Even if your summer is overstuffed with vacation and travel, finding the time to add some in-demand skills to your toolbox could be the ticket to a new, high paying job in the fall. Many e-learning sites have added or revamped courses to address skill shortages exacerbated by the pandemic and changing work environment. In most cases, you can audit the course for free—or pay a fee to access graded assignments and earn a certificate.
While your studies should align with your career goals and interests, completing any of the following courses will help you stay on the cutting edge.
Data Analysis and Decision Making
In response to the growing demand for data scientists, Codecademy recently added an intensive 28-week data analyst career path to its lineup, according to Koma Gandy, VP and head of Curriculum. Just adding a few complementary data skills can strengthen your résumé no matter which field or role you pursue, she noted. In fact, the number of jobs posted by tech companies requesting analysis skills surpassed traditional tech skills like engineering in 2020, according to an analysis of Burning Glass data by Deloitte.
Other data-centric courses to consider:
- Data-Driven Decision Making created by PWC (Coursera)
Learn how to leverage big data and digital tools to conduct data analysis.
- Learn SQL (Codecademy)
A good introductory course for anyone interested in learning a tool to improve how they look at data.
- Fundamentals Data Analysis & Decision Making Models – Theory (Udemy)
Learn how to wrangle and analyze data and present conclusions.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial intelligence (A.I.) was the seventh highest-paying skill in the Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report, with an average salary of $131,907, while machine learning (ML) came in twenty-third (with an average salary of $125,197). With the global A.I. market expected to grow 40.2 percent from 2021 to 2028, taking any one of these classes can fatten your paycheck:
- Google’s AI and ML (Google Education)
Google offers a variety of free learning content, such as tutorials, labs, courses and videos, for everyone from beginners to seasoned practitioners.
- Stanford’s Machine Learning Course by Andrew Ng (Coursera)
Over four million people have taken this course, and 97 percent have given it a thumb’s up. Enough said.
- AI For Everyone (Coursera) or Intro to Artificial Intelligence (Udacity)
Learn the fundamentals with AI gurus Andrew Ng (Coursera) or Peter Norvig and Sebastian Thrun (Udacity).
How can you take your web development career to the next level? Learn a new tech stack or sharpen your existing skillset. Need more motivation? The role of web developer saw an average salary increase from $77,753 to $81,550 year-over-year (again, according to the Dice 2021 Tech Salary Report).
- Learn Intermediate CSS (Codecademy)
This course offers intermediate content for web developers eager to brush up or looking to create dynamic websites and visual effects.
- Learn Node.js (Codecademy)
How big is the cloud? In 2020, the market was worth $371.4 billion and it’s projected to reach $832.1 billion by 2025. According to Dice’s analysis of Burning Glass data, occupations that leverage the cloud are projected to increase 14.7 percent over the next decade.
- Introduction to Cloud Computing by IBM (Coursera)
If you’re just getting started, Betty Vandenbosch, chief content officer for Coursera, recommends this course for learning core concepts, various service and deployment models and other foundational knowledge. Another option is to take a free introductory or advanced course from IBM, Microsoft or one of top universities through edX.
Once you master the basics, get to know one or more of the major cloud platforms:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) - Zero to Hero (Udemy)
- Google Cloud Platform Concepts (Udemy)
- Getting started with Cloud Computing using Microsoft Azure (Udemy)
Soft Skills (Including Communication)
The demand for courses that teach coaching skills to managers, scrum masters and other pros has surged, according to Cara Brennan Allamano, SVP of People, Places and Learning for Udemy and the firm’s most recent Workplace Learning Skills Index.
A big part of “soft skills” is communicating effectively, often via remote tools and online platforms. To that end, pay attention to:
- Slack Communications (Udemy)
- Slack Tutorials (Slack)
- How to Manage a Remote Team by GitLab (Coursera)
Cybersecurity analysts enjoyed the largest growth in salary of any occupation (16.3 percent), with average pay rising from $88,663 in 2019 to $103,106 in 2020. As with data analytics, acquiring security skills can strengthen your résumé no matter which field or role you ultimately pursue.
- Cybersecurity Specialization offered by the University of Maryland (Coursera)
Covers fundamental concepts underlying the construction of secure systems, from hardware to software to the human-computer interface, with the use of cryptography to secure interactions.
Cybrary also offers a number of massive open online courses (MOOCs) complete with certificates:
- Become a SOC Analyst – Level 1 (Cybrary)
- Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking (Cybrary)
- Advanced Penetration Testing (Cybrary)
If you didn’t see a course that aligns with your specific learning needs or interests, Class Central lists some 4,900 online computer science courses and over 2,000 are free.