With the coronavirus outbreak, 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone.
For students, you may have experienced cancellations in your overseas exchanges or face difficulties securing internships in the ever increasingly competitive jobs market.
Now, you may be wondering how can you utilize your holidays effectively or stand out as a candidate to the companies that you are applying to?
Fret not, as I have compiled a list of free courses and programs that you can explore to upgrade your knowledge and skills!
As many of us here in the Seedly community are interested in finance, this Opinion will be geared towards that aspect. However, some of the platforms that I am recommending also feature non-finance topics that you can explore.
If you are interested in venturing into the finance industry, you have probably heard of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.
What you might not have known is that the institute that issues the CFA designation also offers a zero-cost online program, the Investment Foundations Program. It covers the fundamentals of finance and investments, ethics, as well as an overview of the investment industry.
If you have an interest in the investment management industry, this program might be the right one for you!
FYI: It comes with a certificate as well 😉
Want to learn the fundamentals of finance and accounting?
Look no further as Corporate Finance Institute (CFI) is offering 10 free introductory courses covering topics such as corporate finance, financial statements, excel formulas and the Bloomberg Terminal.
What’s even better is that you will receive a certificate of completion that you can proudly flex on your LinkedIn profile (after attaining the 80% passing grade)!
If you enjoy their teaching pedagogy, you can also consider signing up for their paid courses, such as the Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA)®, which is gaining popularity and recognition these days.
As its name suggests, OpenLearn is a free learning platform featuring over 900 high quality courses that ranges over many diverse topics. The courses are suitable for everyone’s learning needs as they are categorised according to levels of difficulty - Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels.
Head over to the “Money & Business” subject and you will find 1400 hours of course content that features topics such as finance, accounting, marketing and entrepreneurship. Most of the courses do offer a certificate of completion or a digital badge.
Do explore the rest of OpenLearn’s courses to expand your knowledge beyond the finance aspect!
When it comes to free online courses, Coursera will definitely come up to one’s mind.
The platform features online courses from over 200 renowned universities and companies, attracting 76 million learners globally. Many of the courses can be accessed for free without a completion certificate.
However, if you are a university student like me, you may be eligible to access over 3,600 courses with certification for free, under the Coursera Campus Response Initiative.
Some of the popular finance courses and specializations on the platform are Yale University’s Financial Markets, University of Geneva’s Investment Management and University of Illinois’ Financial Management.
Many of us will remember Khan Academy as the go-to platform for free supplementary learning during our pre-tertiary days.
What you might not have known is that the platform also features videos and articles on finance and economics, as well as tips on personal finance - housing, taxes, saving and budgeting, to name a few.
Do explore the platform and you may be pleasantly surprised!
Although Youtube is great for watching all of your favourite music videos, it also boasts a multitude of educational content.
Let me know in the comments what other YouTubers would you recommend for learning more about finance!
As a Seedly Student Ambassador, I have to include this in the list of free online resources for learning more about finance. (If you are wondering: No, I am not forced to do this.)
This free-to-access platform is your 1-stop platform to learn everything you need to know about personal finance - investments, insurance, property, etc.
Apart from this website, you can also join Seedly’s public Facebook group, which is highly active as well.
With your newly acquired knowledge from the abovementioned platforms, why not put them into practice?
Previously known as InsideSherpa before rebranding, Forage is a platform that provides virtual work experience programs from leading companies.
Each work experience program includes real industry tasks which enables you to showcase your skills to the companies you are applying to. Additionally, with the completion of each program, you earn a certificate that you can display in your resume or LinkedIn.
If you are interested in the banking industry, you can explore the virtual finance work experience programs offered by Citi, JPMorgan and Future IM/Pact.
The list of platforms that I have mentioned is not meant to be exhaustive, but it features what I personally use and have benefited from. There are many other free platforms such as Edx, Skillshare, Udemy and many more that feature wonderful content that you can explore as well.
Other than enrolling in online courses and programs, you can also consider participating in case competitions to use your knowledge to solve real world problems and build your confidence.
Lastly, as you may have heard, you are the average of the 5 people around you. Do join your school’s clubs such as investment society or entrepreneurship society to connect with like-minded individuals to motivate each other in your learning journey.
Cover Image: Sharon McCutcheon