Tools for Learning a New Career On the Side

If you’re stuck in a job that you don’t like, do something about it. There are a multitude of resources, classes, TEFL Certification and online tools available that can help you learn a new skill or brush up on past experience. And believe it or not, many of them are free. Don’t believe us? Here are just a few examples that you might find helpful.


Websites, mobile apps, online software programs, video games… all depend on code. So it should come as little surprise that coders are in constant demand, for both part- and full-time positions. A full-time computer programmer can make more than $100,000 per year, while freelancers can demand $50 per hour or more. But where do you start if you are looking to get into coding? CodeAcademy is a great place to learn the basics. With online classes covering a wide range of coding and scripting languages (such as JavaScript and CSS), you won’t soon run out of things to learn.

Lynda has tens of thousands of online courses covering a gamut of different topics, including web development, design, business development, photography, coding, and software development. And these courses are taught by industry experts. Best of all, the classes can be accessed from any device, at any time. In other words, you can learn a new skill at your own pace, in your off time – say, perhaps on the train ride home, or during your lunch break. Choose a profession or discipline that you’re interested in and dive in. You could learn a new skill and find a new job in no time.


Billed as the world’s largest destination for online courses, Udemy offers classes and programs in a wide range of fields, including information technology, design, development, business, marketing, project management, music, software, and more. And many of these courses are incredibly affordable, often starting as low as $10. Navigate through the courses that interest you, and see if any match what you’re looking for. You could learn an all-new skill or brush up on a skill that you already have, without ever breaking the bank.


For those seeking college-level courses online, you can’t go wrong with Coursera. And that is because Coursera actually offers courses from a number of well-respected universities, including Johns Hopkins, Stanford, University of California San Diego, Duke University, and University of Pennsylvania. These courses are not only incredibly informative and rich in content, but they have the added bonus of looking great on a resume.

Adobe KnowHow

What’s important to note up front about Adobe KnowHow is that not all of the courses cover Adobe products. You can take courses on Windows10, HTML basics, or programming fundamentals, for example. Of course, you will also find a large number of courses on Adobe products, such as Photoshop and Captivate. All that is to say, the site has a nice balance of coursework. Prices vary, but you will find that many of the courses are completely free – and those courses that do cost money are generally quite affordable.


One of the great things about Alison is that each course includes an estimate for how long it should take. This allows you to decide in advance if you have sufficient time to dedicate to the course in question. With other online course providers, there’s often no way to tell whether a course will take 10 hours or 10 days. Alison presents this crucial bit of information up front for your convenience. The other great thing about Alison is the breadth of coursework available. Everything from software tutorials to professional certifications are available on the site.


Providing software tools for marketing and sales teams, Hubspot is a respected industry leader. However, if you are looking to learn new skills, you should focus on their marketing library and marketing academy. Both are designed to provide individuals with the tools, information, and know-how needed for a role in the marketing and sales professions. And like Coursera, some of these programs actually come with a certification, which looks great on a resume. If you have long been interested in a job in marketing, then Hubspot is a must-visit resource.

Self-help Tools

Any number of tools, courses, and programs can help if you are looking to develop a new skill, boost your productivity, or build up your self-confidence. This is evident in the many number of classes and programs that are available. The key is finding a program that meets your needs. For example, Amway offers new and veteran salespersons the Amway Education program to help them gain an upper hand and build their business. Likewise, Etsy maintains the Etsy Community for its shop owners, complete with workshops, local events, and forums. The programs are out there; the key is finding them. Pinpoint what you are looking to improve about yourself, and find the resource that’s right for you.

Continuing Education Courses

Finally, you may consider taking classes at your local community college or university. Continuing education courses are offered in nearly all cities, on a wide range of different subject matters. What’s particularly appealing about these courses is that there is a social aspect. As a working adult, it can be difficult to meet new friends or make new acquaintances; if that is something you’re seeking in addition to an education, attending in-person classes is a great idea. Go to the colleges in your area and inquire about their continuing education courses – you may be surprised at how affordable they can be.

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