Free Online Courses to Boost Your Resume This Summer

By Kelly Love Johnson

Who needs a vacation? OK, me too, and put your hands down.

Whether you’re currently unemployed and searching for a job, or employed and keeping your eye out for opportunities on the job market, summer is the perfect time to add new skills to your resume. Many MOOCs (massive open online courses) are free and can be taken in your own time and at your own pace. Some of them are offered by top-tier Ivy League universities like Harvard, and some even offer certification for a small fee. All of the courses we’ve listed here are free!

We’re not suggesting you give up your pool time or late evening sunsets; most of these courses can be completed over a few weeks — and some in just an hour. Grab your laptop, find a lounge chair in the shade, and check out these courses that just might be a stepping stone for your next great career move. We’ve made a note of how much time you’ll need to invest, cost for certification (if applicable), and course start date (if not self-paced).

You Can’t Run a Business Without Marketing

Introduction to Marketing (ALISON) will teach you about the different approaches that affect marketing campaigns used in different types of businesses. Good for marketing and business professionals who want to refresh the basics of marketing and those who want to have a greater knowledge and understanding of the role marketing plays in the modern business world. Your time: 3 hours.

E-Commerce — Introduction to Internet Marketing Strategies for Businesses (ALISON) covers successful internet marketing techniques and strategies that are being used today by companies around the world. Learn how to break down your target audience, how to build a coordinated marketing strategy using the integrated internet marketing matrix to reach your customers and stakeholders, and how to measure the effectiveness of promotion strategies. Good for anyone who wants to know more about online marketing. Your time: 2 hours.

Getting Started with Google Analytics (Udemy). Learn how to interpret data and get insights from Google Analytics with step-by-step instructions on how to get started, details on how to interpret data, and the most important reports and why they matter. Your time: 3 hours.

Add Some Sales Cred to Your Resume

Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills (Coursera). Negotiation is also the key to business success. No business can survive without profitable contracts. Within a company, negotiation skills can lead to your career advancement. In this course, you’ll learn about and practice the four steps to a successful negotiation. Your time: 8.5 hours.

Understanding Your Customers to Drive Sales (ALISON). This course is for business professionals who want to learn what practices a business should implement so that it can better understand its customers to drive sales of products or services. It is also a useful course for any entrepreneur seeking to develop an online business. Your time: 2 hours.

Sales Power: 4 Questions That Will Close Your Next Sale (Udemy). Learn why traditional sales methods just don’t work and how to separate yourself from the competition, build credibility, and become the sales pro everyone wants to work with. Your time: 2 hours

Learning to Code Isn’t as Scary as You’d Think

HTML & CSS (Codecademy). Learn how to create websites by structuring and styling your pages with HTML and CSS. In just one course, you can learn how to create your own website (or give your company’s website an overhaul). Your time: 7 hours.

CS50x is Harvard University’s introduction to computer science and the art of programming for those of us with or without prior programming experience. An entry-level course, CS50x teaches students how to think algorithmically and solve problems efficiently. Topics include abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development. Languages include C, PHP, and JavaScript plus SQL, CSS, and HTML. Problem sets inspired by real-world domains of biology, cryptography, finance, forensics, and gaming. The course is free, but you can get a HarvardX Verified Certificate for $90. Your time: 180 hours.

Fundamentals of Network Security (ALISON) covers topics such as active and passive attacks on networks, encryption, symmetric and asymmetric key systems, authentication using certification authorities, and access control using passwords and firewalls. Excellent for anyone interested in a career as an IT or network administrator. Your time: 2 hours.

Introduction to PHP and MySQL Programming (ALISON) gives an overview of how PHP programming works. You will learn what certain commands and lines of code infer within a .php file and see the results on client-side machines. MySQL is an open-source relational database management system which uses structured query language requests for working with data. You will learn how PHP can be combined with MySQL to create a very powerful online database engine. Your time: 2 hours.

Want to Improve Your Communication Skills?

How To Make A Great First Impression (Udemy). Get the skills and confidence to make a great first impression every time. As you gain confidence, you can learn to read other people’s body language to enable you to communicate more effectively with almost anybody, anywhere, anytime. Your time: 30 minutes.

Introduction to Public Speaking (Coursera). A report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers shows that employers want job candidates with strong communication skills. In this class, you will study the principles of public speaking, and critically examine your own and others’ speeches through interactive practice. Your time: 18 hours. NOTE: This class begins on May 30.

Developing Effective Business Presentation Skills (ALISON) will help you prepare more effectively for a presentation, be more confident speaking in front of people, and develop the skills to engage and persuade an audience. Learn how to plan and develop an effective presentation, assess the expectations of your audience, and how to be more confident when speaking in public. Your time: 3 hours.

Summer school isn’t just for kids, and this might be the perfect opportunity to add a few new (or upgraded) skills to your resume. Have you taken online courses to advance your career or snag a new job? Let us know in the comments!

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