Everyone’s trapped inside during the COVID-19 pandemic and starting to go stir-crazy. While some have the ability to work from home, a lot of companies have simply shut down operations, and entrepreneurs and small businesses in particular are struggling. Instead of rewatching The Office for the 18th time, take these free (or inexpensive) online courses from Coursera to build your skills so that you can come back stronger than ever.
If you dream of becoming a digital entrepreneur, designing software, this class will help you learn to efficiently manage product development and sales for maximum return. It can also help you gain knowledge to improve a career in product management for a well-established software company.
Bloggers, entrepreneurs, really anyone with a website or a need for marketing materials will benefit from this course. It teaches the art of making compelling images that will attract attention and draw people into your business. Graphic design isn’t something to just guess at, and your business relies on those images more than most comprehend.
This course certainly covers some areas of designing graphics, but focuses more on the overall result, including text, layout, and more. If you own a small business and need to design your marketing materials, this course can certainly help with that. There’s also a specialization course series if you want to go more in-depth.
Fonts may seem like a simple and unimportant choice but when you’re branding yourself or your business, your choice of fonts can say plenty about you. Learn about how to best pair multiple fonts, choose a font that fits a certain emotion, and utilize them properly for maximum impact.
People buy apps on a regular basis and it can be a great sideline for you. Some even blow up to became viral hits, offering an entirely new career path. This course guides you through the technical side of designing an app, and even how to release it.
This course will teach you the basics of designing and building a website, skills every entrepreneur should know. Even if you hire a professional designer for your business’ website, knowing the basics means that in a pinch, you can troubleshoot or edit to fit your needs.
This is another excellent course for learning the basics of web design. It’s a project based course, so by the end, you will have a functioning website – although you may still be fine-tuning. The skills you learn will be transferable to designing your own nice website. I strongly recommend this course over the other for freelancers and bloggers, who maybe don’t yet have the money for a professional, can’t justify the expense, and don’t have particularly strenuous needs for their blog or portfolio website.
This is actually a series of classes from UCDavis, and it’s well worth the cost. Spanish is increasingly spoken in the United States and having a basic, working knowledge of the language can be very useful, both in obtaining a new job or running a business.
If you’ve lost your job due to the pandemic, a TESOL certification can come in very handy. You can teach English around the world via your computer and bring in some extra money while you figure out your next steps.
Chinese is used with increasing frequency in the business world, so take the opportunity to learn Mandarin. By the end of the course, you should have an introductory knowledge of the language and the ability to pass a level 1 HSK test.
I got lucky that I have two very talented negotiators in my family who taught me at a young age, but I’ve met so many people who couldn’t negotiate to pay the asking price! My advice – silence is crucial. This course from Yale is a great way to learn one of the most useful skills you can have. If you feel you have ever been ripped off, definitely take this.
If you want to be really good in just one program of Microsoft Office, Excel is the one to pick for professionals. You might know the basics, but it’s well worth it to take a course and learn all of the other things you can do with Excel. By the end, you’ll be using the program more efficiently, wowing your boss (even if your boss is yourself).
If you work in the corporate world, project management is a skill you need to rise. You need to be able to budget, accommodate time restraints, and solve issues. This course series will help you learn to do just that. It’s also useful for entrepreneurs who are considering branching out into another area or just expanding their product line.
I am a firm believer that any entrepreneur should have a working knowledge of marketing. Even if you hire a professional, there’s likely to be some point where you need to handle your own marketing. This class delves a bit into the psychology of marketing and how to make your business a hit in an overcrowded world.
This is a great option if your business is going to be primarily online, as it explores methods of marketing virtually, tracking analytics, and improving effectiveness of campaigns.
While social media is important for a lot of businesses, I think this marketing course series is most important for bloggers. As someone who reads social media but generally doesn’t post, I’m still working on my online presence, even though I’ve done social media marketing for others. Take this to work on getting your name out there.
If you have the business idea, but not the business know-how, this is the best all-around business course on Coursera. You’ll get basic knowledge on management, finance, marketing, and development, which you can then expand on as you build your venture.
Take this unexpected free time as a chance to grow and improve, and even chase your dreams. Don’t just sit back and lounge until it’s time to go back to your 9 to 5!