Have time on your hands? Most of us do. Take advantage of this and learn something new. Here are some of the best providers of online courses, not to mention added cashback.
‘Boredom always precedes a period of great creativity,’ said the writer Robert M. Pirsig. And it’s true. In order to find the time and attention you need to learn something new, make some art, or improve yourself as a person, you sometimes need to be really really bored.
And what a more boring time than now? Social distancing has meant that we can only go out for exercise and essentials. No cafes, pubs, restaurants, cinemas, and so on. By now, you’ve probably finished that puzzle, repainted the shed, and walked your dog 10 million times.
You could see the pub closing as a tragedy. Or you could see it as an opportunity — another distraction that’s out of the way, giving you time and space to knuckle down and learn something fresh.
Google searches for terms such as ‘online courses’ in the UK have risen by over 100% over the last month, showing that the nation has a new appetite for self-learning. Although this may be a boring time, we all might come out the other end of it with new skills and knowledge.
The range of courses available online is staggering. Some courses could help you take the next step in your career. For example, learn coding languages such as Python, or advanced Excel. Or you could ignore work completely and learn something just for the fun of it. Take on another language, learn the guitar, or even become a mixologist.
There are lots of brands that provide these courses for fair prices, with some even being free. To make things that bit better, you can get cashback on these courses when you go through Quidco, allowing you to learn more for less.
*All cashback rates are true at the time of publishing
Udemy is one of the top dogs when it comes to online learning. Since its beginning, it’s had over 300 million course enrolments. So they must be doing something right.
Some of Udemy’s popularity comes down to the sheer number of courses that it has on offer. There are education programmes for students, hobbyists and those seeking to advance their career skills.
Looking to get an extra edge on an upcoming exam or essay? Udemy could be the thing for you. Browse lectures and test questions on everything from calculus to art history to philosophy.
There are courses, too, that may not help you with your studied subject directly but can give you the skills you need to excel. Both in your academic life and beyond. For example, take a peek at the highly popular Intelligence Analyst Certification. This course teaches you how to think critically and analyse information — skills that are essentials in any type of academic career.
It’s a competitive job market, and it’s best to have as many skills under your belt as possible if you want to get those top jobs. This is where Udemy comes in. Whether you’re a hot-shot stock trader, a computer wizard, or a marketing guru, Udemy has courses that will educate and inspire you.
What’s more, there is a metric boatload of lectures and workbooks that will help make you a pro at systems we all need to use in an office environment. This includes courses on how to be a whizz on Microsoft Excel or the key to creating Powerpoints that can dazzle. Also on offer is a range of lessons on how to boost productivity, from prioritising workloads to taking back control of your email inbox.
All the work courses are great, but once you’re off the (working-from-home) clock, you may not want to touch a business-based course with a barge pole. No stress, as there is a tonne of non-work-related classes to sink your teeth into.
See yourself as a creative type? Well, here comes your opportunity to spread your wings. Delve into the vast array of creative arts-focused lessons. Hone your sketching skills with courses on the art and science of drawing, or up your Insta game with lessons in photography and iPhone filmmaking.
It’s a stressful time right now and you may need a little help getting your zen on. There’s a host of mindfulness, meditation and stress management courses available on Udemy.
You’ve likely heard of Rosetta Stone as the go-to resource for language learning. Its language courses take you from beginner all the way up to advanced levels. Go from barely knowing the word for hello to being able to have a fully-fluent conversation.
Whether you have plans to backpack across South America, add another skill to your CV, or just learn for the fun of it, Rosetta Stone has you covered in languages from Spanish to Indonesian.
The way that you learn languages with Rosetta Stone is different than how you may have done so in school. Instead of through translation (this word in French means this word in English), these courses put you through a Dynamic Immersion® method.
This means you’ll only be writing, speaking and hearing solely in the language you’re learning. This way, you can fully immerse yourself in your new tongue.
Knowing the vocabulary and grammar to a new language doesn’t quite cut it if you’ve got a shoddy accent. With Rosetta Stone’s accent speech engine, it can listen to what you say, how you say it and how to improve. So when it comes to the crunch and you speak to some locals, they’ll be able to understand exactly what you’re saying.
The Shaw Academy
The Shaw Academy is similar to Udemy in a lot of ways. If you’re looking for something and can’t find it on one, you’re more than likely to find it on the other. The Shaw Academy has lessons for both business and recreational activities.
With most Shaw Academy courses, you’ll end up with some kind of recognised qualification or diploma, which you can add to your CV, or just frame it on your wall.
Now with a lot of us twiddling our thumbs indoors, it may be time to pick up that guitar that’s been gathering dust since 2005. How about getting yourself a diploma in guitar? This interactive course will show you the fundamentals of guitar playing through 32 interactive lessons.
Or if you’re missing the hairdressers and salons, now that they’re all currently closed, why not DIY your own treatments with a diploma in personal beauty? This course promises to get your skincare routine up to a professional level. With this know-how, you won’t have to visit a beauty parlour again — even when they are open.