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5 Online Courses You Should Consider Taking

So here’s a practical way to improve your career prospects in 2016: online courses or MOOCs as they’re called. They’ll make you accountable; you can complete the longest ones in fewer than twelve weeks (most in under 10 hours), and the best part is they’re all free. Here are some we recommend you tackle to start the year off right.

Codecademy: Learn HTML, CSS

More than four million students have signed up to learn the basics of HTML and CSS on Codecademy. If you’re in marketing this course will be a useful addition to your LinkedIn profile, because it will drill home the tech that makes the Web work. Good info to have for anybody whose job requires some digital savvy.

Type: Beginner
Do it in: 7 hours

Open2Study: Writing for the Web

You’re thinking, wait, I know how to write, I write for my company’s newsletter. That’s good, but there’s much to learn if you’re looking to craft sizzling copy for the Web. From the listicles of BuzzFeed lore to the magic of the Upworthy headline, you’ll soon realise there’s much ado about pixels that differ from the world of print. SEO? Find out what that is and how it works when you take this course.

Type: All levels
Do it in: 16 hours

EdX: Entrepreneurship 101

Maybe you’re a young dentist getting some experience under your belt by working at a larger practice. As much as you enjoy working with senior dentists you already know the day will come when you will say goodbye to start your own firm. Before you make that leap, take this course on entrepreneurship. This MIT course dives into things like market research and teaches you how to determine competitive edge. It’s bound to help you stay focused on your goals by forcing you to put your ideas and plans in writing. If you work at a steady clip of 1-3 hours a week you should have a handle on entrepreneurship after six weeks.

Type: All levels
Do it in: 6 weeks

Buffer: Social Media 101

Take from us, Buffer is to social media what Apple is to smartphones. These guys have been crushing it for years and they’ve tailored this introductory course for people who don’t know the first thing about social networks. Yes, we know you’re out there. Some of you own businesses. Take this course to get up to speed. You’ll learn how to choose which networks to use, how to craft a unique voice and the Buffer team will deconstruct that most ominous corner of social media craft — analytics.

Type: Beginner
Do it in: 14 minutes (yes, you read that right!)

Udemy: Learn Adobe Illustrator from scratch

“Give wings to your creativity” screams Udemy’s description of this course. We couldn’t agree more. This is a popular course, considering more than 26,000 people have signed up. You’ll need 11 distraction-free hours and access to Adobe Illustrator, of course. Don’t have a copy. Hold up on the pirated copy and go for the affordable option — just US$19.99 a month — via Adobe Creative Cloud. From the basics to learning how to use the most daunting of Illustrator tools, this is the course for you.

Type: All levels
Do it in: 11 hours

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