Friday, June 21, 2024

A class above

Learning new skills has innumerable advantages and it is easier than ever.

There’s no denying that the Internet can be a powerful learning tool and offers easy access to quality education materials. If you want to pick up a new skill this year, here’s a list of classes you can sign up for and learn at your own pace and in the comfort of your own home.

A new language, anyone?

Learning a new language enhances cognitive development as it will further develop the ability to think and reason. It also increases retention capacity, stimulates your brain, improves attention span, boosts creativity, and helps you build multi-tasking skills. In addition, it can break down cultural barriers, build better relationships and advance your career in any field.

Learning a foreign language can make you a happier, smarter, more resilient adult. Some of the most popular online sites that will have you talking like a pro in no time include Babbel, Pimsleur, Lingopie, Preply, Rocket Languages, Lingoda and Coursera.

If adding to your language skills is not your cup of oolong, there are many other options.

Master that skill!

With more than 180 classes in 11 categories, streaming platform MasterClass lets you learn by doing in just 30 days. Be it business and leadership, photography, cooking, writing, acting, music, or sports, MasterClass delivers a classy online learning experience. Video lessons are available anytime, anywhere on your smartphone, personal computer, and FireTV streaming media players. Each class includes 20 video lessons that are 10 minutes long on average, along with an in-depth workbook.

Sessions by MasterClass is a new hands-on format where you can learn by working on projects and activities as part of a structured curriculum. From Marc Jacobs teaching fashion design, Martin Scorsese providing insights on filmmaking, Natalie Portman teaching the art of acting, Mariah Carey on using the voice as an instrument, to Garry Kasparov revealing chess strategies and Malala speaking on creating change, the possibilities are endless.

Designs on you

LinkedIn Learning has a plethora of courses on design, be it a PowerPoint presentation, InDesign training, Infographics, creating your creator media kit using Canva Pro, User Experience (UX), Interactive Infographics with Adobe Animate, brand design, animation, graphic design, or illustrative design.

Create sophisticated PowerPoint slides, get a thorough explanation of the features and techniques that make the InDesign page layout application fun and easy to use, or gain insight into the fundamental design aspects of infographics using Adobe Illustrator. Get step-by-step guidance on creating the key elements of your creator media kit using Canva, how to design a fully interactive, animated infographic, besides animation and motion graphic projects in Adobe After Effects and more through LinkedIn Learning’s many available courses.

Programming with flair

Besides design courses, LinkedIn Learning offers some handy Python courses too. Python is one of the most commonly used programming languages for many large organisations. Learn how to use Python scripts to perform statistical analysis, generate graphics such as scatterplots and bar charts, and process tabular data. Find out how to handle errors and exceptions, as well as threads and processes. Plus, how to work with different types of files in Python.

Coursera has some helpful Python courses too. The parts of Python you will learn include arithmetic, variables, values and modules. Manipulate the flow of how your code runs, turning logic into useful work. Learn how to use functions such as refactoring and debugging. Knowing Python opens up a wide variety of career paths and allows the programmer to solve problems, rather than focusing on syntax.

An optimal strategy

Want to learn how to increase visibility of your website or online business? Learn the basics of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and gain an understanding of search engine algorithms and how they affect organic search results and websites. Coursera has an impressive 5-course specialisation (Introduction to Google SEO, Google SEO Fundamentals, Optimizing a Website for Google Search, Advanced Content and Social Tactics to Optimize SEO and Google SEO Capstone Project). Pick up the key elements for creating an effective SEO strategy, including how to select keywords and perform keyword research; consumer psychology and search behaviour. Also, how to conduct on-page SEO analysis to identify opportunities to improve a website’s search optimisation.

Learn the basic definition of SEO, tools for finding the correct keywords, building links for your website, usage of meta title and meta description, mobile SEO, etc. You will also learn how to work on web crawler, Google algorithms, different types of queries, and many other concepts that will help make you skilled in using SEO practices.

Sign up!

If attending online courses is not something up your alley, National University of Singapore Society conducts a range of interesting short courses in collaboration with National Silver Academy and Council for Third Age.

Initially launched in 2017 and conducted bi-annually, you will be able to find a host of courses ranging from Information Technology and Business to Linguistics and Art. Popular courses include Journey in Ink, Conversational Mandarin, and Aquaponics.

Please click here to check them out.

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