If you’re like most well-intentioned human beings, you rang in the new year with renewed ambition for pursuing personal and professional goals in 2016.
People with creative roles — particularly freelancers — know acquiring a new skill or honing a craft can make all the difference in landing big jobs down the road. So now that we are well into 2016, you’ve already taken your first steps towards meeting your resolution, right?
If your answer is, “Not so much,” you’re likely not alone.
Thankfully, the online education space is making it easier than ever to pick up new, marketable skills from the comfort of your pajama pants. Let’s take a look at some of the hottest online resources to revive your 2016 resolution.
DI – Why Not?
Great designers are constantly finding new sources of inspiration all around them, but sometimes you need more than a walk in the park to spark a lightbulb moment. Luckily, there are now online classes that cover every crafty and creative topic, from ink illustrating and artisanal coffee brewing, to latch-hook weaving and watercoloring. Exercise the right side of your brain in new ways and you’ll be surprised by the new hobbies you uncover.
Brit + Co: Unique craft-based classes taught by local experts with a charming online shop to boot.
Skillshare: Pay $0.99 for your first three months of Skillshare Premium with access to individual classes and curated tracks by discipline.
Let’s Get Digital
No matter how handcrafted, organic, or free-range your work is, it’s inevitable that you’ll come across a few client projects with digital needs. Picking up even the basics of HTML and front-end web coding will help you speak to developers in their own language, making it easier to collaborate and get work done efficiently.
Udemy: More than 40,000 online courses taught by experts, with both free options and paid courses starting at $24.
Udacity: Front-end web development courses start at $199 a month, and you get half of your tuition back as a bonus when you graduate.
General Assembly: Take classes online or in-person at GA locations around the country.
Start Back at Square Uno
Learning a new language has more benefits than you might realize — studies have shown that learning a new language, even as an adult, actually increases the size of your brain. Start stretching your brain muscles with beginner-level online resources aimed at tackling a second (or third, or fourth!) language.
Rosetta Stone: This interactive software is the industry leader for people serious about picking up new language.
Duolingo: Download this free app for bite-sized language lessons equivalent to a full college semester of studying.
Babbel: Learn 14 different languages within one free app that teaches you on the go.
Get Down to Business
If you’ve ever been tempted by the idea of turning your freelance work into a full-fledged business, you’ve probably realized how much a small business owner needs to know about marketing, finance, taxes and more. While going back to school for an MBA may be out of the question, top-tier universities like Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and more are now offering popular classes online for cheap or free.
edX: Founded by colleges and universities, this nonprofit makes courses freely available online.
Coursera: Take online courses from top institutions and earn credits toward a certificate.
Class Central: This site aggregates open online courses being offered from colleges and universities around the world.
Feeling inspired and invigorated already? Once the creative juices start flowing, learn how to submit your visual content to Shutterstock.