Want to improve your skills in the workplace? Then look no further.
Here is our pick of the top employability skills you can learn online in your spare time or at work when you've got a brief moment that will quickly advance your career.
They are all in video format and can be broken down into shorter sections, or if you're that keen, you can do them all at once!
We've split them up into three categories to help you get started:
1. Soft skills that everyone needs in the workplace
How to manage people
This edX course People Management, will help you transition smoothly between being part of a team and being the leader of a team, motivate and guide you if you are aspiring to become a leader and think back and reflect if you are a seasoned manager.
By the end of this course, you’ll gain an overview of what it means to be an effective people manager, have a deeper understanding of the different aspects of people management, be able to appreciate the challenges faced by a first-time manager, and reflect on your managerial experiences.
An introduction to project management
Project management is an essential skill-set for many careers and in many contexts in our lives.
Introduction to Project Management is an ideal starting point if you need to manage projects at work or at home, while not necessarily being a formally trained project manager.
It is also suitable if you are considering undertaking a project in the near future and are seeking to learn and apply essential project management knowledge and skills.
To deliver a project successfully, it’s important to start by clearly identifying what the project is, and what its outcomes will be. In the course, you’ll gain practical ways to explore and understand your goals from the outset of your project and to consider all the factors that may affect its execution.
Step by step you will learn how to plan, scope, schedule, cost and manage your project from beginning to end. Since every project relies on the people who are delivering it, the course also enables you to explore how you can effectively communicate, manage people and employ leadership skills to successfully deliver your own project.
We start making negotiations as soon as our day begins, through all our interactions, either work, social, or family-related. But have you ever wondered how efficiently you negotiate, and whether you could be better at it? This is a straightforward opportunity to put into practice all the knowledge you have acquired and to confirm that the negotiation process is dynamic and can always be improved.
The edX course, Negotiation Skills and Effective Communication, integrates the most recent advances in the development of negotiation skills, based on modern life complexities, in a simple and direct way.
It starts out with the structure of effective communication in a negotiation, with the intention of identifying opportunity areas and improving them through active learning mechanisms.
Negotiation, by definition, implies the relationship between two or more parties who eventually express opposing interests and demand skills for problem-solving. In this course, you will also learn to identify and manage its irreversible consequences in advance.
Creative problem solving
Through a series of creativity building exercises, short lectures, and readings, you’ll develop both an understanding of creativity and increase your own ability. You’ll focus on divergent thinking: the ability to develop multiple ideas and concepts to solve problems.
The principal learning activity in this course, Coursera’s Creative Problem Solving, is a series of "differents" where you are challenged to identify and change your own cultural, habitual, and normal patterns of behaviour. Beginning with a prompt, e.g. "eat something different", you will begin to recognise your own limits and overcome them.
In an age when our world has been turned upside down by COVID and Brexit, creative problem solving is one of the top skills you’ll learn, with companies needing to find new ways to quickly reach new markets and sell alternative products and services.
Public speaking is the bane of many an employee and this course, Introduction to Public Speaking, gives you a reliable model for preparing and delivering effective presentations.
Instead of rambling without making a point, becoming confusing to listen to or coming across as not knowing what you are talking about, this course will help you shine where others falter.
You’ll learn how to organise talks clearly, write them memorably, and deliver them confidently. By the end of the course, you should be able to significantly reduce your fear of public speaking, use rehearsal techniques to develop a strong, vibrant speaking voice, and perform speeches with dynamic movement and gestures.
If you’re a beginner, this course will help you quickly master the fundamentals of speaking. If you’re a seasoned speaker, this course will help you better understand public speaking and push you to the next level.
Emotional intelligence at work
Did you know? One of the key insights from the science of happiness is that our own personal happiness depends heavily on our relationships with others. By tuning into the needs of other people, we actually enhance our own emotional well-being.
The same is true within organisations: those that foster trusting, cooperative relationships are more likely to have a more satisfied, engaged—and more productive and innovative—workforce, with greater employee loyalty and retention.
This course, Emotional Intelligence at Work, delves into the social and emotional skills that sustain positive relationships at work. It highlights the foundational and related skills of empathy and “emotional intelligence,” also known as EQ, which refers to the skills of identifying and regulating our own feelings, tuning into the feelings of others and understanding their perspectives, and using this knowledge to guide us toward constructive social interactions.
Drawing on research and real-world case studies, the course reveals how honing these skills promotes well-being within an organisation, supporting everything from good management—managers high in empathy, for example, have employees who report being happier and take fewer sick days—to more effective teamwork, problem-solving, and recovery from setbacks. The course also explains the psychological and neuroscientific roots of cooperative, compassionate behaviours, making the case that these are not just “soft” skills but core aspects of human nature that serve basic human needs as well as the bottom line.
What’s more, it offers practical ways to strengthen empathy, trust, and collaboration among teams and resolve conflicts more constructively—with a special emphasis on how socially intelligent leadership can build cultures of belonging and engagement.
Learn how to communicate more effectively at work and achieve your goals.
Improving Communications Skills gives you both the tools you need to improve your communication skills, and the most successful strategies for using them to your advantage.
You'll learn how to discover if someone is lying (and how to react if they are), how to develop trust, the best method of communication for negotiation, and how to apologise. You'll also learn when to cooperate and when to compete, how to create persuasive messages, ask thoughtful questions, engage in active listening, and choose the right medium (face-to-face conversation, video conference, phone call, or email) for your messages.
By the end of the course, you'll be able to understand what others want, respond strategically to their wants and needs, craft convincing and clear messages, and develop the critical communication skills you need to get ahead in business and in life.
2. Management of ourselves in work in the 21st Century
How to learn online
To start with, learn to learn online via this edX course.
With more and more learning reverting online, it’s great that you can do everything in your own time and at your own pace, but at the same time it can also be difficult to keep the motivation up and to take in and use what you’ve learnt.
This course will show you how you can make the most of your online learning experience.
How to work remotely efficiently and effectively
Working has also be affected hugely by COVID and a great way to start on your online learning journey is to improve your remote working skills.
With this edX course, Remote Work Revolution for Everyone, you’ll learn how to build trust, increase productivity, use digital tools intelligently, and remain fully aligned with your remote team to thrive in the remote environment.
This course uses real-world examples, as well as actionable recommendations, and also explains the theories and concepts behind them.
By the end of the course, you will create actionable steps to “relaunch” your team—focusing on new ways to stay connected, be collaborative, and remain productive—while meeting your own personal and organisational goals.
Ace your productivity
As there are only 24 hours in the day!
By the end of this course, Work Smarter, Not Harder, you will be able to gain and apply your knowledge and understanding of personal and professional awareness, organisation and commitment, and use tools, methods and techniques to set goals, prioritise, schedule and delegate to overcome time management challenges and enhance your productivity.
3. Understanding business and industry in general to make better business decisions
Marketing in a digital world
Marketing is one aspect of a business that everyone is trying to get their head around, and now you can too with Coursera’s Marketing in a Digital World.
With this course, you’ll be able to understand how digital tools are changing the nature of marketing, explain how digital tools allow consumers to take a more active role in product development, promotion, placement, and pricing activities, and obtain a new set of concepts, tools, and stories to enhance your digital marketing efforts.
In this course, Data Analytics Basics for Everyone, you will learn about the various components of a modern data ecosystem and the role Data Analysts, Data Scientists, and Data Engineers play in this ecosystem. You will gain an understanding of data structures, file formats, sources of data, and data repositories. You will understand what Big Data is and the features and uses of some of the Big Data processing tools.
This course will introduce you to the key tasks a Data Analyst performs in a typical day. This includes how they identify, gather, wrangle, mine and analyse data, and finally communicate their findings to different stakeholders with impact. You will be introduced to some of the tools Data Analysts use for each of these tasks.
Introduction to cloud computing
This course, Introduction to Cloud Computing, introduces you to the core concepts of cloud computing. You’ll gain the foundational knowledge required for understanding cloud computing from a business perspective and also for becoming a cloud practitioner. You’ll understand the definition and essential characteristics of cloud computing, its history, the business case for cloud computing, and emerging technology use cases enabled by the cloud.
You’ll be introduced to some of the prominent service providers of our times (e.g. AWS, Google, IBM, Microsoft, etc.) the services they offer and look at some case studies of cloud computing across industry verticals.
You’ll learn about the various cloud service models and deployment models and the key components of cloud infrastructure. The course also covers emergent cloud trends and practices including - Hybrid Multicloud, Microservices, Serverless, DevOps, Cloud Native and Application Modernization.
Even though this course does not require any prior cloud computing or programming experience, by the end of the course, you will have created your own account on IBM Cloud and gained some hands-on experience by provisioning a cloud service and working with it.
This course is suitable for a large variety of audiences - whether you are an executive/manager/student who wants to become familiar with cloud computing terminology and concepts, or someone who wants foundational grounding in cloud computing to start a career in this field or become a cloud practitioner - such as a cloud engineer, developer, analyst, etc.
Introduction to programming
Have you ever wished you knew how to program, but had no idea where to start from?
This course, Code Yourself! An Introduction to Programming, will teach you how to program in Scratch, an easy to use visual programming language. More importantly, it will introduce you to the fundamental principles of computing and it will help you think like a software engineer.