Learn About Free Online Resources to Help You Advance Your Career

Learn About Free Online Resources to Help You Advance Your Career

Career advancement is something many employees struggle with. There are numerous resources available to help you develop your skills and earn a promotion. In the past, these resources were significantly harder to access, often requiring you to take time off of work to attend a seminar or complete a certification program. Not only were you missing work, but these courses often cost money to complete.

In the digital age, there are many more resources available to help boost your career. The best part is, these resources are completely free and do not require you to take any time off work to complete. Some websites offer generalized resources applicable to most jobs, while others are meant for specific careers. Listed below are some of the best free online resources available in 2021.

Salary Websites

Advancing in your career is important, but so is ensuring you are being paid fairly for your current job. Comparing your current level of pay to what the average is for your position is a common negotiating tactic when pushing for a raise. It is also a good indicator of whether your company respects you.

There are two excellent websites for comparing your salary, GetRaised and Comparably. Both of these websites use advanced algorithms to compare your salary compared to the national average, letting you know whether you are underpaid.

There are a few differences with the website. GetRaised places a greater emphasis on negotiating for higher wages, including tips for approaching your boss for a raise. Comparably helps you create a career map by comparing the average time for other employees in your position to get a promotion or raise as well as what other higher paying careers are available based on your current skill set. 

Finance for Non-Financial Professionals

Finance for Non-Financial Professionals is one of many free courses offered through coursera.org. While the website has many free programs to help advance your career, this one stands out as one of the most popular programs. Even if your job is not finance related, companies appreciate finance minded employees.

In many middle or higher ranked positions, you must have an understanding of finances. Earning more responsibility at work means assessing whether or not a decision will cost the business money.

Finance for Non-Financial Professionals specifically looks at the business side of developing a financial strategy. One of the best ways to advance your career is showing the company you understand profits and losses and what risks are worth taking to ultimately advance the business.

Y Combinator Startup Library

Y Combinator is a website for new entrepreneurs trying to start a business. In addition to offering free courses, the website also has a collection of guides to similar websites. Many of the lessons focus on how to create a business plan, selling your pitch to potential investors and how to handle all the necessary paperwork to get your business started.

While it is instructive, Y Combinator also has a reputation as being one of the tougher websites. It does not diminish how hard it is to successfully start your own business, clearly illustrating all the risks new entrepreneurs face.


A great way to advance your career is learning a second language. With so many businesses operating online, it is easy to reach a larger, global audience. In order to tap into these new markets, you must be able to clearly communicate with your new audience. Normally, companies hire a translator to help with marketing campaigns, but this is an expensive process.

By volunteering for these projects, you are not only highlighting your unique skill set, but also saving the company money.

There are many free websites to help develop your skills, but Duolingo is one of the stand out programs because of how quick and efficient the lessons are. Duolingo focuses on teaching conversational skills, which is exactly what you need to create a strong marketing campaign.

Programming Courses

Another strong way to advance your career is to learn about programming. Programming was previously a skill only coders and IT specialists needed, but it is becoming increasingly common in other careers. You do not have to be a programming expert, but even learning the basics is a good way to stand out from other employees.

Programming is not always about creating new programs, but also understanding how existing programs work. Programming also focuses on critical work skills, like using algorithms and critical thinking.

There are many resources available to learn the basics of programming and coding for free. A great course to expand your skills and impress your company is edX, which is offered for free through Harvard University. This is one of the longer free programs available, taking 180 hours to complete.

edX is designed for beginners, but if you already understand the basics of coding, you can take Introduction to Programming in Java, through MIT. Despite the name, this course covers advanced lessons, focusing on developing your own app or software.

If this course sounds too advanced, MIT also offers an Introduction to C and C++. This program not only focuses on the basics of coding, but covers how to troubleshoot and correct bugs while coding. If you want to focus more on website development, Codecademy runs a course on HTML and CSS. For a more app focused approach, Udemy runs a beginner program for creating iPhone apps.

Online Marketing Programs

Developing online marketing skills is another way to advance your career. Online marketing focuses on selling products or services, but you can also apply these skills to yourself. Marketing is all about persuading an audience, so these skills translate into performing well during an interview or negotiating for a promotion or raise.

It also gives you a greater idea of reaching your customer base. Showing your business you know how to draw in more customers is an excellent way to climb the corporate ladder. 

Buffer runs an excellent beginner course, Social Media 101. This is one of the quickest courses, largely focusing on how to frame posts on popular social media sites and exploring the basics of online marketing analytics. Udemy runs an advanced program, Advanced SEO, which is taught in seven lessons.

Each lesson is relatively short, focusing on different SEO and online marketing concepts. Udemy also runs Getting Started with Google Analytics, which is a great course if you already run a website. For a more advanced course, consider coursera’s Marketing in a Digital World.

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