The global COVID-19 pandemic has created a lot of challenges for professionals in the digital and technology sectors, with many putting a temporary pause on their career plans for the duration of the lockdown.

However, the fact that many areas of the business world have come to a standstill due to these extraordinary global events doesn’t mean your personal development also needs to be put on ice. In fact, in a lot of ways, the current circumstances could provide a perfect opportunity for an ambitious professional to spend time building up some skills and industry knowledge, ready to take the recruitment market by storm the moment the lockdown lifts.

Fortunately, government and industry bodies have also spotted this opportunity, resulting in a whole host of free online training resources being made available to digital and tech professionals during the current lockdown period.

So instead of just being stuck at home, why not take the time to gain some valuable new knowledge, broaden your skills and enhance your CV? It’ll set you in great stead to compete for the very best roles when life finally gets back to normal!

General Training Resources

The Skills Toolkit

The Skills Toolkit is an online resource launched by the government’s National Careers Service, designed to help the UK’s workforce to brush up some of their crucial skills from home during the coronavirus lockdown - and hopefully beyond!

By exploring the Skills Toolkit, professionals can shore up gaps in their digital and numeracy skills, with courses and resources available whether you’re a beginner or an expert. You can work through these at your own pace, with topics ranging from maths proficiency to coding and social media use and more.

The database already includes courses from top organisations such as The Open University, FutureLearn, Lloyds Bank, the University of Leeds and Cisco Networking Academy, with new stuff being added from time to time. Keep on checking back for the latest updates to get full value from the Skills Toolkit!

Coronavirus Course Essentials

The world of business is going to see some big changes as a result of the coronavirus crisis, so it’s definitely worth it for professionals to take some time to learn some skills to help them adapt to this new normal.

The Coronavirus Course Essentials database from Learning Pool is designed to do just that, providing a library of free CPD-accredited e-learning modules for individuals and businesses to learn what they’ll need to thrive as the business world adjusts to COVID-19.

With modules on effective remote working, conference call etiquette and the best ways to stay physically and mentally healthy while working from home, these resources ensure you are ready for anything the new status quo has to throw at you!

Digital and Tech Training Resources

The Fundamentals of Digital Marketing

This course from the Google Digital Garage does exactly what it says on the tin. With 26 modules created by Google’s trainers, there’s no better way to learn (or relearn) about the basics of digital marketing, courtesy of one of the world’s biggest tech companies.

This 40-hour free course consists of bite-sized video tutorials and quiz-driven refresher tests, culminating in a 40-question final exam. It’s also accredited by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University, providing an official Google certification after passing the exam, meaning you can really put a gloss on your CV by taking this course!

Digital Skills: Social Media

This course from FutureLearn and Accenture guides learners through everything they need to know about promoting a brand on social media, including setting campaign objectives, identifying target audiences and channels, and creating really engaging content to nail those commercial goals.

Once you’ve taken this two-week course, you’ll know all about the ins and outs of the most important channels, as well as what tools to use, how to manage your presence and how to measure your performance - all crucial skills for success in the 21st century business world!

Thriving in the Digital Workplace

Another offering from FutureLearn, this programme was developed by the University of Leeds and the Institute of Coding to provide the digital and professional skills that modern workplaces expect.

It bundles together three separate courses, designed to help learners to identify digital trends in the workplace, acquire skills and techniques for developing your career, and develop techniques to enhance wellbeing and resilience at work. By completing the six-week training, you’ll receive a certificate of completion that will mark you out as a top prospect for employers in all sorts of fields.

Introduction to Cyber Security: Stay Safe Online

If you’re doing business online, COVID-19 isn’t the only virus you have to worry about, unfortunately. This free OpenLearn course, developed by The Open University in conjunction with the government’s National Cyber Security Programme, helps tackle this threat with a primer on all of the basics of online security and digital protection.

With viruses and cyber crime posing a greater risk to commerce than ever before, there’s no better time to get properly acquainted with all the forms of malware, viruses and trojans out there, as well as learning what you need to know about network security, cryptography, identity theft and risk management.

By the end of the eight-week course, you’ll have the skills and knowledge you need to protect your own online business interests - as well as those of your current and future employers, naturally!

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