Top 7 Skills and Online Courses for Digital Leaders You Can Achieve Today

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There are some of the common skills they all share. For you, an emerging digital leader, I’ve put a list of the most important skills followed by the online courses you can start today (disclaimer: this article is for the educational purposes only — I’m not affiliated with any of the following links and these are not affiliate links).

Find out what it takes to become digital leader in your environment.

Digital Marketing

First things first: if you want to establish yourself as a digital leader, your digital literacy should be the starting point. This course gives you the beginner level insight on digital marketing to make better decisions.

It’s not only about technical knowledge. It also requires creative and critical understanding and embracing the role technology plays in our daily and professional lives. As a digital leader, you are never done learning. This ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills is essential.


One of the best methods out there is design thinking. It is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success. The process combines what customers want with technological and financial possibilities.

I highly recommend this course created by a leader of this field, Jeanne Liedtka at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Data Analysis and Application

Data helps digital leaders to make the right business decisions. It is considered complex to analyze and understand, especially big data, but give yourself an advantage and learn some basics to improve the performance of your product, service or company. It is applicable to many business areas and activities.

This course gives you a quick introduction if you don’t have the skills and background to engage with data analytics.

Digital Strategy

If you want to be successful in your business approach as a leader, you need to be able to develop successful strategies. Not just by following hot trends, but also envisioning possibilities that don’t exist yet. Strategy means many things to many people, such as position or capability.

This course gives you many examples of various strategies in action so I think it’s a valuable resource. Learn strategic management, how to gain competitive advantage and how to formulate and implement business strategy.

User Experience

The user-first approach is one of the secret ingredients of successful businesses. All of the above courses implement this, but next one focuses on the user experience — make-or-break of every company (we know what happened to Toys ‘R’ Us).

I would call it person-first approach. Although it’s a digital era of social media and e-commerce, in the end, we still do business with persons, not some “users” or “clients”.

Look behind the scenes of UX research and design through this course from The University of Michigan.


We are all different. A digital leader should understand what others want, respond strategically to their needs, craft convincing and clear messages, and develop the critical communication skills he/she needs to get ahead in business and in life.

You can do a better job if you connect with others and if you care about them and their words. In this course, you’ll learn how to develop trust, the best method of communication for negotiation, how to discover if someone is lying (and how to react if they are), and how to apologize.


And for the last but not least, this one is “greatest hits” course and I really like it. It’s not a substitute for a real-life MBA, but you can find a lot of valuable information on business for more than a fair price.

Chris Haroun covered everything you need to know about business — from starting a company to taking it public while learning the most important topics taught at the top MBA schools in the world. Every digital leader will learn something new and interesting to expand his/her skills and knowledge.

Which other skills would you add and why?

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Digital Reflections

How to cope digitally

Goran Čolig

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All things creative, digital marketing, project management and business solutions

Digital Reflections

How to cope digitally