The growth of free online college courses and training programs has made it possible to enhance your résumé or acquire foundational knowledge at a pace that suits your needs.
Completing a few of these courses over the summer can help you move into a hot specialty or management role as early as next fall.
Many of the top-paying skills in the Dice 2016 Salary Survey involved Big Data. Data scientists typically see a 16 percent increase in their median base salary when changing jobs, according to Forbes. The more knowledge you pick up, the better your chances to jumping to a new, better-paying position. With that in mind, here are free online courses that plunge into the nitty-gritty of data work:
- Driving Business Results with Big Data (openSAP)
Big data fundamentals.
- Intro to Hadoop and MapReduce (Udacity)
Understand the concepts behind Hadoop and MapReduce; write MapReduce programs.
- Deploying a Hadoop Cluster (Udacity)
Learn how to tackle big data problems with Hadoop clusters.
According to the Dice Survey, PMs earned average salaries of $113,663 last year. Project management involves a combination of hard and soft skills that are difficult to master, but these courses can perhaps help:
- Diploma in Modern Project Management Theory and Practice (ALISON)
This course is ideal for anyone who wants a better understanding of what’s involved in effective project management, or who wants to gain a better understanding of the project management process, according to Dr Eric Corbett, head of learning content at ALISON.
- Introduction to Project Management, The University of Adelaide (edX)
Practical project management skills.
Transitioning into the AI/Machine Learning field may be the best way to keep AI from stealing your job.
- Intro to Artificial Intelligence (Udacity)
Covers AI fundamentals.
- Artificial Intelligence for Robotics (Udacity)
The leader of Google and Stanford's autonomous driving teams teaches you how to program the major systems of robotic cars.
- Autonomous Mobile Robots, ETH Zurich (edX)
Basic concepts and algorithms for locomotion, perception and intelligent navigation.
- Practical Machine Learning, Johns Hopkins University (Coursera)
The course covers the complete process of building prediction functions, including data collection, feature creation, algorithms and evaluation. There’s a fee if you want to receive a grade and certificate, but you can audit the course for free.
A recent report referred to IT managers as the new “it” tech position, with average compensation ranging from $105,750 to $159,000. But landing this position takes a good deal of knowledge.
- Diploma in Information Technology Management (ALISON)
This is an intermediate-level course, so the learner needs a basic understanding of IT. But it’s perfect for tech pros who want to grow and move into a management position.
Research firm Gartner has stated that 6.4 billion connected "things" will be in use in 2016, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
- Enabling Technologies for Data Science and Analytics: The Internet of Things, Columbia University (edX)
In this data science course, you’ll learn about sentiment analysis, facial recognition software and how data generated from devices can be used to make decisions.
- Create Your Own IoT Device, UC Irvine (Coursera)
Design, create, and deploy an IoT device using Arduino and Raspberry Pi platforms. Although the course asks for a small fee, you can take the course for free if you don’t want to receive a grade or certificate.
In addition to the free coding courses available through Codecademy, the following organizations offer a variety of free online courses for expanding your technical skills over the summer: