In today’s rapidly changing job market, keeping your skills relevant feels like a challenge. For professionals in many fields, continuous skill development is the only way to ensure progression.

While that may seem simple enough if your current employer has formal training options available, not all companies have learning and development programs. Fortunately, there are budget-friendly skill-building options that anyone can use to spur growth. If you want to boost your capabilities without breaking the bank, here are some pathways to explore.

Free and Low-Cost Online Courses

Generally, the most straightforward way to build new skills conveniently is through online courses. Websites like edX, Coursera, Udacity, Khan Academy, Alison, and LinkedIn Learning have numerous options available, either for free or at affordable prices. Some classes are even designed by prestigious universities, and you may have the ability to earn college credits or pursue a micro-degree or certification.

Another benefit of many online courses is that you can move at your own pace. That’s ideal if you’re not just dealing with a tight budget but also have a limited amount of time, making building your skills easier to fit into your schedule.

YouTube Video Tutorials

If you need to learn how to navigate software or handle a specific task, there’s a good chance you can find a YouTube video that will show you how. Many YouTube channels are focused on this type of instruction, and they often concentrate on a particular professional niche. That means once you find a reliable channel, you can return to it to learn more tidbits that may benefit your career.

YouTube is also an excellent option for staying up-to-date on industry trends or news. Just make sure you find a reputable channel that gathers information from reliable sources.

Books from the Library

Local libraries are an excellent resource when you want to access free information that can help you boost your skills. Many libraries have a variety of books available that cover an array of professional niches, and as long as you’re eligible for a membership, checking them out won’t cost you a dime (as long as you return them on time).

Some libraries even have Kindle Books available, allowing you to borrow digital copies instead of physical ones. Generally, that’s an option if your library has an OverDrive site, so reach out to your local library to see if the service is available.

Industry Blogs and Podcasts

Many industry blogs and podcasts do more than cover current events; they also have instructional materials that can help you build skills. The benefit here is that accessing blogs or podcasts is usually free, though, admittedly, some websites do keep some content behind a paywall or require membership (either free or paid) to gain access.

Professional, Trade, or Industry Associations

If you join a professional, trade, or industry association, you may get access to a wide variety of materials and resources that can help you build relevant skills. Precisely what’s available does vary from one organization to the next. However, you may get access to an industry publication, video recordings from conferences, online courses, and more.

It is important to note that membership does usually come with a fee, and the cost may vary dramatically. However, some have surprisingly affordable rates, and discounts may be available to students or recent graduates.

TempStaff Can Help YOU

Ultimately, all of the options above can help you develop professionally without busting your budget. If you’d like to learn more or would instead prefer to build new skills on the job by finding a new career opportunity, TempStaff wants to hear from you. Contact us today.

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