20 ways to learn something new

Posted by | April 12, 2017 | Charity sector insights, For your career, How to be awesome at your job, Inspiration

online learning options

After six years at university I left with a couple of degrees. Today, you can probably learn most of what I studied through a myriad of websites and apps from science, arts and commerce topics, for a tiny fraction of my student loan….

From using javascript, learning how to speak Español, finance skills and more. Pretty much anything you want to learn you now can online, and a lot of them are free (or dirt cheap). Mass online learning platforms seem to be the future for learning.

At the start of the year, I polled the Do Good Jobs community about your key work goal for 2017 – the big theme that stood out was that 50% of those who responded wanted to learn something new this year.

Learning a new skill can help you take your career to the next level, help flex your brain, or assist in making a career pivot. The benefits of online learning: you go at your own pace, from the comfort of the couch, bus, car, local park… where ever you can access the internet really.

Here are just some of the places to start you out in learning new things, online.


General online courses

#1. Coursera

Every course here is taught by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions. Courses include recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums.

A search through their site for “non-profit” shows a number of specialist courses on including leadership, governance and finance.

Price: $29-$99
Step forward in 2017: Build in-demand career skills with Coursera
#2. Udemy

Udemy has an extensive library of over 45,000 courses taught by expert instructors. With a variety of non-profit offerings from making a video that doesn’t suck, to fundraising. Again, search non-profit and a whole host of relevant courses pop up.

Price: $20 to $200 each.


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#3. Lynda.com

Offers thousands of video courses in software, creative, and business skills, taught by industry experts.

Note: courses are available for free through some NZ library databases which can often be accessed from home too.  


#4. Khan Academy

A non-profit educational organisation with a goal of creating an accessible and free place for people to be educated.  Learn about maths, art, computer programming, economics, physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, finance, history, and more.


#5. Highbrow

Don’t have time to learn something new? This one’s for you. Highbrow sends five-minute lessons to your inbox every morning. There are free and premium courses (starting from USD $4).


Get creative!

Ok, so maybe you don’t want to become a business ninja, but want to get your creative juices flowing instead.

#6. Instructables 

DIY tutorials from welding to recipes…


#7. Creative Live 

“Commit to your hussle” is their strap line.  CreativeLive is an online education platform that broadcasts live classes for free. Featuring workshops in photography, video, design, business, audio, music, crafting, and software training.


#8. Skillshare

The majority of courses focus more on interaction than lecturing, with the primary goal of learning by completing a project.


#9. Creativeskillset.org

Helping creative professionals to enhance their skills


Learn a language

Do you want to speak Español, Kōrero Māori… Here are few options:


#10. Duolingo

Learn a language for free via this website or app. They have 66 different language courses across 23 languages (with 22 additional courses in development). From my own experience, it’s pretty fun too! It can be done from anywhere (like when you’re on route to an exotic location and want to learn the basics).


#11. Babbel

An online language learning software and e-learning platform with 14 languages and on average 15-minute lessons.


#12. Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

While not solely online courses, if you want to learn basic Te Reo also check out Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. They provide a no fees, 12-month course which can be completed at home (Papa Reo – Te Pōkaitahi Reo Māori). Bring on a duolingo equivalent for this!


The world of tech is full of jargon. If you want to learn some, or more, around how these work, there is a world of courses out there for you

#13. Codeacademy

An online interactive platform that offers free coding classes in 12 different programming languages.


#14. Udacity

Earn a Nanodegree recognised by industry leaders



Code.org is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities.  While its focus is on high school students, there are some nice beginner classes to get you going.


#16 Onemonth

Learn how to code in one month. Affordable online bootcamps, you can learn Python, Javascript, or Ruby in just 30 days.


#17. Drupalize.Me

Learn Drupal with video tutorials.


#18. Free code camp

Learn to code and help nonprofits! Woohoo.


Start-up / Business skills


#19. WixEd

A free training programme, made up of short videos and downloadable materials, designed to help you achieve your goals.

#2o. Typing.com

All that computer programme language too much and just want to learn how to speed up your typing – free games and more. Typing.com is the place to go.
— Ok, so pretty much anything you want to learn you now can online, it’s probably more about prioritising your time to do it right?

Have I missed something out? What’s you favourite online learning tool?


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