It's always prudent to boost key professional skills that can make you more employable in the current job market. Finding free ways to obtain training and certifications should be at the top of your list.
Certificate programs can lead to high-paying jobs -- so if you don't have to pay for a certification, it's a real opportunity. Check out the 10 free online certifications below that can help secure your professional skill set and advance your career.
-- Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (Google).
-- Fundamentals of Virology (Alison).
-- Fundraising for the Non-Profit (Alison).
-- Financial Markets (Coursera).
-- Machine Learning (Coursera).
-- Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History (Coursera).
-- Develop Your Emotional Intelligence (Alison).
-- Learn What Content Marketing Is and How to Do It (HubSpot).
-- Customer Services Course (Oxford Home Study Centre).
-- Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour (Coursera).
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing (Google)
Google Digital Garage offers a number of free online career courses, and its course on Fundamentals of Digital Marketing includes a certification. You'll find 26 modules of self-paced video tutorials in this training program that will take you an estimated 40 hours to complete. By the end of the course, you'll have a basic understanding of digital marketing principals to help boost your own business or amplify your career. The program is accredited by the Interactive Advertising Bureau Europe and The Open University.
Learned Skill: Understanding digital marketing skills.
Fundamentals of Virology (Alison)
Job opportunities in health care continue to multiply. A timely and free certification course is Alison's Fundamentals of Virology. Delivered in two modules with 16 topics, this online career course should take you three to four hours to complete to earn your free certification about how viruses affect human health.
Learned Skill: Understanding virology fundamentals.
Fundraising for the Non-Profit (Alison)
Another popular online training course from Alison through which you can earn a free certificate is Fundraising for the Non-Profit. You'll learn what you need to know to get started in raising money for nonprofits and understand how having a mission and people who are passionate about it can help with this effort. This short course is designed by Stanford University and will take you an average of up to three hours to complete before earning your certificate.
Learned Skill: Understanding basics on non-profit fundraising.
Financial Markets (Coursera)
Offered by Yale and available as one of the free certification courses on Coursera, Financial Markets provides an "overview of the ideas, methods and institutions that permit human society to manage risks and foster enterprise." The course focuses on teaching students the skills they will need to be a financially savvy leader. You'll earn a shareable certificate upon completion of the course.
Learned Skill: Understanding basics on financial markets and risk management.
Machine Learning (Coursera)
Another invaluable skill set in today's job market is machine learning, which is described on Coursera as "the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed." Coursera offers a free training course called Machine Learning that's offered by Stanford University and taught by Andrew Ng, an adjunct professor at Stanford and co-founder of Coursera. A free certificate is provided once you complete the course.
Learned Skill: Understanding machine learning.
Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History (Coursera)
Coursera also offers free certification in an online course about Race and Cultural Diversity in American Life and History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The course helps learners gain a deeper understanding of the many ways that race, ethnicity and cultural diversity have affected the United States and its institutions.
Learned Skill: Understanding race and cultural diversity in the U.S.
Develop Your Emotional Intelligence (Alison)
Earn a free certificate from this Alison online course that teaches you how to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence. This critical leadership skill involves learning how to blend thinking with feeling to improve your decision-making and relationship-building skills. The free course covers 28 topics and takes three to four hours to earn certification.
Learned Skill: Understanding emotional intelligence for improved decision-making and leadership.
Content Marketing Course (HubSpot)
This free certification course from HubSpot helps you become an effective content marketer. The course consists of 12 lessons, 55 videos and 11 quizzes, which HubSpot states takes approximately six hours to complete. Learners come out of the course with an understanding of how to create a content creation framework, which helps with consistent content production.
Learned Skill: Understanding effective content marketing within a content creation framework.
Customer Service Course (Oxford Home Study Centre)
Oxford Home Study Centre offers a long list of free online courses that come with a certificate of completion. Among them is their free Customer Service Course, which has been designed by leading academics to help students with career advancement, according to OHSC. The course focuses on a modern business perspective of customer service and teaches students strategies to evaluate customer needs. Upon completion of the five-unit course, you receive a free certificate.
Learned Skill: Understanding customer service basics and how to evaluate customer needs.
Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour (Coursera)
London Business School has a free online certification called Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour. The course includes guest videos from branding professionals, and according to the Coursera website, 20% of those who took the course started a new career after completing the courses, 25% got a tangible career benefit from the program and 11% got a pay increase or promotion.
Learned Skill: Understanding brand management.