Your education doesn’t stop when you graduate. You’re likely to land a job in your field that exposes you to new tasks that you’ve never faced before. A few years into your career, you’re likely to expand your role into the company, which requires additional training. Eventually you will try for a promotion to a supervisorial position, and will need to be an expert in digital marketing, leadership, and project management. Smart employees are lifelong learners who are always trying to increase their knowledge-base.
Fortunately, there are plenty of resources on the web that you can take advantage of to further your education. From free courses that only take a few hours to advanced classes, there’s something for every topic and level of learning. Here are seven classes to consider to improve your knowledge or help train your employees.
Lynda offers more than 5,000 courses related to business, technology, and creativity. It’s ideal for students who are looking to expand their skillsets in order to advance their careers. For example, a photographer might take a photoshop class to turn their photos into marketing materials, or a marketer might take a selling or leadership course to prepare them for a promotion.
Lyda offers two options: a monthly plan for $19.99 and a premium plan for $29.99, along with special plans for businesses looking to train employees. Courses range from one to 10 hours — with difficulty varying from beginner to advanced — and come with quizzes to reinforce your learning in the premium version.
Digital Marketing Institute
The first thing you should do when visiting the Digital Marketing Institute’s website is take the 15-minute skills quiz to determine how much you know against others in your field. This will give you an idea of how much you should invest in your education. DMI has several learning levels to choose from, starting with basic three-hour courses on analytics and content outreach (for $300), to advanced courses and degrees ranging from 30 hours to 150 hours (and $3,000 to $10,000 respectively).
DMI works with educators to provide additional materials to schools, and with businesses to train employees for new positions. They’re able to stay relevant by following what their clients are asking for.
Google Analytics and Adwords Certification
Many digital marketers require their employees to complete Google’s Analytics and Adwords training before they’re ever allowed to handle client projects. This ensures their team has a complete knowledge of the tools and an understanding of what’s expected of them.
The Google Analytics Certification follows a series of information page and tutorial videos, along with activities and quiz questions to keep students engaged. Students have 90 minutes to complete the exam (about 60 questions) and need at least 80% accuracy to pass. The certification lasts for 18 months.
The Google Adwords Certification program requires a little more work. While almost anyone within a company needs Analytics, only a few people will be managing the bidding, retargeting, and videos in the digital marketing department. Students must complete the AdWords Fundamentals exam, and then choose one addition specialty — however you can take them all. Specialties include Search Advertising, Display Advertising, Mobile Advertising, Video Advertising, and Shopping Advertising.
Along with several tools, Hubspot has an extensive marketing library and training academy with articles and videos to match your learning style. More than 50,000 people have taken their inbound marketing training course, which consists of 12 classes over five hours. At the end, participants take a 60 question exam to determine whether or not they pass.
Inbound certification is a great way to introduce your employees to content marketing and lead generation, along the same vein as Google’s Analytics and Adwords certification program.
Udemy calls itself the largest online learning marketplace, with more than 14 million students learning about business, development, design, marketing, and productivity. Their library consists of more than 42,000 courses, ranging from Twitter for Beginners to Deep Learning with Python. Classes typically cost around $200, but there are sales and discounts throughout the year (bringing the price down to $15 in some cases) as well as partnership deals with companies. Like Lynda, your business might consider investing in Udemy courses as a way to train employees for major promotions or to expand their roles in different parts of the company.
Like HubSpot, CopyBlogger focuses on the content aspect of digital marketing while offering more than just certification and classes to students. Members access 100,000 words, webinars, ebooks, and forums on boosting content marketing efforts and blogging ability. My.Copyblogger has a free 20-part course to improve copy and content marketing efforts.
This is a great resource for employees who are already managing certain aspects of their content marketing strategy, but might not have a background in writing or communications. It’s a great way to introduce people to digital best practices and writing for the online world.
Coursera wants to take the best courses and make them accessible to anyone – regardless of their location. They strive to find courses that work for your schedule and needs through partnerships with top universities. While their courses feature business information like digital marketing and python, they also have a variety of social sciences like introduction to psychology and game theory. While these topics might not relate directly to your day-to-day tasks, psychological knowledge does have benefits in management and advertising.
Courses range from $29-99, with advanced specializations for $250-$500. It’s also possible to obtain university-recognized degrees for around $25,000 if you need proof of higher ed in order to advance. Depending on the level of attainment, these classes are as short as four weeks and as long as three years.
This list was meant to provide a variety of resources based on you current education needs. It’s possible to spend a few minutes each day studying and reading for a free certification, or invest significant time and money to dramatically grow your expertise. Whichever classes and certifications you choose, make sure you’re always learning something new.