Ideas on How to Power-up Your Digital Skills!

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Are you prepared for today’s digital workplace? Or are you perplexed about how to change careers or advance in a present position? I have found that many professionals who are “in transition,” “recently out of transition,” or “in current positions,” are looking for courses to “Power-up their skill set.” My first question is, are you aware of what’s going on in your industry? If not, first step “do your research” and identify the dynamics, which could be regulations, technology, or demographics that could be a disruptor. This small but important step will give you a glimpse of what’s really taking place and can guide you on the right path.

Have you noticed that technology is rapidly changing the business environment? The traditional way of communicating with colleagues, collaborating with teams, and engaging with business units has drastically changed. Today’s workplace requires an ever-evolving skill set. Professionals often say that they don’t know what to do to stay marketable.

For example, the Financial Technology industry better known as FinTech is causing financial institutions to change the way they do business. New technology companies in Lending, Payments, Robo Advisors, Blockchain, and Digital Currencies have tapped into existing markets. Robotics Process Automation (RPA) is automating clerical tasks for companies at a rapid rate as well.

You still may be wondering where to begin after identifying the changes. A safe place to start is to review job descriptions that may interest you and see the skills required for the jobs you are interested in pursuing. Many organizations are transitioning to Microsoft 365, so that’s one to explore.

Before enrolling into a certification program, see if you like the subject matter and find out if there are any pre-requisites. Sign up for a free course to “test the waters” and gauge your interest level. Here are a few online course portals that can get you started with no or minimal monetary investment. Happy Studying!

  1. Harvard Extension edX (edx.org) free online courses from the best universities
  2. Code Academy (https://www.codecademy.com) learn to code for free
  3. Open Yale Courses (http://oyc.yale.edu) free and open access to a selection of introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University
  4. Academic Earth (http://academicearth.org) free online courses from top colleges
  5. Alison (https://alison.com) free online courses from the world’s leading experts
  6. Stanford Online (http://online.stanford.edu) free online courses taught by Stanford faculty to lifelong learners worldwide
  7. UC Berkely Class Central (https://www.class-central.com/university/berkeley) free online courses
  8. Coursera (coursera.org) – online courses from top universities
  9. Udemy (udemy.com) – fee based online courses
  10. Skillshare (skillshare.com) – free and fee based online courses
  11. Microsoft Virtual Academy (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/education) educators and students
  12. Khan Academy (https://www.khanacademy.org) free online courses for educators and students
  13. Open Culture Online Courses (http://www.openculture.com/freeonlinecourses) 1200 free online courses from the world’s leading universities
  14. Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative (http://oli.cmu.edu/learn-with-oli/see-our-free-open-courses/) free online courses
  15. Ted-Ed (http://ed.ted.com/about) youth and education initiative for teachers and students


About the Author
Cathy C. Smith, Founder/CEO at Chameleon Consulting, LLC has a history of strategically transforming traditional organizations into digital businesses. Cathy has a 20 + years in financial services and has held senior management positions in Banking, Insurance, Government, and Non-profit organizations.

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