online Courses That Professionals Everywhere Can Use

The Great Recession may be behind us, but years of economic instability have left their mark on the workplace. Now, more Americans are freelancers or working on contract. Meanwhile, managers have yet to hire new employees at the pre-recession rates, leaving current employees with multiple responsibilities and job titles. What does that mean for us worker bees? We have to constantly improve our skillset, develop professionally and stay on top of our game to remain valued and employable. Yet many of us do not have the time or the money to participate in a traditional college or continuing education course.

Online courses are becoming more popular, and what was once seen as a questionable credential is now recognized as quality education. According to this infographic from Vista College, an estimated 25 million students will take at least one online class this year, and 77 percent of academics rate online courses equal or superior to the bricks and mortar classroom. No matter your profession, it’s critical to stay current with best practices, skills and technology. Here are 10 online courses that professionals everywhere should consider:

Intro to Social Media, Constant Contact

social media online course

    Is Facebook a mystery to you? Do you hear colleagues talking about the company’s digital footprint but have no idea what it means? If you were hoping Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media sites were just fads that would quickly disappear, you are mistaken. And everyone from family owned businesses to multinational corporations are working to improve their online presence and reputation through these sites. Social 101, an online course put together by email marketer Constant Contact, explains popular sites, blogging, QR codes, email marketing and more.

    Project Management Course, Vista College Pro

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    project management courses

      Vista College’s online classes are perfect for busy professionals. This course can help enhance the skills needed to be successful in project management, including initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and closing. This course can also prepare you for the project management professional certification through the Project Management Institute. If your boss has been reluctant to put you in charge of a project, take this course to sharpen your skills.

      Google Analytics Academy, Google

      SEO and analytics

        Website analytics have advanced well beyond merely counting the number of visits. By taking this course, you’ll learn how the data collected by Google about those visiting your website will help you direct advertising dollars, grow your e-commerce, and create in-depth analysis. Just by adding the analytics code to your website, a whole new world of big data will be open to you.

        Time Management Class, Franklin Covey

        Time To Learn

          Franklin Covey is famous for its courses in productivity and business skills. Their Time Management Essentials online course can help busy professionals learn to prioritize responsibilities, think through problems more efficiently and make good decisions. These courses also teach students how to use technology to make life more productive, instead of adding distractions to an already busy schedule.

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          Writing Course, Utah State University

          writing course

            Clear and well thought out writing is hard to find. Even in an age when it seems everyone is a blogger, or at least a microblogger, quality writing is rare. Yet it’s necessary to get ahead in the workplace: presentations, emails, proposals and even employee reviews all depend upon a solid writing foundation. Take this course to help understand and develop writing skills.

            Photography Training and Tutorials, Lynda.com

            photography online course

              Photography is a wonderful personal skill that can take a family photo album from dull to inspiring. But a few photography skills can also help set you apart at work. Facebook posts with photos enjoy a higher level of engagement than those without. The annual financial report is read by more people when a compelling photo is on the cover. The company website is always putting out calls for event photos. By taking photography classes, you can set yourself apart at home and at work.

              Public Speaking, University of Washington via Coursera

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              Communicate Definition Magnifier Showing Dialog Networking Or Speaking

                Do you get knots in your stomach when presenting to the Board of Directors? Does the idea of representing your company at a trade show terrify you? Then it is time to take a public speaking class to get over your fears and advance in the workplace. This course is a partnership between the University of Washington and Coursera, and will help you become more succinct, persuasive and confident in your speech.

                Finance and Capital Markets, Khan Academy

                Finance

                  Even the most artistic among us has to face the reality of a budget and bank balance. So while this coursework may not apply to your job right now, as you move up the corporate ladder you will also be responsible for an office budget one day. Learning about interest, debt, accounting basics and financial statements will set you apart from colleagues who’ve never heard of the word “amortization.”

                  Business Etiquette, The Emily Post Institute

                  business course

                    One poorly handled work lunch or a flubbed interaction with the CEO can set any employee back. On the other hand, when a boss sees you handle a potentially awkward or stressful situation with grace and ease, you’ll be commended. The Emily Post Institute offers classes in business and workplace etiquette, communications for business professionals and dining tips for business dinners or events. Sure, you may know your company inside and out, but do you know how to make the best impression?

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                    Sewing Class, Craftsy.com

                    hobby classes

                      OK, maybe it won’t be sewing for you, but don’t be afraid to think outside the box when looking for an online class. If you talk on the phone all day, it is relaxing to take a sewing class in the evening and work your creative skills. Maybe for you it would be an online course about car repair, an online cooking class, instruction in a foreign language or a DIY home repair course. These outside interests will give you something to talk about at work, and show the boss that you are a well-rounded employee. C’est bon!

                      It may seem like you have no free time during which to take on an additional class, but putting time into your professional or personal development will reap benefits for years to come. If you won’t invest in yourself, who will? Sign up for a professional development course today. What course have you taken to aid in professional development? Leave your suggestions in the comments below.

                      Featured photo credit: Aleksi Tappura via unsplash.imgix.net

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                      Last Updated on May 22, 2019

                      50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                      50 Great People To Follow On LinkedIn, No Matter Your Industry

                      LinkedIn is an excellent platform to network with great people to help you in your career and businesses. However, with over 575 million people on the site, who should you follow? This list will steer you to the right people to follow, organized by categories of expertise.

                      Job Search Experts

                      You will likely have several jobs throughout the course of your career, and you will constantly need advice on new trends and strategies out there in the job market. Here are the LinkedIn experts who you should follow on these matters.

                      1. Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Her articles on job searching are filled with creative and colorful cartoons.

                      2. Lou Adler is the author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired.

                      3. Dr. Marla Gottschalk will help you make an impact in a new job.

                      4. Hannah Morgan runs CareerSherpa.net, where she gives expert advice on job searching and how to be more visible online.

                      5. Alison Doyle is the CEO and Founder of CareerToolBelt.com.

                      Management Experts

                      They say that people leave managers, not jobs. These experts in LinkedIn will help you become your employees’ dream manager.

                      6. Jeff Weiner. How can we leave out the CEO of LinkedIn himself?

                      7. Nozomi Morgan is an executive coach. She can help you transition from a boss to a true leader.

                      8. Mickey Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten. He constantly shares his expertise in managing a global player in e-commerce platforms.

                      9. Andreas von der Heydt was the head of Amazon’s Kindle Content and now the Director of Talent Acquisition. He has extensive experience in management, branding, and marketing.

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                      Productivity Experts

                      By maximizing your productivity, you can win in all aspects of life. The following LinkedIn experts will help you win big in your career.

                      10. Gretchen Rubin is a happiness coach and the bestselling author of the The Happiness Project.

                      11. Carson Tate is the founder of Working Simply. She advises us to include play in our schedules.

                      12. Greg Mckeown is an essentialist. Part of being an essentialist is saying no to many things so that we can focus on the things that matter.

                      13. Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. provides strategies on how to be productive and happy at work at the same time.

                      Marketing Experts

                      14. Sujan Patel is VP of Marketing at When I Work, an employee scheduling software. He is an expert in content marketing and he even shares his ideas on content marketing in 2020.

                      15. Megan Berry is the Head of Product Development at Rebelmouse, a content marketing and AlwaysOn powerhouse.

                      16. Sean Gardner will help you navigate the social media landscape. This includes how to use different platforms to help accelerate your career. He is also the bestselling author of The Road to Social Media Success.

                      17. Christel Quek is an digital and marketing expert. She is the VP of South East Asia at Brandwatch. Their products help businesses utilize social media data to make better business decisions.

                      18. Jeff Bullas is a digital marketing expert. His blog has over 4 million readers annually.

                      19. Michael Stelzer is the CEO and Founder of social media powerhouse site, Social Media Examiner.

                      20. If you’re looking for inbound and content marketing expertise, follow Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot.

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                      21. David Edelman is a McKinsey partner and is at the helm of the Digital Marketing Strategy Practice Department.

                      22. Dave Kerpen leads the social media software company Likeable Local. He is the author of Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers.

                      23. Clara Shih is the CEO of Hearsay Social and the author of The Facebook Era.

                      24. Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner. He is an excellent resource for everything social media.

                      25. David Sable is the CEO of Y&R, one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

                      26. Content marketing trumps traditional marketing these days, and who else better to lead you in this area than Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

                      Personal Branding Experts

                      Part of what we market in our personal career is our brand. When people hear your name, what kind of brand comes into their mind? What traits and qualities do they associate with you?

                      Here are some personal branding experts from LinkedIn to improve your own brand.

                      27. Dorie Clark is the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. He can help you craft the professional image you’ve always wanted.

                      28. Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you’re a millennial, Dan is the guy to help you craft your personal brand.

                      Other Notable Experts to Follow

                      29. Lisa Gates is the expert to follow if you’re negotiating for higher salaries and promotions.

                      30. If you’re a Baby Boomer, Marc Miller will help you navigate the continually changing landscape of the workplace.

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                      31. To avoid getting your resumé moved to the “No” pile, read Paul Freiberger’s excellent advice.

                      32. James Caan provides insightful ideas on careers in general. He is also a serial entrepreneur.

                      33. Jeff Haden writes on various topics, such as leadership and management. He is the owner of Blackbird Media.

                      34. If you’re looking for expert business advice on getting new customers and keeping them, follow Jay Baer.

                      35. Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, is a great human resources specialist.

                      36. If you need help in using Twitter to boost your career, Claire Diaz-Ortiz can guide you in the right direction.

                      37. Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool.

                      38. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and Colin Shaw focuses on revolutionizing this customer experience.

                      39. Brian Solis often reflects on the future of business and how technology can disrupt our world.

                      40. Nancy Lublin provides advice on more lighthearted topics, which are perfect after a long day’s work. She is the CEO behind Dosomething.org, a portal designed for social change; and the founder & CEO of Loris.ai and Crisis Text Line.

                      41. Katya Andresen provides advice on how to manage your career. She was the CEO of Cricket Media and now responsible for the SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One.

                      42. Gallup has created a system to test what your strengths are and how to use them at work. Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup.

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                      43. Adam Grant is a Wharton Professor and the author of Give and Take, which provides advice on why being helpful at work can accelerate your career.

                      44. Hunter Walk is a partner at Homebrew Venture Capitalist Company and has specialty in product development and management.

                      45. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, follow Beth Kanter for expert advice on this area.

                      46. Emotional Intelligence is necessary to succeed in your career, and Daniel Goleman is your expert for that.

                      47. Rita J. King connects science, technology and business.

                      48. Tori Worthington Rose is a Creative Director at Mary Beth West Communications, LLC. She has extensive experience in sales and digital media.

                      49. If you’re looking for some advice on how to use writing and personal content marketing to boost your career, follow Ann Handley.

                      50. Tim Brown is the CEO at IDEO and shares his insights on Leadership and Creativity.

                      These are just some of the key thought leaders and movers in various industries. They will provide you with constant inspiration, as well as the willpower to pursue the career that you’ve always wanted. Their stream of expert ideas in their respective fields will help you become well-equipped in your professional pursuits.

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