With most people stuck inside indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, now is the perfect time to pick up a new tech-based skill or put some time into your personal development.
To make things easier, a range of educational institutions and online providers have made their courses freely available online to get us all through the unfolding crisis.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian last week announced TAFE NSW would be making some of its online courses fee-free as part of a COVID-19 support package.
To be eligible, you have to live or work in New South Wales; be an Australian citizen, permanent resident, New Zealand citizen or humanitarian visa holder; be over 17 years old; and have left school.
The short courses being offered for free can be completed in just days, with some taking weeks. They can all be completed from the comfort of your home.
The courses include Team Leader Skill Set, which works on your management techniques so “you can communicate effectively, ensure team performance and develop effective relationships in the workplace”. The nationally-recognised training course will take seven hours per week for the next 26 weeks.
If you’re looking for a shorter course to complement your skill set while in isolation, you could complete the Engaging Customers Using Social Media course, which will only take three hours per week for the next three months.
You can find the full list of free courses available through TAFE NSW here.
For the rest of April, online learning platform Pluralsight has made all of its 7,000 tech-based courses free for anyone to complete around the world. These focus on developing tech skills across a range of disciplines and industries.
“With this free offering, we want to encourage technology enthusiasts to stay home and improve their skills,” Pluralsight CEO Aaron Skonnard said.
“Technology can help us build a better tomorrow when we’re able to return to normal, and we want to provide as many people as possible with the opportunity to stay safe, stay home and skill up.”
Charles Sturt University’s IT Masters has an entire library of free short courses to undertake during the pandemic. The webinar-based short courses will lead to a certificate of achievement, and may also qualify for a course credit.
Some of the classes on offer include Managing in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, which seems especially relevant now. You can also take a course in the fundamentals of agile project management, or in digital forensics, one of the university’s most popular courses.
Online learning giant Coursera has made a bunch of its courses free up until the end of May, including the lectures and quizzes and certificates upon completion. The company is also providing universities around the world with access to its free course catalogue.
Included in the courses is one on python coding from the University of Michigan, which will help you to develop a program to gather, clean, analyse and visualise data.
There’s also a 16-hour course on machine learning for business professionals from Google Cloud Training that you can take for free now.
Udemy has offered up 250 courses for free on technology and coding skills.
These include a complete introduction to Amazon Web Services, including how to build a website in just minutes and navigate the AWS console.
There’s also a course delivered by vice-president of learning Shelley Osborne on best practices for remote working, which also seems very relevant now.