Online Courses That Are Actually Worth Taking

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Are they on a mental-health push? Get the skills that mean they turn to you for insight, be it training in empathy or mindfulness for performance. Is your boss considering going net zero? Become her go-to sustainability expert by learning about green HR and corporate ethics.

Communications and Other Soft Skills

Don’t be the person dropping typos in Slack or confusing colleagues with poorly written emails. Recruiters always cite communications and other “soft” skills as the most-in-demand attributes regardless of industry or role, so get good at them.

That will not only help you in your current role, but when job hunting too. When your would-be future boss asks about your qualifications, don’t just talk about your role-specific hard skills, but show how you’ve studied other soft skills such as negotiating or team building or personal productivity.

Courses don’t need to be directly applicable to the world of business, either. Take an online writing course with Roxane Gay or stand-up comedy class from Judd Apatow—your boss isn’t likely to ask you to craft a personal essay or do improv in the office, but these sorts of courses will help you write more clearly or gain confidence for meetings.

Some skills go without saying or listing on your CV. Over on Masterclass, essayist David Sedaris has a session on how to tell better stories, a talent that will help at an interview, at work and down the pub. And RuPaul offers advice on authenticity and self-expression—what better soft skills could you possibly want?

Woke for Work

You should take diversity training to find out your own biases, become a better person, and treat those around you more fairly—but there’s more to educating yourself than unconscious bias training.

So while Coursera, for example, hosts classes on workplace diversity and inclusion, it also offers programs teaching anti-racism as well as the history of Black Lives Matter, sexuality, and gender identity.

The University of Alberta’s free online Indigenous Canada course is one Coursera’s most popular classes, and it got an unexpected boost when Schitt’s Creek star Dan Levy signed up to learn. It’s genuinely intriguing—you’ll get more out of it than you would rewatching the sitcom, charming though it is, for the 18th time.

Grow Yourself

There’s more to life than work—but you’ll unquestionably do better in your career if you become a life-long learner. That doesn’t have to be as dull as it sounds, as classes don’t need to be directly applicable to work, instead choose anything that catches your eye.

For example, Masterclass has big names offering insight into the worlds that made them famous. So rather than watch another episode of Queer Eye, sign up for Tan France’s style course; forget bingeing more Master Chef, and take Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooking class.

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