12 free online courses to help you upskill 👩‍💻

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Your university degree will play a big part in helping you get a job; but it is possible to add more skills to your graduate CV that will be highly valuable to employers.

Whether you’re looking for graduate jobs or after a promotion at work, you can build up your skill set for free in your spare time, by using a number of free online courses and digital resources.

To help you decide which skills to learn, here are the most in-demand skills in 2019:


  • Coding / Programming Skills
  • Digital Skills
  • Creative Skills
  • Reporting / Analytical Skills
  • Design Skills
  • Videography Skills
  • Public Speaking Skills
  • Foreign Language Skills


As the next generation of professionals, it’s vital that students, graduates and those who have just entered the working world develop these skills – particularly in order to keep up with an ever-changing digital landscape.

Having these skills also opens up other doors, for example the opportunity for online freelancing alongside your degree.

If you’re serious about standing out to employers in the crowded graduate jobs market, check out these websites and courses that will help you upskill yourself for free.


What are the best free online courses? 📖

  • The Propel Elevate Course will teach you RPA development and Cognitive Automation on Automation Anywhere’s v11 and A2019 platforms.

    It will also teach globally utilised business methodologies including AgilePM and Operational Excellence.

    The course has been designed to work around your schedule and preferred pace, so you can learn all of this between 3 to 5 days:

    Receive best-in-class RPA training on the world’s leading platform, Automation Anywhere, taking you from a beginner to a skilled RPA user.

    Discover AgilePM, one of the most widely adopted project management styles.

    This innovative approach enables the effective organisation of both people and projects.

    Learn Operational Excellence, which is used by businesses worldwide to streamline their processes and deliver value to their customers.

  • With coding skills so in-demand, websites like Codeacademy have taken off in the last few years – so much so, that the platform now boasts 45 million global users.

    The website is free to sign up to, as well as take introductory courses and tests; so if you’re a beginner, it is a great foray into learning to code for free.

    For those who are more advanced, you have the option of paying for those courses, to help you learn to code online and gain valuable technical skills.

  • For anyone looking to get into marketing jobs, tech jobs or advertising jobs, Google Analytics is a tool you should get to grips with as soon as you can.

    Luckily, Google run a free academy, with a host of valuable free online courses that will show you the fundamentals of the tool.

    Start by trying out Google Analytics for Beginners – and once you’ve mastered that, move on to the Advanced Google Analytics course – which will help you learn how to customise, segment and leverage your data.

    If you’re interested in any digital graduate jobs, Google Analytics Academy should be where you start upskilling online.

    You can also take the Analytics Individual Qualification (IQ) exam, or the Google Ads Certification – both are recognised qualifications that cost £50 to take.


  • Udemy is an educational website that allows its users to build custom courses – across IT & tech, design, business, marketing, photography and more.

    Though not all of its courses are completely free, there are over 5,000 online video courses to help you learn all manner of subjects, from Bitcoin trading, to utilising online video and android development – just type ‘free’ into the search bar on the home page to access the free online courses for upskilling.

  • Offering some of the best free courses to upskill on the market, General Assembly provides both online and on-site workshops in locations worldwide.

    With a whole page of Free Learning Resources, their video tutorials, free events and live-streamed lessons enable individuals to learn and develop coding, design and marketing skills, completely free of charge.

  • Providing thousands of detailed courses to suit every interest, LinkedIn learning is one of the best free online resources to help you upskill, especially if you’re interested in marketing jobs.

    Use your free month trial to learn a brand new skill from scratch – whether it’s the Foundations of Social Media Marketing, Excel Training, or Beginner-To-Expert SEO – these will come in particularly handy if you’re searching for marketing graduate jobs.

  • With foreign languages amongst the most in-demand skills globally, learning a second language in your spare time is great way to upskill for free, and increase your chances of getting a graduate job.

    Duolingo is a tried-and-tested method of learning a language fast – with gamification involved in every lesson, and a ‘test yourself’ feature to ensure you’ve retained every new bit of information.

    As free online courses and learning resources go, this is one of the most valuable ones to consider if you’re looking to boost your employability.

    When you’ve become more advanced, try installing Readlang Web Reader on your desktop – allowing you to read web pages in another language, and translate any words you don’t know.

    Check out more tips on how to learn a language.

  • With 13 million users, Alison offers free online courses from world-leading experts in their particular field.

    From soft skills like time management and productivity, to industry-based skills such as digital photography, web design and customer service training, Alison is the best online resource for its range of free courses – though bear in mind that an Alison Diploma isn’t officially recognised, so shouldn’t be included on your graduate CV.

  • If you’re looking to gain new tech skills and you want to learn to code for free, Skillcrush is a good starting point – even if you’re completely new to the world of web development.

    With a completely free 10 day coding bootcamp, you can learn the basics of tech terms, the ins and outs of a career in IT & Tech, and the best methods of learning.

    Then, you can subscribe to one of their full online courses to get your coding lessons underway.

  • Always wished you’d studied something different at university?

    Now you can fulfil that desire – because CourseBuffet offers a range of university-level courses, many of which are taught by university lecturers or U.S. college professors.

    Whether you’re looking to gain some Engineering, History or learn some language skills, CourseBuffet provides a huge range of the best online courses to help you do so.

  • SEO / SEM are amongst the most in-demand skills for employers, so if you can learn about Search Engine Optimisation in your spare time, you’re immediately setting yourself apart from other candidates.

    Moz is one of the most well-known information sources for SEO professionals, so ‘The Beginner’s Guide To SEO’ is a fantastic place to start developing your SEO skills and knowledge base.

  • Unsure what you want to learn, but know you want to upskill for free in some way?

    Highbrow is a great online resource that helps you to learn something new every day, in 5 minutes.

    With free online courses ranging from finance to photography and travel writing, Highbrow is an quick and easy learning resource to expand your knowledge base and gain brand new skills – with just an email a day.



Learning new skills is key to professional growth – and with such a huge range of free online courses, it’s never been so easy to build up your skill set in your spare time.

Whether you’re interested in graphic design, marketing or web development, check out these 12 learning resources to help you upskill for free.

Discover how to find graduate jobs via Give a Grad a Go’s job board – or if you’re looking for more advice for grads, head to our career blog.

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