Whether you’re the new hire or a seasoned business owner. There are times when you need to brush up on critical business skills. While it’s sometimes cost-effective to simply outsource a task, recurring costs that accrued because you won’t take 30 minutes to learn something new or relearn something old doesn’t make sense. Luckily for you, there is a growing number of online resources for micro-training; skills that you can quickly pick up from online education portals. These sites provide a big range of tutorials, interactive learning tools, and video instruction, all designed for rapid learning.
You should note that there is a big variation in both pricing and subjects covered. Some courses are free, while others may have a membership fee or ala carte pre-payment for each course.
With more than thousands of courses and hundreds of thousand tutorials available on video, this courseware portal offers a vast amount of technology training, covering different types of office software, systems, and skills needed for business.
From learning Microsoft Office to understanding Flash or other Adobe products to producing a marketing plan; new courses are constantly added and upgraded to match the most current needs of their students. The best thing about membership at Lynda.com is that it gives you unlimited access to everything in the massive video library. Free mobile apps allow these to be viewed on an iPhone or another type of handheld Internet device. Of course, selecting what you want to learn, when there is such a big library of videos to choose from, can be cumbersome.
So what does it cost? Lynda’s pricing scheme is a two tiered ‘all-you-can-eat’ approach. The cost for standard membership is $25 per month or $250 per year. Premium membership at $37.50 per month, or $375 a year provides more learning tools, including searchable playlists and transcripts. Premium membership also allows downloaded course materials and tools to be used offline, even on an Android device, iPad or iPhone.
Global Knowledge is a big international site offering expert IT training. The site has a full catalog of courses in areas of business skills and technical competencies, with many leading to certification.
There are more than a thousand classes available in the Global Knowledge Virtual Classroom. They also provide live online training from expert instructors wherever you are and you get full access to recordings of your classes for six months, so can revise what you are learning in them at any time.
Courses are all individually priced. For example, a three-day immersive introduction course, the Agile Boot Camp, costs $1795, and a comprehensive two-day course on adopting cloud computing is $1395. The site does have some special offers and gives discounts when you pay for more than one course at the same time.
SBA Learning Center
Online training from this government web resource includes approximately fifty short courses covering various topics related to marketing, financing, contracting and business management.
The following are just a few examples:
• A guide to patents, trademarks, and copyright, which shows you how to protect your intellectual property
• A guide to customer service and its impact on business, which shows you how to implement or improve your own customer service
• A guide to cyber-security which identifies cyber threats, shows how to guard against them and defines cyber risk management
Course study is available through worksheets, video presentations and chat discussions. Certainly the price is right (free), and most of the material is useful to almost any business owner.
There are 250 language learning units available at this international language website, which offers a quick way to learn enough of a new language to converse at a business meeting or on an overseas trip.
The language units are designed by linguists for easy learning, using images and audio. These are useful when you want to quickly build up a vocabulary for different topics and learn basic grammar in any language.
Video chat is a great feature that allows you to learn how to speak a language and practice having a conversation with native speakers who are international members of the site’s online community.
Free apps are available for most devices, so you can learn and practice any language anywhere. The mobile version has fewer distractions than the standard website.
Free and premium versions are available. The free version is offered through support by advertising, which at times can seem intrusive. There is an optional monthly fee if you want to pay for premium membership which provides access to additional learning materials, podcasts and language exercises.
The bottom line for most of us is that solutions do exist for picking up that singular necessary skill that may be holding us back from a promotion, new contract or job change. You can, in fact, get technical training for certification or to simply solve that unique problem you may have encountered. You can take a language refresher or learn business basics in just a few hours, even get a technical certification. You’d be hard pressed to find a downside, your employer, your career, or yourself. – Gary Bryant/ Strateka.com