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Best places to learn new skills right now

Photograph: Christina @ wocintechchat.com/Unsplash

From Lynda to Udemy and beyond

Whether it’s a new language or a new skill, now may very well be the best time to pick one up. Sure, we understand that every single waking hour of your day, which is not spent in front of the computer, working, is probably spent doing the dishes but should you find yourself wondering what you could do with an extra half hour a day, we’d say redirect your browser here:

Udemy

With nearly 75 million users, Udemy is the most visited learning website when you measure by traffic. Not only can you learn new and varied skills on the platform, you can also create your own courses and market them through Udemy. The learning website has several topics through which you can browse and take a pick: from personal development to design, marketing to IT and more. The other thing to remember is that Udemy offers great discounts. Even though several of the courses are listed in the $100 - $2,000 range or thereabouts, most of them have a 90% off. It does, of course, help to read reviews and check ratings because a lot of the courses are created by hobbyists.

Khan Academy

Launched in 2008 long before e-learning was even a thing, Khan Academy began when founder Salman Khan (not the actor) taught one of his cousins a few lessons in mathematics over video. Khans reputation spread through word of mouth, first among his cousins and, later, when he began to put out videos on YouTube, to people all over the world. Bill Gates donated $1.2 million to Khan Academy. Google donated another $2 million to create new courses and translate them into multiple languages. More than a decade later, Khan Academy continues to operate for free.

Lynda

Way before there was Khan Academy and Udemy, there was Lynda. Founded in 1995, Lynda is truly a pioneer in the industry. You can expect hundreds of courses on a wide range of topics on Lynda – from software development to photography, design to digital marketing and more. 20 years after it was founded, LinkedIn acquired Lynda for $1.5 billion.

DuoLingo

Arguably the best language-learning app in the market, Duolingo goes for flashcard-like tutorials. The idea behind DuoLingo is surprisingly simple: users must complete a range of modules that include short, reading- or listening-based quizzes as well as word matches in any of the 36 languages (including, yes, Klingon) and pick up points for the right answers. As you keep getting more answers rights, you move up the ranks. DuoLingo’s free version allows you to access the learning material through the app and the website but a small free of $6.99 per month, will also allow you to download lessons offline and learn languages without being interrupted by annoying ads.

London School of Economics

The prestigious London School of Economics and Political Science is yet another place where you can take up, short, certificate courses online. These courses are primarily aimed at working professionals looking to enhance their skills online at their convenience. LSE’s online learning platform is extremely supportive and interactive making it easy for even the most digitally-challenged person to learn something new.