Career and Jobs

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)

Online courses are the future of real continuing education…we’re pretty sure. 

Let’s start out with a few depressing statistics to back up our claim. It’s 2019 (at time of publishing) and the U.S. student loan debt stands at $1.56 trillion. Not sure about you, but we can’t even really conceive how much money that really is. Let’s break it down further. 44.7 million Americans currently have student debt. Of those, 11.5 percent are 90 days or more in default on payment. 

We could go on and on, but a few numbers stand alone. Many—and we mean many—Americans are in deep debt that they will likely spend their entire lives paying off. When you’re looking to transition your career, develop your career skill sets, or make a complete career change, going back to school is a tough option—or not an option at all. 

The good news? You can go back to school—digitally-speaking. You might even get your current employee to pay for it. Yes, we are talking about using online courses for your career development, no matter where you’re headed. 

Without further ado, here are twelve skill sets that employers love—and a number, of course, you can take to develop each skill—all without accruing thousands of dollars in student loans. 

Note: We kept all costs (unless noted) under $200 USD for affordability. These costs are all listed in US dollars ($) and reflect the costs at the time of publishing. 


Ahh, the glamorous lifestyle of an entrepreneur! Just kidding! Don’t be fooled, entrepreneurship is tough, tough work. However, if a particular project or passion is needling at you every day, then chase it. You can always do as Lauren did and start it as a side hustle. here are some of our favorite courses on entrepreneurship. 

Take this entrepreneurship course to learn how to become a “business idea machine” with proven strategies and actionable insights into business development. Learn basic, intermediate, and advanced techniques to create business ideas that are specific and complete. 

Cost: $194.99 or $9.99 on sale 

Take this course to learn everything you need to know in order to become a successful entrepreneur. Understand and utilize all the core concepts of entrepreneurship—all while ditching the common myths that glamorize the reality of being an entrepreneur.  

Cost: $194.99 or $9.99 on sale

Yes, you can attend that UPenn for less than a Ulysses S. Grant (that’s the President on the $50 bill.) This course is perfect for a budding entrepreneur. This course explores business vocabulary, concepts, and common issues. This course enlists help and guidance from Wharton’s top professors, start-up founders, and financiers. 

Cost: $49.00 with certificate 

This entrepreneurship course, developed by a consulting professor at Stanford’s Graduate School of Engineering, creates a checklist of crucial questions and answers for any (and every) new business leader. Learn, among many other fundamentals, the difference between vertical markets and horizontal markets. 

Cost: FREE

This course is great for the aspiring or active entrepreneur. Learn how to obtain funding for your business. This course does great work to demystify key concepts to successfully securing funding for your business. 

Cost: FREE with 7-day trial 

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career) 


Have you ever been worried about being “that” boss? You’re not alone.

Management and leadership roles are incredibly multi-faceted—often encompassing a ton of different skillsets. Not only that, but a majority of first-time managers come from independent contributor roles, meaning these different skillsets have to be learned on the job. But becoming a great manager is possible, and the courses below will help you build a solid foundation.

Including a quiz, workbook, expert interviews, and video tutorials, this multi-media course allows you to build your knowledge no matter what your learning style is. This course focuses on finding your leadership style, mastering key management ingredients, and how to build and grow a successful team. 

Cost: $117

Looking at what motivates employees, this bundle clearly lays out objectives to best help you involve, validate, and empower your team. It also includes information on how to leverage emotional intelligence and tips for communicating big goals and vision to your employees.

Cost: $169

The keyword here is agile. This course focuses on how agility can better help managers navigate conflict, empower employees, and build success through delegation and metric-based goal setting.

Cost: FREE ($125 with certificate)

Building resilience not just in yourself, but in your employees will allow your team to whether risk and change in an ever-evolving landscape. 

Cost: FREE with the free month trial

You will learn essential leadership skills, including how to inspire and motivate individuals, manage talent, and lead teams. Just about all of the communication skills you need to manage.

Cost: FREE with 7-day trial 

This professional certification program you will learn how to apply inclusive leadership skills—Empowerment, Accountability, Courage, and Humility (“EACH”)—and have the opportunity to practice using them to foster team citizenship and innovation.

Cost: $135

Focusing specifically on one aspect of leadership, this short course will help you get to the truth of how your team is actually feeling, and to give the truth on how they’re actually doing, more painlessly than before. 

Cost: FREE with trial, then $8.25 per month for Skillshare account

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)

No matter what change you’re making in your career—or even if you’re not making a change yet, per se—your resume, your cover letter, and your LinkedIn profile constantly serve as your digital elevator pitch. Make sure they are always updated and ready to impress. 

Here are some great courses to overhaul your approach to the hunt, no matter what your current job search status is. We know it’s not fun, but it’s important. Just imagine getting inbound interest from your “dream company” simply because your LinkedIn is sitting there—optimized and dressed to impress! 
In this course, we provide resume templates and detailed step-by-step instructions to make your resume stand out to future employers. The best part? This whole course can be completed within 24 hours (but it doesn’t have to be!) 

Since the average recruiter spends less than 10 seconds scanning a resume, this course will make sure that yours stands out. 

Cost: $197.00 

In this course, we will teach you how to optimize your LinkedIn profile, land at the top of recruiters’ search results, and how yo build your network. Start your LinkedIn transformation today. 

Cost: $197.00

If you’re part of the magical 2 percent of job applicants who actually gets an interview, then make sure you ace it! With this course, you’ll learn interview basics, dos and don’ts from real hiring managers, how to build confidence to take into the interview, negotiating pay, and asking the best follow-up questions of your interviewer. 

This course is excellent for the active job seeker, but it also is crucial for anyone looking to negotiate salary, benefits, and decisions in general. 

Cost: $117.00

The job search is stressful. While applying to jobs has arguably never been easier, actually being seen can feel impossible. The Job Search Academy allows students to say goodbye to job search stress and land a fulfilling job. 

The key to The Job Search Academy? It’s taking a new approach to job search. Rather than looking for the same job, over and over, it’s about focusing on a company. This all-inclusive course covers everything from preparation to job interviews. Try this new approach today and land the right job for you. 

Cost: $197.00

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)

If you’re in a marketing role and not up-to-date on social media trends, you could be missing out on a whole new audience and a new way to talk about your services/products. Don’t let your skillset (or gasp, your company) get left in the digital dust with these fast-paced social media courses.

Yes, we love HubSpot courses. Why? Because they are informative, free, and they usually come with cute little certification badges. This course will help you to shape the conversation around your business and attract new customers and partners. This course teaches students how to use social media to round out their inbound marketing efforts. 

Cost: Free

This comprehensive course on social media can teach anyone—from beginner to advanced—the foundations of social media, how to create goals, and how to understand the vast scope of social media, especially as it’s an ever-changing landscape. 

Take this course if you’re looking to take your business viral! 

Cost: $29.99

Here at Career Contessa, we are suckers for a great title—and we think this one fits that bill. This social media course is for business owners, executives, and marketing professionals who want to improve their abilities to grow their social presence. It uses effective strategies, proven methodologies, and hands-on examples to teach you social media. 

Cost: FREE with 7-day trial, then $49/month

Social media is a great way for nonprofits to share their mission with the world—and to find potential donors for funding. This course focuses on running social media from a nonprofit’s point of view—by sharing some of the best free and paid tactics to get the most social bang for your buck. 

Learn how to speak to your audience, how to really listen to their feedback, and how to use a blog platform for social leverage. 

Cost: Free with LinkedIn Premium Account 

This course, by Kate Arends, outlines a strategic plan to create, evolve, and leverage your own online personal brand for proven growth.

having grown her own personal brand to over 3 million viewers, Arends shares her expertise in creating (and maintaining) an authentic personal brand as the key to success. This class is ideal for everyone and anyone looking to take their professional online presence to the next level

Cost: FREE with trial, then $8.25 per month for Skillshare account

The name pretty much covers it all, doesn’t it? This course, by BitDegree, teaches students how to grow their business with social media. how to build up an online brand and how to generate more leads (and therefore, more dollars.) 

Learn how to use the most popular social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram) to promote your business. 

Cost: $16.65 

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)

Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing skills are critical for those looking to make their way in any marketing field. They are also important for any entrepreneur and (arguably) for anyone working in a startup environment.

There are plenty of exhaustive courses that cover digital marketing extensively, but these are some of the more affordable options for the digital marketing beginner. Once you’ve completed these, maybe it’s time to get your boss to opt into the courses that cost upwards of $1000. 

Who better to take a digital marketing course from than Google? Join the 0ver 100,000 people from over 100 countries who have participated in this course. It includes introductory elements of digital marketing, search engine marketing (SEO,) display advertising, mobile, social, and video analytics. 

This challenge allows teams of 205 to work with real-world experience to create real impact. 

Cost: FREE (for undergraduate students, graduate students, and certain nonprofits upon acceptance) 

PPC University by Wordstream is a free PPC marketing course. Learn how to enact pay-per-click marketing or paid search marketing. This is a really difficult topic for beginners, so this course comes from experts who have been doing it for years. Learn advanced PPC strategies all in an easy-to-follow format. 

Cost: FREE

HubSpot is an amazing resource for all marketers—whether complete beginners or seasoned experts. use HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing course to learn marketing techniques that range from content creation to social promotion—all the way to converting and nurturing leads for your business.

This is an amazing resource that comes highly recommended by our Content Director, Caileen Kehayas. The best part? At the end, you earn a certification badge that you can share on your LinkedIn profile. Legit! 

Cost: FREE

Learn how to transform your sales by using Google AdWord and get your own AdWords certification. Learn how to drive consistent traffic to your landing pages using optimized Google AdWords campaigns. 

Cost: $199.99 or $9.99 on sale 

Use this course, taught by industry experts, for an in-depth overview of the latest digital marketing skills. Created in collaboration with the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business, this course will help you to master the strategic marketing concepts and tools for brand communication in this digital world. 

Cost: FREE with 7-day trial, then $79/month 

This course (which is often updated) examines the latest trends in digital marketing. Marketing expert Martin Waxman explores some of the newest tools and techniques that marketers are using right now to reach their customers. 

Cost: FREE with a free month trial 

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)


Written communication is paramount to any profession.

Written communication is the cornerstone to a lot of workplace communication, especially in this age of digital correspondence. Whether you’re shooting off a quick message on Slack, writing an email to an important client, or writing detailed copy for your marketing website, written communication matters. Grammar matters. Spelling matters. Subject-verb agreement matters. 

Here are some courses to bone up on your writing skills. Your 7th-grade language arts teachers will be so proud. 

This free tutorial has almost 8,000 ratings on Udemy. Taught by an ex-Wall Street Journal editor Shani Raja, this course teaches you the fundamentals of good writing—simplicity, elegance, clarity, and evocativeness. Whether you’re a seasoned writer or just beginning to string words together, this course is sure to inspire. 

Cost: FREE

This course, part of Coursera’s Effective Communication suite, teaches students how to apply the top ten principles of good business writing, how to execute organization, structure, and thoughtful revisions to communicate more masterfully than ever before. If you’re in charge of your business’ copy or blog, this course is a must.

Cost: FREE with 7-day trial, then $79/month

This course is perfect for someone whose position requires lots (and lots) of writing. Use these simple strategies and proven techniques to be more productive, ditch any writer’s block, and get the most out of every writing day. Get into your own special “writing zone” every single day. 

Cost: $99.99 or $9.99 on sale 

Writing is hard, even for professionals. The pros at HubSpot understand that better than pretty much anyone, being on the forefront of content marketing and inbound marketing. This course is designed to teach bussing marketers how to use words to benefit their business and brand. 

This quick course teaches marketers how to build trust with their customer base by sharing knowledge and expertise in a helpful manner. 

Cost: FREE

Remember in high school and college, when writing long papers was—like it or not—part of your weekly routine? Get back into it. This course focuses on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing. Learn the best strategies for writing longer texts and thesis statements. You might be surprised how much this will serve your career. 

Cost: $49.00 with Verified Certificate 

Looking to turn you wordsmithing into a copywriting job or side hustle? If so, this copywriting course is a must. Learn how to use strategic methods in order to get your customers to take action. This course dives into copywriting tactics, including structure, persuasion, emotional language, power words, and clarity. 

Cost: $199.99 or $9.99 on sale. 

This course, taught by Jack Zerby at Vimeo, teaches you how to master your copywriting voice. Learn how to identify your audience, utilize popular writing formulas, and create engaging headlines that are guaranteed to capture your audience. 

Cost: FREE with trial, then $8.25 per month for Skillshare account

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)


Make no mistake about it—email marketing is hard. If you’re working in a startup environment, email marketing is an invaluable skillset. This course from HubSpot teaches you how to create email marketing strategies to grow your business and your career. Learn everything from contact management to email segmentation and deliverability. 

Cost: FREE

With this email marketing course, Learn how to use email marketing software like MailChimp, grow an email subscriber list and build high-quality email marketing campaigns. Learn how to build A/B campaigns, how to create optimized and engaging email campaigns, and how to generate email opens and clicks! 

Cost: $49.99 or $9.99 on sale 

Who doesn’t love a list telling you the best strategies? In this course, entrepreneur and email marketing expert Nik Swami gives his best tips for making money through email. Learn how abandoned cart. retargeting, and secret offer emails can make monetize your email list. 

Cost: $99.99 or $9.99 on sale 

Here’s our next question: what should our marketing emails look like? In this course, Skillshare teams up with MailChimp to offer an introduction to the craft of creation of effective emails. While this is not a graphic design course, it offers the best ways to structure your emails to maximize engagement. 

Cost: FREE with trial, then $8.25 per month for Skillshare account 

Looking to sell, sell, sell? Use this free course by Shopify to learn how to put your email marketing to work for you. This course will teach you how to reach your customers and nurture a relationship with them.

Cost: FREE

Once you know the basics of email marketing, it’s time to optimize. This course from LinkedIn Learning teaches the intermediate email marketer how to use segmentation, personalization, and mobile-friendly design to increase email open rate and improve audience engagement. 

Cost: FREE with a one-month trial, then $29.99 per month with a Premium LinkedIn account

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)

Coding + Programming 

It’s 2019, which means that no matter what type of career you’re going into, you’ll need some kind of ‘computer savvy.’ Get ahead of the curve by diving into what makes the internet tick.

Get started on the ground level with this intro to programming course. Done by breaking up the class into manageable projects, this will give a beginner the fundamentals in coding and programming.

Cost: FREE with trial, then $8.25 per month for Skillshare account

If you are comfortable in the HTML arena and now want to give your code some style, courses like this one, that focus purely on CSS will do the trick.

Cost: FREE with an optional Premier upgrade starting at $19.99 a month

Learn how to write your very first program using the industry standard, Python. This course holds your hand through the installation of Python to completed program and everything in between.

Cost: FREE with 7-day trial, then $79/month

If you’ve been thinking of building your own website from the ground up, but aren’t sure where to start, this course is the perfect place to practice your foundational coding.

Cost: FREE

Maybe you’re already comfortable with the basics of coding and the connective tissue of a website but want to dive even deeper. GitHub has tons of free resources and curriculum to help you out!

Cost: FREE

Touted as the “perfect introduction to web development and programming”, this month-long course takes a jargon-free approach to programming. This site also has courses on Python, HTML5, and Javascript

Cost: $299 monthly membership

General Assembly has been in the online course game for a while and this is a great way to see if you’re interested in their style of teaching without any financial risk.

Cost: FREE

This free and interactive course not only introduces you to HTML and CSS, but also walks you through how to host your own website, so you can confidently make your internet debut. 

Cost: FREE

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)


Because we are more connected to each other than ever before, it has become invaluable to be multilingual. Career implications aside, learning languages is a great hobby that trains your brain in new ways of thinking (and can also be a game-changer when you’re traveling.)

Babbel offers 14 different languages to choose from in these app-based courses. Because they offer these online courses in an app, it means you can go-through these bite-sized lessons on both your desktop and your smartphone. 

Cost: $12.95 a month

While we highlighted German language learning, Udemy has a ton of options for world languages. This one seems particularly interesting as it highlights vocabulary specific to travel. 

Cost: $12.99

What we’re loving about Rocket Languages is its attention to not just the speaking of a new language, but the writing of it as well. Boasting 15 language options, these courses also offer cultural touchstones like music and casual interactions.

Cost: $99.95

Maybe you’re not quite why learning a new language is important, or you’ve attempted to learn one in the past but it didn’t stick, this might be the Masterclass to start. In less than an hour, this class will highlight strategies and tactics to become a more confident language learner.

Cost: FREE

With a whopping 30+ languages to choose from (including Klingon), Duolingo tries to gamify language learning.  Because the lessons are so short, you could easily learn a new language on your commute or lunch break.

Cost: FREE

We are all here for making learning fun. This app provides quick lessons that focus on how native speakers use vocabulary in their day-to-day.

Cost: FREE (but features a Pro option  for $9 a month)

While Coursera doesn’t have an extensive variety of languages to choose from, being linked to a college campus allows all of their language learning courses to be grounded in real-life scenarios and robust vocabulary.

Cost: FREE with 7-day trial, then $79/month

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)

Soft Skills

We are all about soft skills these days. With hiring managers paying more attention to soft skills than ever, it’s crucial to keep on top of them! While soft skills, by definition, tend to be more inherent to your personality, they can be taught. Soft skills, especially in leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills, can be honed and perfected just like any other skill. Really. 

Here are some of our favorite soft skills courses, starting with a few of our own. 

Communication is the cornerstone to every relationship—whether business or personal. In this course (or first in an upcoming series of soft skill course) we investigate the importance of soft skills in the workplace. Assess the state of your communication soft skills and learn how to strengthen them using our 12-point system. 

Cost: $57.00

Our Critical Problem-Solving 101 Course demystifies critical thinking and problem-solving. It teaches anyone how to use knowledge, facts, and data to effectively solve problems—both big and small. With this course, the student can take in the environment around them, analyze situational problems, and comprehensively create a solution with an overall positive outcome. 

Cost: $57.00

Learn research-based skills to strengthen empathy and trust, improve team collaboration, and create more innovative experiences for everyone in the workplace. This course examines the importance of personal happiness and its relationship with those around us. It begs that the same trusting relationships are crucial to a successful work environment.

Skip the BART train to the Berkeley campus and learn empathy at work from your living room or office space. 

Cost: FREE or $149.00 with a Verified Certificate

Gah, public speaking! If the two words alone send your stomach flipping, then this course might be right for you. EdX teamed up with Rochester Institute of Technology’s Keith B. Jenkins to create this course. Use it to build real confidence as a speaker by using simple tools and skills to deliverable memorable and engaging presentations. 

Cost: FREE or $49.00 with Verified Certificate

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)

Graphic Design 

Strong design skills will help you put your ideas on display the right way. Whether you need to do some data visualization, or you’re simply trying to create the perfect resume, these graphic design courses will help you organize your thoughts like a graphic professional. 

This course exposes you to ideas and skills by exploring color terminology and meaning, how to view color in context, contrast grids and color illusion, as well as tips for creating the perfect color palette.

Cost: $19

In this course, you’ll learn how to make some of the most popular projects in the industry, like: custom logos, business cards, brochures, web graphics, and more.

Cost: $12.99

This four-course sequence exposes students to the fundamental skills required to make sophisticated graphic design: process, historical context, and communication through image-making and typography. The sequence is completed by a capstone project that applies the skills of each course and peer feedback in a finished branding project suitable for a professional portfolio.

Cost: FREE with 7-day trial, then $79/month

Enhance your knowledge of core graphic design principles and learn how to apply these concepts to your designs so you are able to more easily stack your skills.

Cost: FREE

Designed around real-world projects, this fundamentals course will teach you the basics of form and image, typography, color theory, and layout and composition.

Cost: $19

The bite-sized lessons that make up this course walk you through all aspects of beginning design, including color theory, composition, choosing fonts, and how to share and publish your work.

Cost: FREE

Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard for graphic design and having a knowledge of not just the basics, but all the shortcuts that live within Illustrator can prove essential when looking to deepen your design savvy.

Cost: FREE with trial, then $8.25 per month for Skillshare account

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)

Business + Finance

When you’re looking into starting a small side-hustle or even a full-blown business, having some context about how micro and macroeconomics works can give you a leg up while you blaze your trail. We rounded up business, economics, and finance courses so that you never get blind-sided by business jargon.

Did you know, that on average, employees attend 62 meetings a month? Of those meetings, over 50 percent are considered to be a “waste of time” with a total of 32 hours spent in unproductive meetings every month. Don’t make these mistakes in your department or organization. 

Learn how to run meetings that people actually want to attend. Improve your overall culture by conducting meetings that boost productivity and promote healthy communication. Enroll in our most 

Cost: $57.00

if you want to learn basic economics, but don’t really know where to start, look no further than this economics tutorial. You will have the ability to learn fundamental knowledge of economics so jargon will no longer intimidate you.

Cost: $17.99

Brand recognition is crucial, especially in the beginning stages of a business. This beginner’s course walks you through tips and tricks for creating a brand that stands out.

Cost: FREE

If you want to increase your financial literacy, especially in the corporate world, this might be the course for you. This course also gives you options for tools to use to organize your finances.

Cost: $12.99

This course will teach you strategies for developing effective communication skills by enhancing your business letter writing techniques and improving your interpersonal and presentation abilities.

Cost: FREE

Using real world examples, the course will enable you to understand and analyze many personal and professional decisions we confront on a daily basis. You will understand stocks and bonds, learn to allocate scarce resources in a value-add way, and adopt smart tools for making everyday decisions.

Cost: FREE (with a certificate option for $49)

This will cover a progression of topics necessary for successful business creation including mindset, ideation, planning, action, and strategy. Rather than just describing what to do, the focus will be on guiding you through the process of actualy doing it.

Cost: FREE with 7-day trial, then $79/month

This is a beefy program, boasting 117 courses in a single bundle. This incredibly comprehensive course will take you from basic tutorials all the way to the complex concepts of investment banking. 

Cost: $199

In this course, you’ll learn the basics that are necessary to properly start an online business. Get tools for setting your goals, developing a strategy, analyzing your competitors, and much more stuff that you need when you’re learning how to make an online business.

Cost: $9.99

This course will help you understand many of the business law basics. Issues like business registration, liability protection, entity types and more.

Cost: $12.99

75+ Online Courses for Continuing Education (+ Growing Your Career)

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