Over the past few months, many of us have had time to sit and think more than usual. And a lot of us have concluded that we would like to learn and improve our skills. It’s no surprise that when allowed to reflect on life goals and career aspirations, people want the chance to improve where possible.
Taking a course to reach these personal development goals is the perfect solution. The Courier reports that some firms have even seen a massive 1,790% increase in uptake of training programmes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, one obvious issue that arose when tackling this issue was that learning institutions, adult or otherwise, were closed to stop the spread of infection.
So, from the comfort of their home, people turned to online courses instead. And with the opportunity to learn anything from illustration to maths statistics, why not? Of course, with the advancement of techs, like video calls and video editing software, learning from home has become so much easier as people can now learn online instead of in a specific classroom.
To add to all this excitement, there is even a choice of paid-for and free classes. This isn’t to say that a cheaper class makes a lower-quality learning experience, because there are plenty of amazing free courses online that can teach just as much, if not more than an expensive face-to-face class.
Source: Training Journal
Udemy is a great site for online courses. DMR suggests that 50 million students are signed up to classes. As far as online learning platforms go, this is a varied, educational, and interesting one. So, it’s easy to see why so many people use it to learn a new skill. For example, users to the site can choose from anything from a free course learning to take their music career to the top, to a £13.99 web design class.
With the learning online courses world as your oyster, take this opportunity to make the most of Udemy and see what’s out there.
Source: e-learning infographics
What is Udemy?
In a nutshell, Udemy is an online learning platform that brings together students and teachers across a range of subjects. It is essentially a learning management system (LMS) for e-learning. Professionals can bring their skills in the subject and create videos and presentations for students. They can even assign tasks to pupils if they so wish. Their job is to provide students with enough education, engagement, and information to have learnt some new skills.
Source: e-learning infographics
Students can do whatever they wish with these newfound abilities. Whether that is to move up the career ladder, start their own business, or be proud of themselves for achieving a new talent. It’s a win/win scenario as instructors are given a chance to share skills and earn money, while students can build on their personal development.
From a marketing point of view, Udemy achieves most of its advertising success through targeted ads, social, media, email campaigns, and search and discovery. This allows teachers to promote their courses and allows students to find them. Courses are targeted to specific audiences, something which may be done through students showing interest in, viewing, or signing up to courses.
Source: e-learning infographics
The online learning site has also partnered with a couple of big names to promote the niche content which it provides.
All this means that when a potential student uses google to find, say, ‘best online learning platforms’, Udemy will come up as one of the top sites.
What’s more, because the site uses a course quality checklist, it ensures that not only will teachers be able to promote and make money from their course, but students are getting quality teaching, and learning the skills they are promised, too. There is even the opportunity to receive feedback for certain online learning courses.
Benefits of Online Learning Platforms
There is a lot of magic that comes from participating in an online course. The number one point is that it can be done from anywhere, at any time. If you want to do a web development course at 2 am while sitting in bed, surrounded by snacks, you can. If you want to sit on the train on the way to work and learn how to set up the digital marketing for your new small business adventure, you can.
Of course, leaning face-to-face does have its advantages, too. But they can be a little bit off when it comes to timings, and courses often end up being squeezed around your regular life. It’s not easy working 9-5.30, scoffing down a sandwich, then rushing off to a lesson which starts dead at 6 pm. It means you’ll go home three hours later, exhausted after such a long day. Doing an online course means that you can choose a time at your convenience.
Source: Hooked on Innovation
Another benefit of doing an online learning course is that many of them either cost nothing or are offered at a very affordable price. Meaning that if you have a skill that needs nurturing, but can’t afford the thousands of pounds that further education may cost, there are plenty of free online courses that give you an opportunity you might not have otherwise had.
As well as this, taking part in a free online course also means that if, for example, programming languages aren’t quite your cup of tea, you can give it a go and try something else you might like instead.
One more great thing about using an online learning platform is that you have instant access to the course you want. There is no waiting for the new term to start or for a class to be full before they put it on. Again, highlighting the flexibility of these courses and the fact they’re all about the student.
Source: Heinemann Blog
Who Can Use Udemy?
Udemy courses were created for everyone. The point of the website is to make learning accessible to everybody. There are no intimidating pre-courses or qualifications that need to be attained. With a massive range of cheap and free courses, the tuition is affordable and as long as you have access to a device – even just an Android or IoS phone will do – and the internet, anybody can digitally access a course, too.
Source: View Sonic
Say, for example, you wanted to learn more about digital photography. Using online learning platforms, like Udemy, doesn’t require a master’s degree in photography to get started; all it needs is passion and a willingness to learn.
You can go at your own pace when it comes to learning. So, if you feel like you want to skip over certain bits you already know, you can. Alternatively, if you need a bit more time to go over points at your own pace, you can do that too. Doing any of the 150,000 Udemy online courses helps anyone who suffers from imposter syndrome. That’s because there is no pressure from a bigger class to ‘show work’ or ‘discuss experience’.
Source: Inside Higher Ed
Unless you want to make the most of your new-found tech skills and get in contact with fellow students and do that, of course, but that’s up to you. After all, the whole point of Udemy and online learning is to do what works for you.
Source: Global Partnership for Education
Tips For Online Learning
As with any work at home, there are a few things that will make the online learning experience a little easier.
- Make time – One of the best points about online learning is that it’s flexible. But you will still need to make time to do it. A good way to do this is to set a schedule within which to do the course. You might have to push yourself a little, and it can be hard to do this with a busy life, but, it will be worth it. Take your working pace into account and make sure not to push yourself too hard.
- Consider your environment –This depends on the type, of course, you are doing. Try and find an environment that works for you. You may like complete silence, or you may like music in the background. You might prefer to surround yourself with plants and inspirational quotes. Or you may work in a completely bare room. You must have a space in which you will want to learn.
- Be prepared – Okay, so the main point of doing one of the Udemy free courses is to save money. However, some courses may require a bit of equipment on your end. This might be a simple download of software or some basic hardware. But there’s no point in turning up to a graphic design class without having access to some relevant software. Depending on your course and budget, there is also a lot of free downloadable software and equipment out there, too.
Source: Tech Crunch
- Consider your abilities – Think about the level, of course, you are taking, too. If you are looking at a beginner course in data science but have a degree in computer science, perhaps that isn’t the best course for you. Similarly, if you have no background in artificial intelligence, an expert-level course on AI may not suit you. So, think about what you want to achieve, what skills you want to learn, and check out the other free Udemy courses available.
- Enjoy it!- Chances are if you want to do an online course, there is some part of your life or career that you want to improve on. And you want to make that improvement to be, ultimately, happier. With that in mind, enjoy whatever course you do. Take your time with it, talk to other people on the course, and find what learning style works for you. Remember, you are doing it for yourself and that you are in the centre of the learning process.
Top 10 Online Courses on Udemy
With 150,000 courses to choose from on Udemy, it can be hard to know where to start and how to narrow down the right choice for you.
If you are looking for something specific, the best thing to do is to type that field into the search bar and spend some time finding what interests you. Be that a complete guide to a social media marketing or high-quality SEO for beginners.
However, whether you have something in mind, or you are wondering where to start, here are ten courses that may give you a bit of inspiration:
2. Ultimate Photoshop Training: From Beginner to Pro – Anybody who wants to work in the creative industries will find that knowing at least basic photoshop is part of the job spec. This course is great for anyone wanting to learn more about this subject. It’s £14.99 but covers everything you need to know about the popular editing software.
3. 7 Scientifically Proven Steps to Improve Your Influence. – Perhaps your dream might be to become an influencer. You are posting about your life, but it just isn’t working. This free video course from expert instructors can help you on the path to stardom.
Source: eLearning Industry
4. Business Bootcamp: 7 Weeks to Start Your Own Business – Do you have a wonderful business idea, but aren’t sure how to make it work? This online learning course teaches you how to turn any passion into a profitable idea for £11.99.
5. PySpark Essentials for Data Scientists (Big Data +Python) – This is one of the highest-rated courses on the site and, as it covers both machine learning and big data – popular topics in today’s IT world – for just £9.99, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.
6. Introductory Photography Course– Whether photography is your life, or you take photos as a hobby, it’s straightforward for ideas to become stale and repetitive. This free course, suitable for all levels, teaches photography techniques to get those creative juices flowing.
7. How to Use SMART Goals: Achieve More in Less Time. – Sometimes it feels like time is getting away from us a bit more than we would like. Doing a course like this is great not only because it’s free, but as it is something that meets all of our needs. Who hasn’t struggled with office productivity, after all?
8. Best Practices for Working Remotely – Over the past few months, many of us have been forced into working from home, which can be a hard practice to maintain. This course is free and advises on how to tackle the problems that may occur in this environment.
9. Complete Guitar System – Beginner to Advanced -This best-selling £10.99 course proves that it’s never too late to get musical. The only things you need for this course are a guitar and a dream.
10. The Art of Baking With Yuppiechef – Because of cake. In less than an hour, you can learn the secrets behind baking bread, making pastry, and creating cakes—all for free.
Udemy aims to provide education for everybody. It is a chance to improve your skills and learn about the things that you have always wanted to know. No matter the educational background or the budget, there are training courses available for the inexperienced to the very experienced, and in any course, you can imagine.
The online learning courses are made for anyone who wants to better themselves in life. They are taught by professionals and can be accessed anywhere, at any time. Those accessing a paid-for course even get the chance to earn a certificate at the end. People have the choice to share work if they wish, and many courses offer Q and A’s with the teacher, for an opportunity to really hone in on those skills.
Source: Business Wire
So, what are you waiting for? The world of learning is right at your digital doorstep. Head to udemy.com and get stuck in!
Originally published Sep 10, 2020, updated Jan 16, 2023