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Improve your job prospects: upgrade your skills

Published: Monday 19th September 2016

Even if you’re happy in your job, but especially if you’re actively looking for a new job opportunity, it’s important to keep your skill set fresh and upgrade your skills. Your CV will be stronger with a recent course, training or qualification – and it will show you’re that ideal ambitious, dynamic self-starter every employer’s looking for. It’s now easier than ever to acquire new skills online, with affordable, at-your-own-pace courses to be had either on your desktop or with convenient mobile apps.

Finding the time is easy – commuting, lunchtime, weekend, idle moments otherwise wasted – the great thing is that many courses have no fixed schedule, you can often start when you want and you can learn at your own pace. Better still is that so many are free or low cost. So here are a few of the career development sites and apps we like to learn with. And when you’ve done your course and updated your CV, get searching for that ideal job!

Upgrade your skills with Udemy

Very wide range of relevant courses. With prices ranging from free to a couple of hundred quid, many are around the £20 mark. And look out for their frequent course sales.
Available on the web or app

A male managing a team sat on sofa with 2 other females listening


If you use Google at all professionally, get certified! Their main products – Adwords and Analytics – both have certifications that will look great on your CV. Certifications are now free, but do require a decent knowledge of the products. Exams are timed but the time allowed (90 minutes) is reasonable. Full Adwords certification requires that you pass two tests to fully certify. Both certifications last for a limited time – 18 months – so you’ll have to re-certify regularly, but it is good way to keep your skills fresh and your CV strong.
Web only.

SoloLearn apps

These apps cover a range of programming languages, and are great for freshening up your skill set or learning new languages. Search for Sololearn in the app stores.

Upgrade your skills with Coursera

Provided by some of the major US universities, these are the real deal, more like traditional courses – often quite technical, involve exams, and start on set dates.
While you can pay for a course, most allow you to take the course for free – you just don’t receive a certificate. But for £37 you too can have a Washington University course on Computational Neuroscience on your CV – and in a printed certificate.

woman wearing headphones using laptop, taking notes and online curse. Upgrade your skills concept.

Future Learn

Actually part of the Open University (who themselves have lots of free online courses), this site aggregates lots of course out there. Like others, many of the courses are free but you may have to pay for a certificate. Others are wholly practical – How to Write a CV Online from the University of Glasgow is a free 3-week, 4 hours per week course from ‘a team of CV experts from the University of Glasgow.’

So, there’s no excuse not to acquire a new skill from these or the many other online education providers. Get learning! And when you’ve updated your CV, search for a job on Zoek or use our app to land that perfect job.

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