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Top 10 courses to improve your digital skills

Discover the best courses to develop essential in-demand digital skills. Whether you want to learn coding, data analytics, digital marketing or close a skill gap, we have the courses to help you thrive in the digital world.

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It’s no secret that the need for digital skills is greater than ever before.

As our lives increasingly play out online, more and more industries are focusing on the digital sphere, while new digital-only jobs and businesses are sprouting up all the time. The COVID-19 pandemic has only served to hasten this mass migration to the digital workplace. According to the World Economic Forum’s latest Future of Jobs Report, 97 million high-skilled jobs in emerging fields will be created by 2025, almost all of which will demand strong digital skills. 

Simultaneously, more traditional work continues to decline. There exists currently a large gap between the digital skills required to excel in these growing roles and the skills possessed by the global workforce. 

In fact, European Commission figures show that 37% of EU workers do not have even basic digital skills. Additionally, research by Robert Half found that over 90% of employers in finance, technology, marketing, and law, said it was challenging to find professionals with the right skills. 

The result of this enormous skills gap is that those who have the necessary digital skills hold a significant advantage in the job market. 

The UK Government found that 82% of advertised job roles require digital skills, and those with digital skills earn an average of 29% more than those without. This premium only increases with higher digital skill levels.  

We are, at present, living through a so-called ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ which has already compelled the world of work to orbit around digital technology. It has never been more important than now to build and enhance your digital skills if you are seeking a long-lasting and lucrative career. 

So, we’ve compiled a list of our top ten courses to develop your digital skills and help you stand out in the future of work. 

Digital Skills for the Workplace by the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding

Where better to begin our list than with a comprehensive collection of courses covering fundamental digital skills? This partnership between the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding has been established to provide you with courses to close any digital skill gaps you may have that could be impacting your career. 

The collection includes a general introductory course series that’ll teach you digital skills needed in the modern workplace, expert-led courses to boost your digital marketing skills in social media, coding, UX and content creation, and a highly-rated introductory course to computer programming. With these courses, you’ll gain an array of digital skills necessary for a successful career, including skills which will likely become relevant in the job market in years to come.

Introduction to Cyber Security by The Open University

If you’re seeking a fruitful and fulfilling career, a role in cyber security could be perfect for you. With our worlds entwined with online aspects more and more each day, the need for cyber security specialists is higher than ever. Breaches of personal data and information are incredibly dangerous and unfortunately not uncommon. In fact, 39% of businesses in the UK identified a cyber security attack last year. Cyber security specialists play a key role in preventing and handling these breaches. 

With this course from The Open University, you’ll explore vulnerable points at risk of security breach, learn how threats exploit these vulnerabilities and discover countermeasures to guard against these threats. Discover all of the cyber security basics and build a strong foundation to kickstart your career in cyber security. 

Digital Copywriting fundamentals by The Chartered Institute of Marketing

Effective copywriting plays a key role in any digital industry, from ad copy to blog content, strong writing can have a huge sway on any business. Copywriting can prove to be a very lucrative career, but it also offers flexibility and many different pathways for you to choose from and specialise in. With this three-week course, you’ll learn the basics of copywriting and gain insider knowledge about creating engaging digital content.

Join The Chartered Institute of Marketing and gain an understanding of essential copywriting elements such as SEO, types of digital content, social media and much more. Here, you’ll build the career-ready skills needed to produce a variety of engaging, targeted online content that ranks in organic searches.

UX Design Fundamentals by FutureLearn in Collaboration with Canva

The power of user experience (UX) design cannot be understated. It can truly make or break a business. Just look at Apple! One of only six companies in the history of the world ever to have reached a market capitalisation of $1 trillion. And why? Simply because their products are so intuitive and such a pleasure to use: the user experience is superior to everything else on the market.

This ExpertTrack course explores the fundamentals of high-quality UX design and how it adds value to a business. You’ll discover the importance of aesthetics, usability and accessibility of digital assets. Learners will come out of this highly-rated course with a real understanding of their suitability to being a UX designer.

Introduction to Web Development by Raspberry Pi

The ability to create and maintain websites is exponentially becoming one of the most in-demand career skills across all kinds of industries. This beginner’s course by the Raspberry Pi Foundation – a leading charity that promotes the study of computer science around the world – is an excellent and intuitive introduction to web development.

The course will help you master the basics of web development and determine if the profession suits you. You’ll be guided by experts through inclining stages of difficulty, starting with building a web page using HTML, before styling it with CSS, and then making it interactive using JavaScript. By the end you’ll be able to demonstrate your skills by producing your own website from scratch and you’ll feel ready to take on more advanced web development training.

AWS: Machine Learning Foundations by The Open University and Amazon Web Services

Created specifically for those who want to prepare for a career as a machine learning engineer, this microcredential course features academic leaders from the Open University’s AWS academy and supports you through a 10-week, intensive programme. 

Using Amazon Web Services, you’ll learn the fundamentals of one of the fastest growing areas of technology. You’ll master how to design and deploy machine learning models in the cloud, and understand how to use them to resolve key business problems. 

On completion, after you pass the final assessment, you’ll come out with industry-recognised skills, an official certification, and even 10 university credits that can be used as part of a full undergraduate degree from the Open University. You’ll be sure to advance your job prospects by joining this microcredential. 

A Beginner’s Guide to Data Analytics by BoxPlay and FutureLearn

It is widely known that organisations with a data-led culture are the future of business, such that demand for data analysts is only increasing year by year across a range of sectors. This three-week introductory course is designed for anyone who wants to develop highly coveted data skills and move into a career in the sector. No previous experience is required!

You’ll explore different data skill sets and understand what is involved in areas like data engineering, data analysis, and data science. On top of this, you will learn how data analysis can draw important information and insights from datasets to inform future business strategies, granting you a steady platform from which to launch a career in data.

Data Analytics Using Python by FutureLearn and Coventry University

A programme for more experienced data professionals, this ExpertTrack – or series of accredited courses – will deepen your understanding of data analytics by using critical elements of Python: one of the world’s most prominent programming languages. 

Endorsed by Coventry University, this bundle of courses has been put together to boost your long-term career potential in the global big data industry – an industry worth over $100 billion. Expect to learn how to collect, manipulate and organise data using Python. By the end, you’ll have the fundamental Python programming skills required to complete the most advanced analytics tasks effectively and quickly. You’ll kill two birds with one stone, building highly-coveted analytics skills and simultaneously developing a foundational knowledge of Python, which you can grow further and greatly expand your job prospects.

The Freelance Bible: How to Be a Freelancer in Any Industry By Mission Accomplished & FutureLearn

Ever wanted to manage your own workload? If you’re keen to do so, freelancing is one of the best skills to learn. Digital careers and freelancing often go hand-in-hand, offering opportunities for you to work at your own pace across a range of sectors. Even the topics we’ve covered in this list are common freelancing options, take copywriting or cyber security work for example. 

With this five-week course, you’ll learn vital skills to help you succeed in the world of freelancing, covering areas like work-life balance, self-discipline, financing and much more. Mission Accomplished is offering you the chance to master the art of freelancing and gain skills needed to pursue a successful independent career. Based on the bestselling book from Alison Grade, this course will uncover tips and tricks for successful freelancing in any industry.

Digital Skills: Embracing Digital Technology by King’s College London

To close our list of the best digital skills courses, here is an excellent programme by King’s College London which has been created for refugees and displaced people who wish to improve their digital skills, and by consequence their opportunities to study, their job prospects and, indeed, their lives. 

The course particularly aims to help those who want to enter university and study a subject with a digital element, such as STEM, healthcare, social sciences, or arts and humanities. Among other fundamentals, you’ll learn about the digital technologies you can use to make your life easier, and explore both the creative possibilities of the online world and the best digital tools for communicating and research. You’ll also learn how to apply for jobs online and, ultimately, develop your own personal plan for implementing these new skills to build a successful career.

Final thoughts

From general introductory digital skills courses to advanced courses for specific digital skill sets, completing an online digital skills course on FutureLearn will make you stand out and prepare you for the digital roles of the future. Why not future-proof your career and sign up to one of our expert-led online courses today?

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