I have literally been on the front lines of the conversation against being super productive right now. It’s a stressful time, and those pushing the “grind ’til you die and build a business while at home” narrative are stressing me out. HOWEVER, I will say that if you actually are finding true relief, clarity, and space in your life to start something new right now–do it! I’m a firm believer in the idea that there’s no time like the present.
By being forced to stay home, it may open a door or unlock the creative juices within you to finally take a crack at something you’ve been considering for a while, and that’s okay. When it comes to trying something new, we may have an idea of what we want to do, but are unsure of how to get started. Fortunately, there are a ton of virtual learning platforms out there with courses on anything you can imagine. From photography, building a fashion brand, to writing, business leadership and strategy, there’s something out there for all interests.
When it comes to deciding which of these virtual learning platforms work best for you, identify your needs. Is this a hobby, or do you actually want a certification in something? Once you’ve got that narrowed down, analyze your budget and what would actually give you the most bang for your buck. Lastly, read lots and lots of reviews. Do your research on that specific course, the instructor, and see if it’ll truly be worth it.
Now, for the list of resources. As mentioned, there are a ton of virtual learning platforms to choose from, but I’ve decided to narrow it down for you. Here are some of the most popular, and highly rated ones to help you kickstart that new hobby or side hustle!
Want to learn from industry leaders such as Bobbi Brown, Anna Wintour, Steph Curry, RuPaul, and more? Then Masterclass will definitely be your cup of tea. It’s the “flashier” of the bunch, offering an annual membership of unlimited courses from a number of household names. They currently have a limited time offer of two annual passes for the price of one, $180, so hop on it!
Skillshare is one of the more popular virtual learning platforms out right now, and if you listen to podcasts as much as I do, I’m sure you’ve heard an ad for them a few times. Skillshare is essentially a community marketplace for new skills. With an extensive online catalog of video-based courses in animation, design, lifestyle, photo and film, writing, and more. If you’re interested in giving it a try, they give 2-months of unlimited classes for free when you sign up for premium. You’ll pay $15 for a monthly membership or $99 if you choose to be billed annually.
This is one of the pricier of the bunch, but they’re always running some type of deal so you can get lucky. If you’re looking more for courses that provide certifications at the end of them, then Udemy is where to start. Udemy has an average of 800 new courses added to their repertoire every month, so you are bound to find exactly what you’re looking for. They have a pretty wide range of costs, with courses going from $10 – $500.
If you’re interested in something more academic, Coursera has partnered with a number of renowned companies and universities in the U.S. and globally to provide their course selection. A number of their courses also offer certifications or degrees. Most of their courses are free, or very inexpensive, with the degree or certification being higher priced.
If you were to merge Masterclass and Skillshare, you’d get CreativeLive. This platform offers a number of courses specifically made for those interested in creative fields like photography, video, art, design, music, audio, crafts, etc. They also boast classes by some big names such as Nigel Barker and Mel Robbins. Costs for this are $39 billed monthly, or $149 billed annually for their Creator Pass.
For those who are tech-focused, Udacity offers a curated selection of courses in subjects like artificial intelligence, data science, programming and development, and more. Unlike the other sites, they do also offer real-life projects, personalized code reviews, and job-focused content. Udacity has 200+ courses that are completely free, but do not offer a certificate. And for Nanodegrees you’d pay $399 per month.
And if worst comes to worst, and you don’t feel you have the funds for any of these, it’s okay to take a look at YouTube (or what some of us content creators call YouTube University, ha!). It may not be as structured, but there are a ton of video tutorials and how-to’s for you to search from!