• University of Leeds
  • Institute of Coding logo

Essential Skills for Your Career Development

Take charge of your career development and identify the skills you need to plan and achieve your career goals.

61,236 enrolled on this course

Essential Skills for Your Career Development
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours
  • 100% online

    Learn at your own paceHow it works
  • Digital upgrade


Learn the professional career development tools to get your career on track

Most people want to achieve career success, but how can you make it a reality?

On this course, you’ll get the tools to take your career to the next level.

Using planning tools, you’ll establish goals for your career and how to achieve them.

You’ll learn how to navigate the process of applying for jobs and interviews, and consider the importance of transferable skills and creating the right professional networks.

You’ll also hear from like-minded individuals who propelled their careers forward using similar career development plans.

Featured in the UK government’s The Skills Toolkit collection.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds Tuyen Do: Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? It’s a classic career question that sends many people into a panic. You don’t have to know the answer to this question in order to have a successful career. What you do need to do is be able to identify your skills and strengths. And to build on those to develop a career that’s right for you. This course will help you do just that. Essential Skills for your Career Development is one of three courses exploring thriving in the digital workplace. This course focuses on how to identify and develop your knowledge and transferable skills, navigate job adverts and applications, and build and effectively utilise your professional networks.

Skip to 0 minutes and 53 seconds You’ll hear from professionals from a range of industries who will share how they created and implemented their own professional development plans in order to move their career forward. We’ll get you started with everything you need to take the next steps and take charge of your career opportunities by developing your understanding of how to plan for and achieve success.


  • Week 1

    Defining your career

    • Welcome

      In this activity, you are introduced to the course and will explore what it looks like to have a career in the 21st-century workplace.

    • The right path to your ideal job

      In this activity, you'll learn how to identify the right path for your ideal career and explore various approaches for career development. You will also hear from two people about their different, but successful, career paths.

    • Choosing the right path

      In this activity, you'll explore how to create a vision board and how to use that to identify the vision and goals you have for your career.

    • Goal setting

      In this activity, you'll bring together your learning in order to explain your career vision. You will explore how your career goals match your personal skills and learn how to communicate your value to other people.

    • Summary

      You’ve reached the end of the first week of Essential Skills for your Career Development. In this activity, we’ll sum up what you’ve learned, and look forward to Week 2.

  • Week 2

    Growing your career

    • Welcome

      In this activity, you will explore the importance of having a professional network.

    • Building a network

      In this activity, you find out how to identify key individuals, organisations and platforms for your network. You will learn about the network effect and you will hear from three professionals about developing your network.

    • Building relationships

      In this activity, you will develop your communications skills in order to engage key leads. You will receive guidance on communicating across platforms such as LinkedIn, as well as for cover letters and networking events.

    • Adapting as you go

      Now it’s time to bring together what you've learned so that you can evaluate your career strategy. You will explore how to use feedback constructively and look at the advantages of continuous learning for career growth.

    • Summary

      In this final activity, you reflect on the two weeks of the course. You’ll have the opportunity to read a summary of the key topics in the course and find out about the next steps you may like to take.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

You can take this self-guided course and learn at your own pace. On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify different approaches to growing your career
  • Explore a roadmap, vision board for your career path
  • Explain your career vision clearly
  • Identify key individuals, organisations and platforms for your network
  • Develop communications to engage key leads
  • Evaluate the impact of your strategy and iterate accordingly

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for people who have digital skills but would like to build confidence in using digital technology in the workplace.

This may include those studying for A-levels, those who have a degree, or those who want to improve their career prospects.

The course will also be useful for anyone in employment who wants to boost their digital skills or anyone returning to the workplace who’d like to gain confidence in how working practices have evolved.

You might also be interested in the other courses in the Digital Skills for the Workplace collection from the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding.

Who will you learn with?

Hi! I'm a Lead Educator for a few of the Future Learn courses. I'm a communications specialist and filmmaker. I'm also a certified integrative health coach and yoga teacher.

Who developed the course?

University of Leeds

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Institute of Coding

The Institute of Coding is a family of learners, businesses and educators creating a new way to develop the digital skills needed at work and beyond.


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Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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What's included?

University of Leeds are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • Tests to validate your learning
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
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