New research into the UK’s employment market has shown that 60% of employers predict that their reliance on advanced digital skills is set to increase over the next five years, while 88% of young people realise that their digital skills will be essential for their future careers.
If you're looking to brush up on your digital wizardry, then we've put together a list of some of the most in-demand skills that you can learn in your free time. We've also mentioned some helpful resources that you can use to develop these skills, improve your existing knowledge, or expand your career horizons. If there's any certificates granted at the end of these courses, we've mentioned them below - so you know exactly what you're getting out of each resource.
1. Advanced Excel
- Globally recognised certificate in Advance Excel from Shaw Academy
Advanced Excel skills are easy to learn and are in high demand across a range of industries such as finance, marketing, administration, and tech. These skills will help you carry out advanced operations such as data-keeping and analytics which can help your employer make business-focused decisions. There are lots of free resources out there to help you learn or improve your existing skills with Excel, such as Google Digital Garage, LinkedIn Learning and Shaw Academy - which offers four weeks of free training.
- The Complete SQL Bootcamp 2021: Go From Zero to Hero (£12.99) from Udemy
SQL is a domain-specific programming language that allows you to retrieve data from a database. It's relatively simple to learn and is used a lot in the marketing and technology sectors. This skill is currently in high demand due to a 'skills gap' in the industry, where there are not enough highly-trained professionals to fill the demand set by employers. If you'd like to get started on this coding language, we recommend starting with a short Udemy course which costs around £12.99. This course will take you from the basics to high-level SQL projects and comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
3. HTML and CSS
- Web Design for Beginners: Real World Coding in HTML & CSS (£12.99) from Udemy
HTML and CSS are the two primary coding languages that are used to build websites. HTML describes the overall structure of the webpage (headers, paragraphs, forms) while CSS describes the style of the webpage (colours, fonts, presentation). As a web designer, you'll be able to open the door for several high-paying roles or start your own business as a freelancer, working with clients to help build their online businesses. There are lots of free resources to help you learn these languages such as Youtube, Code Academy, or Coursera, but if you're looking for a taught course then Udemy or Skillshare offer great introductory modules.
4. Google ads
- Google Ads Display, Search, and Measurements Certificates from Google
As digital advertising continues to outpace traditional print, more and more companies are looking to delve into the digital sphere. That's where Google ads specialists come in. As part of this role, you'll be responsible for managing pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaigns and using data returned from each campaign to optimise their performance. Since Google is one of the biggest search engines online, it's no surprise that they run their certified course to help you learn how to run Google-specific ads. However, there are also courses out there from LinkedIn, Udemy, and Youtube.
5. Adobe Creative Cloud
- Foundations of Adobe Creative Cloud by Adobe
The Adobe Creative Cloud is made up of several applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. These products are used across many creative industries and are also used heavily in marketing, publishing, and PR. To get started, you'll have to sign up to Adobe and download the programmes you'd like to become familiar with. You'll have a free 7-day trial when you first sign up, and there are a host of free tutorials online to help you come to grips with each product. There are also several certified courses available through Adobe and Linkedin Learning.