When you meet a friend during Covid times and ask what they’ve been up to, chances are that they’ve answered “Oh, I’m learning a new language” or “I’m currently pursuing an online course”. Due to the innate Singaporean trait of kiasu-ness, this may have prompted you to wonder if you too should start registering for some classes.
Luckily, there are tons of online courses available out there with some even offered for free by established institutions. Regardless of your topic of interest, these free online courses will definitely spice up your CV and give you something to brag about during your next meetup or simply to impress your future employer!
Whether you identify as a professional photographer, iPhone photographer or Instagram boyfriend, these free photography courses will help you bring your Instagram game to the next level!
Since the Circuit Breaker, Canon has been offering a Complimentary Training & Basic Photography Course that introduces you to the most important functions of your camera in two hours. For peeps well-versed with photography but need some help with inspiration, you can register for free seminars hosted by Leica Camera. Held online by experienced photographers, the webinars touch on content ideation and visual storytelling that will help you stay inspired during Corona times.
To brush up on your photo editing skills, you can also head over to DxO and tune in to their free talks on how to use Photoshop and Analog eFex Pro.
2. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
If you have a blog or website and just can’t seem to get your views up, these free SEO courses may do the trick! Don’t worry if terms such as ‘Backlinks’ and ‘Alt Text’ seem foreign to you now – simply sign up for Yoast’s Free SEO Training: SEO for Beginners crash course, and you’ll soon get acquainted with SEO fundamentals and jargon.
The Circuit Breaker also led to many Singaporeans being bitten by the entrepreneurship bug, inspiring many to start small businesses while being cooped up at home. To learn how you can grow your business through SEO, sign up for this free SEO Mini Course by ClickMinded and gain insight to how big companies approach SEO. You’ll also gain access to many useful SEO resources when you enroll in the course!
Doodling is a good way to release stress and can even be a professional career path! If you have a knack for drawing, it’s time to turn your artistic talent into a daily practice with illustrator Ria Sharon’s free sketching classes. The classes are only 36-minutes long so you can tune in during lunch break or even while commuting.
For students with basic drawing skills and digital tool skills, you can sign up for a certified graphic illustration course by the Cornish College of the Arts. The 6-week Introduction to Graphic Illustration course is free, but you do have to pay for the certificate. The course is also self-paced so you can do everything OTOT.
4. Cooking and Baking
If you’ve never been in the kitchen and can’t seem to crack an egg without making a mess, you may agree when I say that cooking is more of a skill than a hobby. Whether it’s to impress your significant other or because you want to start prepping your own meals, you’ll find these free cooking classes extremely useful for your culinary journey.
YoRipe hosts virtual cooking classes for adults and children on occasion and even posts videos of past classes on their website. The classes are extremely easy to follow and are beginner-friendly so you don’t have to feel paiseh about being the only cooking noob in the group.
If cooking classes aren’t your thing and you prefer watching tutorials, join Christina Tosi’s #bakeclub and watch her go live on Instagram with a new recipe tutorial every day!
5. Music and Composition
Channel your inner Mozart with ‘Write Like Mozart: An Introduction to Classical Music Composition’ by the National University of Singapore (NUS). Available on Coursera, this 6-week course introduces you to style-writing strategies and relevant compositional concepts. If you’d like, a verified certificate is also available for a fee so you can show off the accomplishment on LinkedIn!
Prelude Music Studio also offers free trial lessons for those of us who’d like to pick up a new instrument be it the piano, violin, or guitar. Those who enroll for the free trial will also get 20% off for four lessons! While the lessons are not online, you can still consider it as one of your post-Covid plans.
6. Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel
Fresh grads and job seekers would know the importance of having ‘Microsoft Skills’ since it’s frequently listed as a requirement on job descriptions. Even if you think that you know all there is to know about Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel, you may be surprised at the hundreds of other hidden features that are yet to be discovered.
Forget YouTube tutorials – there’s no better way to learn how to create Pivot tables and perform V-lookup than through these free video tutorials by Microsoft. The tutorials are available on their website and also come equipped with lesson summaries and transcripts.
7. Coding and Programming
These terms may seem incredibly intimidating, but don’t fret – the online coding courses offered by Codecademy are tailored for people who are new to coding. As Codecademy revolves around interactive learning, you can expect lessons to be fun and straightforward; simply type your code into the browser and you’ll see immediate results.
While some of us can only dream about getting into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), we can take heart knowing how accessible their online course materials are. Not only are the course materials free, you don’t even need an account to access it – just look up their coding programmes and you can get started!
8. Social Media and Digital Marketing
Whether you’re interested in marketing a brand – or even yourself as a social media ‘influencer’ – these social media and digital marketing courses will teach you how to build a professional identity online. Alison’s Diploma in Social Media Marketing is a free online course that only takes between 15 to 20 hours – great for all you busy guys and gals out there! The course covers email marketing, social media, Facebook business tools as well as Affiliate marketing.
For those of you with less than 20 hours to spare, you can also check out these free social media marketing courses on Eventbrite.
9. Foreign Language
There’s almost nothing impressive about being bilingual nowadays, so why not learn a new language and make yourself stand out from the rest?
At Open University, you can access hundreds of free language courses such as German, Chinese, and even Russian with different skill levels from Introductory to Advanced. You can also filter the classes according to duration and type, such as eBooks, Badged courses or Lunchtime learning.
Kpop fans or K-drama lovers can also sign up for a free Korean trial lesson at Ganada Korean Language Centre. The trial session can be done physically or over Skype depending on your preference. If you enjoyed the trial, you may consider signing up for one of their Korean courses!
10. Fashion Design
Fashion enthusiasts and spammers of the #ootd hashtag can pursue their passion for fashion with this online fashion course from MIT. Unlike many online courses, the Beginning Costume Design and Construction course is completely downloadable so you can save all the materials and access them at your own time. Here, you’ll learn the psychology of clothing and practice rendering skills through lectures, readings and projects. Do take note that you’ll need a sketching pad and some fashion materials to complete the assignments!
The University of Fashion also offers numerous free lessons on their website such as contrapposto drawing, draping and sewing. To access these lessons, all you need to do is sign up for a free account.
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