22 October 2019

    Lauren Goldman

    Learn with Google

    These free courses available through Google's Digital Skills for Africa platform will kickstart your career.

    In today’s job market and in the ever-evolving digital landscape, it’s important to upskill. But before you panic about lack of costs and time, take a look at Google’s Digital Skills for Africa. This online platforms hosts courses that are divided into three categories:

    1. Data and Tech,
    2. Digital Marketing, and
    3. Career Development.

    Many of them are free and don’t require you to attend classes in person. So the only question is: what should you study? Here are some ideas. Note: we’ve focused on courses that are free, although Digital Skills for Africa also offers paid-for courses.

    Start a business

    If you’re looking to branch out on your own, Google offers a lot of courses that focus on building an online business. Start with Get a Business Online (three hours on seven modules). Of course, every business needs to be marketed, so also look at doing Promote a Business with Online Advertising (three hours on five modules). If you have less time but want to make a move, check out Prepare for Your Business Plan – an hour-long module that will help you refine your target market and identify your competitors.

    African businessman

    Become a developer

    Google offers numerous courses for those interested in coding and programming. You can start with Understand the Basics of Code, which consists of only one hour-long module. This introductory course will explain what code is, how it works and why coding is a valuable skill.

    If you already understand the importance of coding and want to delve into computer programming, check out Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python). This 12-hour course consists of seven modules and is hosted by Coursera. It’s the first course in the five-part paid-for Python for Everybody specialisation.

    Develop your interpersonal skills

    A course that managers will find very useful – but that is also beneficial for everyone – is Conflict Transformation, a free course from Emory University in the United States and hosted on Coursera. Over 15 hours and five modules, you’ll learn how conflict transformation differs from conflict resolution and uncover tools to help you engage conflict constructively.

    Another course that will give you a competitive edge in the workplace and inspire you in your everyday life too is Using Creative Problem Solving, from Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University. This 12-hour, four-module course challenges you to think outside the box when you encounter a problem – an essential skill in our ever-changing world.

    Where to start

    If all of the above sounds fascinating – and overwhelming – take two hours to first discover more about how the web works and what career opportunities it holds for you. Which Digital Job is Made for You? is hosted by OpenClassrooms and reveals more about popular jobs in the digital industry. You can also find out how to create a CV from scratch and how to make your existing CV stand out from the crowd.

    If you know you want to work in the digital space but arent sure which job would suit you, take this free, eight-minute Future Jobs Finder test to help narrow your focus.

    Header photo by Ree from Pexels

    Lauren Goldman