Interviewer: What do you think is the greatest challenge facing your field today?
Interviewee: Well that’s easy. This industry is constantly changing and always growing. Just when you think you got to handle on everything there is to know, something new comes up. I think the greatest challenge today is staying up to date and keeping current with such a rapidly changing environment.
Do you believe that you know everything you need to know to do your job? Well, think again because here is the truth: the world around us is changing very fast. What you know about a certain software today gets obsolete after 6 months or a year. How you do Sales today gets outdated and seem to not work a year or two from now. Which leads me to the point that whatever field you are in, you need to update your skills. Your sales skills, presentation skills, web design skills, coding skills or whatever skill it is, you need to update to compete. There is no exemption. You need to keep current or you’ll get left behind.
Learning today is much easier compared to how our ancestors learned decades ago. Thanks to the advent of the internet, information is there—open to be discovered, to be used and to be shared. For example, if you want to know how to use Photoshop, you can just search it on Google and you can find blogs or you can watch YouTube videos related to Photoshop.
Now, if you are serious on learning a new skill or improving your professional skills, you can check out these top online training sites where you can discover and learn almost anything you want to know on a specific software or skill. You can even find an idea how to earn money (in your own way) by taking your learning skills to the next level.
Best Online Training Sites
Skillshare is an online training site where anyone can sign up to take a class and teach at the same time.
Their mission is pretty simple—‘Unlocking the world’s creativity’. They believe that everyone is creative and by giving tools to harness creativity, they can change lives for the better. And by dismantling the traditional barriers to learning, anyone, anywhere in the world can learn whatever they set their minds to.
Skillshare allows free membership but they also have premium membership of $10 a month or annual membership of $96, allowing users to watch all of their 1,900 and growing courses.
Coursera is an online training and education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take. What makes them different from other online training sites is the fact that their courses are taught by educators from known universities and organizations around the world.
Their courses cover subjects on Arts and Humanities, Business, Computer Science, Math and many more. They brag about their platform that’s based on proven teaching methods verified by top researchers. Like other training sites, they also provide interactive quizzes, peer graded assessments and they connect fellow learners and instructors. They also provide (optional) certificates after finishing a course.
Although Coursera have free courses, majority of their courses are fee-based.
Udemy was founded in 2010, designed to bring people together with expertise in different areas. Udemy provides tools and market for the experts—to make and sell courses, and take a cut of the proceeds.
With over 32,000 courses available, you can learn from almost any topic, mostly covering yoga, music, coding, marketing and graphic design.
What’s nice with Udemy is the fact that most of their courses are totally ‘unique’ in nature, like ‘How to import from China – The beginner’s guide‘. (You can’t find a course like this on any other online training sites).
You can take a course in Udemy for an average cost of $30 but some courses are available for free like Karl Taylor’s FREE Photography Course.
On the other hand, the disadvantage of Udemy is the repetition of content in some courses. Some courses are also taught by non-english speakers making it distracting and difficult to understand. But overall, Udemy is a great place to learn and improve your skills.
Class on Demand is one of the top training authorities in the creative and media industry.
They have a wide selection of award-winning tutorials by industry experts and each course is full of tips and techniques that you can easily apply. Their tutorials cover popular software and hardware, i.e. from Adobe After Effects to GoPro Camera tutorials.
On the backside, Class on Demand’s courses are more expensive compared to other online training sites.
Founded in 1996, Virtual Training Company or simply VTC, is one of the world’s leading producers of online computer and software training. They started distributing cd-roms and then moved to web-based online training.
They are clear about the idea that anyone have the ability to learn to use computer software on their own time. With more than 1,000 courses, you can choose from subjects covering programming, databases and security. If you are seeking tutorials on Adobe Dreamweaver or Joomla, you can find it here too.
Tuts+ is one of the leading publisher of online tutorials and courses for self-directed learners to develop creative skills. Like Skillshare, its mission is to uncover users’ creativity. Their courses cover subjects on coding, design & illustration, music, photography, game development, craft and more.
With 620+ courses, Tuts+ helps users learn creative skills for only a $15 per month subscription.
Tuts+ is also a part of Envato’s creative ecosystem, contributing to its mission of helping people learn and earn online.
Lynda.com is simply the best online training site. Founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and husband Bruce Heavin, Lynda.com is the most reliable and the leading online training company that helps anyone learn in variety of fields—business, software, technology and creative skills—for the purpose of achieving personal and professional goals.
The teachers and authors of lynda.com are top experts under the field. Courses have available exercise files to keep up with the lesson. They also provide professional certificate to finishers of each course. And being the leading online training site, you don’t have to pay each course, you only need to pay a subscription of $25 per month or P1,175 to get access to their 3,900 and growing courses. However, if you want to download the files offline and get the exercise files, you need to pay a premium subscription.
On April 2015, LinkedIn Corporation bought Lynda.com for $1.5 B. If you are in LinkedIn, you probably heard this news and who knows, LinkedIn, being a professional networking site, might connect with Lynda.com to help LinkedIn members improve their professional skills.
There are other online training sites you can find apart from this list. Acquire or master a skill needed in your industry. Keep learning and don’t get left behind. If you can’t afford to take any of the professional courses, you can just take the free courses available in Udemy, Skillshare or Lynda’s catalog. And you can always use the internet to improve your skills—read blogs, watch vlogs, listen to podcasts or read eBooks.
The learning method today is way much easier compared to how our ancestors learned way back, yet they learned great things that we know today and apply in our daily lives.