MSEJ July 2016 - Page 23

So, to Google I went and typed in, “Learn Excel.”

Microsoft Office tutorials and Youtube videos became my nightly viewing options. I watched every video I could. I practiced. I got down the basics and a passable knowledge of some of the more complicated features.

When I walked into the interview, I was no Excel ninja, but I knew my way around a function or two—and I was invited back for a second interview.

Free online resources got me through the assessment so that I could sell my more marketable skills in the second interview; but without my research and practice, I wouldn’t have made it through the door. I ultimately accepted the position, where I did have to use Excel, but not to the extent that the initial assessment had required.

Where You Should Look: I’m not suggesting you can become an orthopedic surgeon by watching online tutorials. However, depending on your job goals, free online resources can help you learn the skills or knowledge necessary to transition to a new field or make yourself more marketable in your current field.

Want to learn to code? Codeacademy offers free courses on SASS, SQL, Java, and other coding topics to help you build a website.

MIT OpenCourseWare provides free courses on a variety of topics.

Salesforce’s Trailhead, which we discussed last month, is a great resource if you want to gain familiarity with


Have a love of languages? Try out Duolingo, where you can begin to learn 18 different languages, and test your proficiency knowledge.

Are you a Veteran who is interested in interactive learning and certification without the cost? Check out Coursera, which has a partnership with VEC so that Veterans can take free courses while also gaining credentials.

These free resources, and others like them, have the advantage of allowing you to explore a new subject or career field without investing capital in the unknown. Whether you need to learn a new skill or think you may want to learn one, research the free online sources you can use to gain knowledge. Happy Learning!