Places to sharpen your skills
Though I’ve only been out of school for nearly two years, it still feels strange to not be rushing to class in the fall. I’m not picking out a schedule or getting settled into a dorm with new roommates. To be honest, it feels nice to be more stable.
But just because I’ve graduated doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped learning. I keep picking up skills as I go along, sometimes with the help of online tutorials or a lot of googling.
I’m going to save you a bit of time. Here are some platforms and organizations offering free or low-cost tutorials, webinars and online courses for stuff that will directly apply to your work.
For technical tutorials: You can find most pretty helpful, free tutorials. But most of the time, you get what you pay for. If you’re led astray by outdated or inaccurate web tutorials, go to Lynda.com. (Note: you might be able to access the site via your college for free. If not, LinkedIn users typically can receive a free trial). You can brush up on software development, photography and business, among other subjects. Cost: Basic, $20; Premium: $30
For journalism trends: The Poynter Institute offers a variety of online courses and webinars ranging from advanced editing skills to developing journalism “side-hustles.” The cost of these resources vary greatly, and members of the institute receive discounts. While some are free or cost $20 or $30, some Poynter courses can cost more than $400. Another option would be to participate in training held by local chapters of professional organizations. Organizations like the National Association of Black Journalists or the American Society of Business Publication Editors offer training sessions or webinars dedicated for their members. (In case you missed it, this is part of the reason why you need to join professional organizations).
For specific programs or apps: I’ve had to use social media platforms, different design programs and content management systems, I thought I was pretty fluent on how to use different platforms. Now that I’m running the blog, I’ve realized that these platforms and programs change all the time in terms of features and user demographic. Thankfully, some platforms offer courses of their own. For example, Hootsuite has free courses on social media marketing. Look and see if the programs you’re using have courses available on their sites. (If not, there maybe free or affordable programs in the area or within your professional organization where you can receive group training sessions).
Our industry is always changing, so staying up to date is key. Hopefully, some of the resources above will help you stay ahead of the curve.
Where do you go to learn new skills? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.