This article is part of the “Upskilling” series. Click here to learn more.

Now that we’ve been in quarantine for a few months, binge-watching Netflix all day has lost its appeal. We’re ready to get back to being productive, and what better way to do that than by upskilling? Learning new skills is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for the post-coronavirus economy. It also helps you qualify for better jobs, raises, and promotions. As technology is always advancing, it’s important to stay on top of emerging trends like artificial intelligence and data analytics so that your resume is filled with the skills that employers need. 

You don’t have to go back to school and pay thousands for a master’s degree in order to upskill. There are lots of low-cost online courses and certifications that you can take to improve your job prospects. To make the most of the quarantine, we’ve put together this list of online courses you can enroll in. Hopefully, these will help build your professional skill set and advance your career. 


Coursera is an online learning platform that was founded by two Stanford professors. It offers courses from professors at top universities, such as Yale and Johns Hopkins, that you can audit for free. You can also enroll in longer-paid programs called specializations. That will allow you to master a new skill in a few months and earn a certification at the end. Here are a few of our favorite Coursera classes. These will teach you highly valuable skills and keep you entertained (to say the least).

Al for Everyone

According to LinkedIn Learning, artificial intelligence is one of the top five most in-demand hard skills this year. AI can help businesses analyze large amounts of data quickly to gain new insights and improve their products and services. It can also be used to automate business processes and increase efficiency, which saves time and money. AI has applications across all industries. It’s one of the most important skills to learn no matter what you do for a living. And if you’re knowledgeable about AI, you’ll be ahead of the curve. According to a recent study, only 17% of senior business leaders were familiar with it. 

AI for Everyone is taught by Andrew Ng, one of the founders of Coursera. It’s a great introduction to artificial intelligence that isn’t too technical or hard to understand. You’ll learn the basics of AI, including common terminologies like machine learning and deep learning. You will also figure out how to spot opportunities to implement this new technology in your company. By learning how to collaborate with developers and other colleagues on artificial intelligence and data science projects, you can become a valuable asset to employers. 

Python for Everybody 

Data analysis is another skill that can give you an edge in a tough job market. A recent study showed that 70% of business executives will prefer job applicants who have data skills by 2021. Python is one of the main programming languages used for data analysis. It’s a great skill to pick up in your free time.

This Python for Everybody specialization is offered by the University of Michigan and will teach you how to gather, clean, and analyze data in just a few months. It’s designed for beginners, so you don’t need any prior knowledge of data analysis to get started. The course has a flexible schedule and allows you to set deadlines that work for you. It’s easy to fit around your other responsibilities. If you stick with it and graduate from the course, you’ll get a certificate and maybe even a raise. According to Coursera, 19% of people who completed the course got a pay increase or promotion, and 39% started a brand-new career. Career skills to jumpstart your future.


MasterClass offers online video courses from famous instructors like James Patterson and Margaret Atwood. For $180, you’ll get an annual membership that gives you unlimited access to more than 80 classes on topics ranging from cooking to acting. You’ll be able to learn from the stories and experiences of world-class artists and creatives, which makes the price tag worth it. 

Although all of the courses on MasterClass are excellent, below are a few of our favorites. They’ll teach you in-demand creative skills that you can use to start a side hustle or impress potential employers. 

Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography

If you want to develop a lucrative freelance skill during quarantine, you should look into photography. On average, photographers make $65,000 per year, so you could earn a lot of extra income just by taking pictures or shooting weddings on the side.

Annie Leibovitz is one of the best people to learn photography from. She’s an accomplished portrait photographer who’s taken photos of Queen Elizabeth II, John Lennon, and many other celebrities. Her course contains three hours’ worth of video lessons and covers her entire photographic process. You’ll learn things like how to develop creative concepts for portraits and use natural light to illuminate subjects. You’ll also get to see Leibovitz in action as she shoots subjects. This can help you learn how to work with clients. You won’t learn much about the technical side of photography, like which camera settings to use. However, this course overall is still a great watch for beginners and experienced photographers alike. 

Neil Gaiman Teaches The Art of Storytelling

Even if you’re not an aspiring novelist, this video course on creative writing is worth watching. Businesses are always looking for employees who are skilled in storytelling and can write compelling content. Taking a creative writing class can help you develop your writing chops and improve your storytelling ability. It’s a great way to upskill during quarantine or whenever.

In this storytelling class with Neil Gaiman, the author of the popular book Coraline, you’ll learn how to find sources of inspiration for your stories and develop them into captivating narratives. Gaiman will also teach you how to find your voice as a writer, use humor in your prose, and write descriptively, which is an important skill. 


Skillshare is an online learning platform that you can use to learn in-demand creative skills, including animation, video production, graphic design, web development, and more. It offers dozens of free video courses as well as a paid membership option that gives you access to even more educational content. With so many great courses to choose from, it’s tough to figure out where to start. To help you decide which courses to dive into first, we’ve reviewed a few of our favorites below. 

Video Production—The Complete Course

According to Cisco, video will account for 82% of global search traffic by 2022. Therefore, it’s more important than ever for businesses to produce engaging video content. Knowing how to shoot and edit videos will make you a valuable asset to any company and increase your chances of landing a job. 

This video production course by Skillshare instructor Phil Ebiner will teach you everything you need to know to shoot and edit high-quality videos. You’ll learn how to come up with creative video ideas, write a pre-production checklist, compose and light each shot, and capture clear audio. Ebiner will also teach you how to edit your videos so that they not only look great but also tell a cohesive story. 

Intro to UX: Apply the UX Design Process

Studies have shown that implementing better UX design can increase a website’s conversion rate by up to 400%. If businesses want to boost their sales and their bottom line, having a well-designed, user-friendly website is essential. That’s why UX design consistently shows up on lists of the most in-demand skills.

Our favorite course is Intro to UX by Rebecca Danna, who works as a designer at Google. It’s beginner-friendly and walks you through creating your first web design project step-by-step. You’ll learn the fundamentals of human-centered design and the process that you need to follow to create a functional website, from generating ideas to prototyping and testing them. At the end of the course, you’ll have a polished project that you can put in your portfolio to impress potential clients and employers. 


Udemy is an online learning platform that’s similar to Skillshare. It offers both free and paid courses on topics like finance, sales, graphic design, photography, and music production. Anyone can teach on Udemy, but the courses are usually very high-quality and backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee. So if you’re not satisfied with a class, you can easily return it for a full refund. 

Udemy offers thousands of courses, so it’s hard to figure out where to start. Here are two of our favorite courses on blockchain and digital marketing that could help you upskill and advance your career. 

Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamentals

Blockchain is usually associated with cryptocurrency. However, it can also be used for other purposes like monitoring supply chains and moving data across the web securely. Deloitte recently surveyed companies around the world and found that 40% of them are planning to spend at least $5 million on blockchain initiatives in the next 12 months. So if you want to work on exciting, lucrative projects, you should consider reskilling into a blockchain developer position. 

Although this course won’t qualify you for a developer position on its own, it’s a nice introductory course. It will teach you the basics and get you ready for more advanced topics. It’s also a great upskilling course for business people who want to understand how blockchain is changing their industry and learn ways to implement it in their company. 

The Complete Digital Marketing Course

Because of the coronavirus, many businesses are moving online. This means they may start to invest more money in digital marketing. According to a 2018 study, half of all B2B companies spend about a quarter of their marketing budget on in-person events. Now that large gatherings are canceled for the foreseeable future, that budget may shift to online channels, opening up new positions for digital marketers. 

If you’re interested in upskilling or reskilling into a digital marketing role, this course is a great place to start. It includes nearly 24 hours’ worth of educational video content on topics like market research, search engine optimization, email marketing, copywriting, Facebook ads, and more. It covers almost everything that you need to know about digital marketing. This course will also help you create an effective strategy that could drive more traffic to your employer’s website. 

LinkedIn Learning 

LinkedIn’s online learning platform has more than 16,000 free and paid courses to help get ahead in your career. The courses cover a wide range of subjects, including coding, photography, interpersonal communication, and emotional intelligence. So whether you’re looking to improve your hard or soft skills, LinkedIn Learning has courses that will fit your career goals. 

LinkedIn screens their instructors before they’re allowed to start teaching courses, so everyone is a true expert in their field. We’ve loved all the courses we’ve taken on the platform – especially the ones we’ve reviewed below. 

Influencer Marketing Foundations

According to a report from Business Insider, major brands plan to spend as much as $15 million on influencer marketing by 2022. Even small and medium-sized businesses are starting to learn about the benefits of influencer marketing. Compared to other digital marketing techniques, working with influencers delivers a return on investment that can be 11 times greater. So if you can master this skill and put it to work for your employer, you may get that raise or promotion you’ve been wanting. 

Chelsea Krost teaches Influencer Marketing Foundations. She is a marketing professional who has more than ten years of experience working with brands on their influencer marketing campaigns. It walks you through the whole process of creating your first campaign, from finding influencers that mesh with your brand to measuring the return on investment once it’s over. 

Creative Exercises to Spark Original Thinking

In addition to the hard skills mentioned throughout this post, employers are looking for soft skills like leadership and creativity. This course from fine arts professor Amy Wynne will help you tap into your creative side. It will guide you through 20 hands-on exercises like playing with watercolor paints. The goal of these artistic prompts is to start the flow of ideas so you can come up with original solutions for work-related problems. 

If you have more free time than you know what to do with, you can put it to good use by taking one of the courses on this list. Learning an in-demand skill like digital marketing or video production will help you stay competitive in the post-coronavirus job market and maybe even earn a raise or promotion. Which courses are you planning on taking to upskill during quarantine? Let us know in the comments section below.

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