Free Courses to Learn Skills for Roles that are In-Demand Today

June 30, 2020

Free Courses to Learn Skills for Roles that are In-Demand Today

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the global economy. Tens of millions of jobs have been lost and we have an opportunity to help those who have become unemployed around the world land their next job.

That's why today LinkedIn, as part of the Microsoft ecosystem, is excited to share that we’re providing learning and employability tools to help 25 million people worldwide gain the skills they need to pursue roles that are in-demand in an increasingly digital economy.

We tapped into LinkedIn’s Economic Graph data to identify jobs that have the greatest number of openings, have had steady growth over the past four years, pay a living wage and require skills that can be learned online. Today we’re making 10 learning paths aligned with these jobs and 4 learning paths focused on helping build critical soft skills available for free on LinkedIn Learning through 2020.

Dig into free learning paths to learn the skills to become a:

Double down on soft skills: 

Whether you're struggling to find new work, underemployed or looking to use this time to upskill—you're not alone. Your next opportunity is out there, and there are learning resources and job seeker tools available for free to help you get where you want to go.

For inspiration, we've compiled a few stories of real people who have started new businesses, made career pivots, and took big risks and landed on their feet with the help of LinkedIn Learning courses. 

Learn more about how these professionals learned the skills needed to grow their careers.

Starting a graphic design business 

A year and a half ago, Diana Kohne was a fine artist and mother to a second grader with a dream of pivoting her career from a fine artist to graphic designer. 

In an increasingly digital world, she knew she had the artistic skill set to be a graphic designer, but needed to master design software. She reached out to a moms’ Facebook group she was a part of and asked for recommendations for how she could upskill in a way that didn’t break the bank, was on her own time, and accessible for her hearing loss. That’s when another mother recommended LinkedIn Learning. 

She immediately started taking courses, ranging from technical how-to for design software like Illustrator, to courses where experts define what good logo design and branding means. 

“For the more technical courses, I found myself pausing and rewinding until I could do it myself, which was so nice. I learn very quickly by nature, but attending in-person classes is extremely draining for me because I must work really hard to listen,” Diana explained, “In addition to the consistent quality of content, I love that every course is well captioned so I can learn and save my listening energy for my family.”

It wasn’t long until Diana began her own business venture, Diana Kohne Design.

“There’s an innate sense of confidence and ease you feel when you are doing the job you are meant to. I feel an assurance I had been searching for most of my professional life, am a breadwinner in my home, and I like that my son will know that it’s never too late to pursue your passion, even if it takes years to discover."

A strong believer in continuous learning, Diana still takes the time to learn something new every week. 

Pivoting from chemist to project manager

In 2017, after deciding to make a career pivot from being a chemist into project management, Leslie Dancy knew she needed to gain the foundational skills for the role. She took a community college course, but wanted to be able to learn in an affordable way on her own time.

When she saw that LinkedIn Learning had a one month free trial, she signed up and started making the most of her commute by listening to courses on her commute to work each day. 

“The content was foreign to me initially, so it was important for me to take my time to get the hang of processes and lingo. I also started volunteering at the Project Management Institute. In two months or so, I felt confident enough to apply for my PMI Certification,” Dancy said. “Since people saw chemist on my resume, it was hard to find a role in project management, but I knew where I wanted to take my career, and my skills were increasingly credible.”

After gaining her certification and adding it to her LinkedIn profile, Leslie continued to brush up on foundational knowledge areas and take Continuing Education Unit (CEU) courses on LinkedIn Learning. She even brushed up on soft skills with courses around communication to increase her emotional intelligence and means of managing meetings. 

Employers noticed. As she added more skills to her profile from courses she was taking, Dancy saw more recruiters reach out. Currently working in the IT sector at a contract recruiting firm, she’s grateful for the role learning has come to play in her life.

“I knew where I wanted to go in my career. LinkedIn Learning allowed me to go at my own pace, fill my own specific knowledge gaps, and actually make it happen.”

Learning to gain confidence and succeed 

When Raheel Ahmad first decided to immigrate to the U.S. with his family to pursue a career in architecture, he was looking for positions while still living abroad. His experience -- which many can relate to --  was arduous, frustrating, and demoralizing at first, with added pressure to support his new family. 

For four months before coming to the U.S., Raheel got the full resume blackhole treatment. And to make matters worse, he had no idea how his qualifications compared to other candidates.

“It was around then that I decided to spend a lot of time revamping my LinkedIn profile, even upgrading to LinkedIn Premium, adding relevant skills, experience, and personality,” Ahmad explained. When he arrived in the U.S. he shared, “I turned on my phone as I connected to the WiFi at JFK Airport while talking to the immigration officer who was stamping my documents, and my phone kept buzzing with email notifications from recruiters and firms on LinkedIn.”

He landed his first job in the U.S., but he knew he’d need to quickly prove himself and  learn architectural software skills that aren’t as frequently used in Pakistan, especially since part of his role entailed teaching students. That’s when he turned to LinkedIn Learning to gain confidence. 

“I was teaching students Revit and SketchIt as I was learning. I secretly would learn on LinkedIn Learning at night then take what I learned to students the next day.”

Now, Ahmad is a senior project designer at a global architecture firm in Dallas, managing a team of five and working on hospitality, multi-family, and urban design projects. 

In Ahmad’s own words, “Out of all tools out there, LinkedIn has changed my life. It gave me confidence in myself by letting me showcase what I can do.”