I’ve touched base on this subject a few times, however I never truly delved into it. Today I’d like to share not only reasons why building real world skills are important, but also actual links to places where you can find real world information to learn.
First things first, why is it more important to have skills than a degree…
Have you ever noticed that when you look at the job boards online or in the paper, almost every job requires two things. A university/college degree and 3-5 years of experience.
Every time I see that I ask myself, is this a joke? Let’s be honest, you’ve just spent the last 16 years in school full time and just received your university degree. Sure you interned in the summers, maybe worked part time, but all that time together probably adds up to about a year give or take so how in the (excuse my French) hell are you even supposed to get hired?
On top of that with the epidemic of university graduates who can’t even find a job either because they are “overqualified” or there just aren’t enough jobs out there for everyone.
How are you supposed to earn a living if you don’t have any skills and can’t find a job? Sure move back in with your parents and live in the basement until something shakes up, but that isn’t the ideal situation.
There is only one reason why someone gets hired, if they can prove to be helpful to be a valuable and useful employee who can help them get a good ROI (return on investment) because that is all employees are when it comes down to numbers, will this person help me grow my business or not.
Now the goal of this article is not to say don’t go to university, the goal is to tell you to branch out and learn new things that you can add onto the specialties you’re working on developing.
Do you know how much smarter and valuable you would look to a company if you could help them with more than one thing? That is how you get ahead of your competition whether you are looking to start a business or you are just looking to get hired.
With all that being said, I’d like to share some links I promised at the beginning of this article. Below you’ll find places where you can learn business skills, web development skills, sales skills, and more.
- Udemy: Udemy has great classes, and one of the best things about Udemy is that most of the classes can be purchased at 95% off, if you subscribe to their email list. You’ll receive coupons codes and be able to purchase classes that are worth $300 for only $15. Great content. I personally use this website.
- Alison: Alison was referred to me by an old friend and co-worker, she is currently using it and says it is great. I’ve personally never used it before, but trust her judgement and after looking through their classes, they seem to have a lot of great material.
- TED-Ed: TED-Ed comes from Ted Talks, if you’ve never heard of Ted Talks, then I urge you to go on Netflix and watch one or go on youtube. They are amazing. The best presentations out there and very informative. Take a look at their classes and enjoy!
- Coursera: Coursera is partnered with various Institutions from all over the world and most of their classes offer financial aid as well so this could be a great option for you.
- Codecademy: Code Academy is a great place to learn code, because it specializes in teaching that type of classes and it is also very cost effective at only $19.99/month.
- CodeSchool: This company specializes on teaching code to people, they are amazing and I personally use this website. The interactivity of their classes is amazing and I would 100% recommend them to anyone out there looking to learn to code. It is a bit more expensive than Udemy or some of the other choices, but it is definitely worth the money if you want to get the best out there. It’s current pricing is about $29/month.
- Lynda: Lynda is a great place to learn skills as well, they are a LinkedIn company now and connected to LinkedIn, they have a really great interface and also provide thousands of classes in every category. Very good repertory of classes.
After sharing those links, I’d also like to provide some websites where you can put your newfound skills to good use and build your experience. This can help you build a freelance business for yourself or just help you put some experience on your resume, either way it’s great!
- Upwork: I currently use upwork and can say that it has a lot of great jobs that are priced out very well. You can find work in almost any type of category which is very nice. The only problem with Upwork is that they often have down time, they system was built and pushed out to the public before it was ready in my opinion, they take 10% of every penny you earn for referring you to the client and charge about $10/month, but offer a free plan as well.
- Toptal: Toptal is more for professionals, you must go through a very vigorous interview process to be able to access their jobs, but if you do go through that interview process you will be able to work with the best companies in the world. This is also mostly for developers and designers so if you are looking for other type of work, this company isn’t for you.
- Freelancer: I’ve tried using Freelancer before, however it wasn’t for me. There was a very large percentage of jobs that were under priced and too many indian companies were doing work for less than the work was worth. The competition was a bit too much for me, since I prefer to get less jobs at a better price. However this may be a great place for you to start with a few jobs if you are brand new. They have all types of categories.
- 99designs: 99designs is an amazing company that produces even more amazing designs, however I wouldn’t advise you to join this company if you are new to designing. This company is like a competition website, so clients say what they are looking for at a certain price and people must provide them with the finalized design before getting paid and only the design that is chosen will be paid. If you can’t compare to the best designers, then you will most likely lose the design contest and not earn any money.
- Peopleperhour: This is a great website for beginners and experts, you can find clients who are looking for all types of work for an hourly fee.
I really hope you find some useful classes and information from these websites, please share to help others and also please comment and let me know what you all think of the websites I’ve shared and feel free to share more in the comments so I can update this article with more great knowledge sites.