Skills

Join Us for a Free, In-Depth Workshop to Improve Your Sales Skills

At Copyblogger, we love to teach! We really have a great time teaching copywriting, content strategy, search engine optimization, social media strategy … The one thing we don’t teach? Selling. Because it’s not what we’re fantastic at. Fortunately, we found someone who is fantastic at it, without being … a creepy weirdo. (There, I said
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Copyblogger

Best Online Courses for Teaching Yourself New Design Skills

Keeping up with modern skillsets is crucial if you want to succeed as a designer. All skills should be on the table from Adobe software to icon design and even RoR development. Unfortunately it can be difficult to learn all of this stuff from books and it’s not always viable to sign up for classes.

This is why I’ve organized the top 10 online websites for teaching yourself new skills for the modern era. Each of these sites are popular with a variety of users from all over the world. It’s easy to learn design if you know where to start and know what to study. Take a peek at these online resources and see what they have to offer.

Tuts+ Courses

tutsplus library

Most designers already know about the ever-popular Tuts+ website featuring tutorials on a panoply of topics. But Tuts+ also has an enormous section of premium courses including web design, print design, video editing, coding, and photography. Their library is enormous and continues to grow with each passing month.

If their online courses feel daunting you could try some free tutorials to get started with basic techniques. However the Tuts+ membership is dirt cheap and you’ll gain unlimited access to all 500+ tutorials. When it comes to learning new skills on the cheap I would highly recommend Tuts+ as your first option.

Code School

code school website learning

There are many people who just want to be great at development, or designers who wish to improve their development skills. Code School is an online site with video lessons teaching various web technologies.

You can choose from a number of learning paths which focus on a particular language or development technology. Although web paths are popular, you can also choose to learn more traditional programming like Ruby or Objective-C. The site is quite small right now but it has a detailed library of content for aspiring developers.

Lynda

lynda training videos

If you need to learn the raw bare-bones info about any program then Lynda is what you need. The online library of Lynda tutorials spans the gamut of every program you can ever imagine. You’ll find crash courses for every piece of Adobe software, all 3D/CAD programs, and many development technologies as well.

Lynda is on the pricier side but they have discounts for students and some companies as well. Lynda videos probably won’t teach a lot of specific techniques but they will teach the absolute basics of any software or programming language. Their content is best for newbies or intermediates who want to truly comprehend all of the tools, menus, buttons, and features in a program.

Digital Tutors

digitaltutors learning design

The courses at Digital Tutors are very specific focusing on real-world techniques for design programs. Digital Tutors is more of a designer’s paradise which has a library of tutorials for InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Cinema 4D, Zbrush… the list is practically endless.

But programmers should consider Digital Tutor’s parent company Pluralsight. While DT focuses more on design and visual effects, Pluralsight focuses on programming and IT architecture. You can learn everything from PHP to Java or SQL, even delving into more hardware subjects like server management.

Treehouse

treehouse training center

If you’re a web designer who wants to learn more about the development process then please take a look at Treehouse. While they do offer some design courses, the majority of their content covers frontend/backend development for websites and mobile apps.

The great thing about Treehouse is that they’re affordable and easy to use. While Tuts+ may have a larger swath of content, Treehouse focuses more on development and places a heavy focus on detail. Whether you want to build websites or mobile apps Treehouse is the place to be.

Video2brain

video2brain library video tutorials

Fans of Lynda may not know about the wonderful content found on Video2brain even though both companies are heavily related. Video2brain is now owned by Lynda but still hosts its own content for new students.

The courses mostly follow design and photography techniques with a deep focus on Adobe software. Video2brain is also meant for people who want to learn the ins-and-outs of a program without any prior experience. Each course is many hours long and covers everything you’d need to know. If you want to check out their library you’ll need to go through Lynda – but in my opinion that’s like getting 2 awesome libraries for the price of one!

Udemy

udemy online learning homepage

Online learning doesn’t always need to come from professional companies and teachers. The online resource Udemy is a prime example of this teaching style. Professionals from all areas will create their own lessons and sell them on Udemy.

Topics span from design to development and many other unrelated areas. If you want to learn about a specific topic there’s probably a couple Udemy courses ready to go. The only downside is that content quality can be somewhat sporadic, so be sure to read through user reviews before purchasing a course.

CGMA

cg master academy training

Aspiring concept artists, animators, visual development artists, or character designers will fall in love with CGMA. This name stands for the CG Master Academy which focuses on 2D and 3D CG artwork. Most of their courses require a fundamental understanding of fine art principles shape, perspective, and value, but there are other courses meant for beginners.

CGMA is for people who want to get started towards a career in the entertainment industry, or for people who want to improve their existing CG design skillset. However CGMA doesn’t typically let you stream videos at anytime like other websites. Their courses run with a professional instructor over a course of 4-12 weeks and require homework too. It’s definitely intense but also effective at teaching very tough concepts over the Internet.

Phlearn

phlern photoshop tutorials

Photographers or digital designers who work with photographs will fall in love with the Phlearn course library. Phlearn has a series of free tutorials along with premium courses all focused on photography and photo compositing.

Whether you want to composite advertisements, cereal boxes, or movie posters, these tutorials can get you there. Many of the videos assume you already understand the basics of Photoshop but just need to learn more about how to perform specific tasks. So Phlearn is geared more towards intermediate-to-advanced users, but there are some courses made for newcomers.

Skillshare

skillshare learning tutorials courses

Skillshare is one of the newest learning platforms on this list. Their courses are made similar to Udemy where designers/developers can submit their own tutorials into the library. Topics range beyond just web design to include After Effects editing and print design. Web development is also a topic gaining traction on the site. Skillshare is still new but it’s worth remembering to see if any courses fit your learning criteria.

Wrap up

Although online courses are the best place to get started, everyone has to venture off onto their own path at some point. This is why many designers get started with the basics but eventually move onto building their own stuff.

Nevertheless each of these websites should prove vital to your success as a designer. Nowadays it’s possible to learn everything from photo compositing to SVG animation or UI design with Sketch – all from the comfort of your office. It may seem overwhelming at first but the best course of action is to pick one area of focus and just get started. You’ll be thanking yourself later.

Related:

20 Web Design Tutorials for Adobe Fireworks

25 Videos and Resources for Learning Color Theory

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SpyreStudios

5 Skills That Will Get You Hired in 2015

shutterstock_235307296Do you possess strong communication skills? Do perform well in a team setting? If so, it’s very likely you’ll be a highly sought-after candidate in 2015.

According to a November 2014 report by NACE, leadership, the ability to work in a team, and strong communication skills are just a few of the top skills employers are looking for in candidates in 2015.

As you prepare for your job search, it’s important to be aware of these top skills that will get you hired in the new year:

1. Leadership.

Candidates are more likely to be hired if they can show employers their ability to lead in the workplace. Leadership is an important quality to have because employers want employees who can lead teams, wear multiple hats, and have the ability to coach their coworkers.

Demonstrate your leadership skills to employers by talking about previous leadership positions or situations where you had to lead a team in the workplace. This will show employers you are capable of being a leader for their company.

2. Ability to work in a team.

The ability to work in a team means being able to collaborate and work effectively with others. As a team player, you should have the ability to inspire team members and work together to accomplish a goal. This skill is highly valued by employers because they seek candidates who can bring their strengths to a team setting.

When explaining your teamwork skills to employers, provide examples of times where you had to work in a team or collaborate with a coworker to accomplish a task. This will give employers an idea of how you’ll perform in a team setting.

3. Problem solving.

Being a problem solver isn’t a skill many job seekers immediately think of when trying to impress employers. However, it’s a critical skill you must have in order to get hired in 2015. Illustrate your problem solving skills to employers by telling them about a time when you had to solve a problem and the result you achieved.

4. Written and verbal communication.

In today’s workforce, written and verbal communication skills are essential to workplace success. Whether you’re an entry-level candidate or you’re applying for a leadership position, you need to possess excellent communication skills.

The hiring process is an excellent opportunity to illustrate your communication skills to employers. At the beginning of the application process, show employers you’re a strong communicator by writing a flawless resume and cover letter, and promptly communicating with the hiring manager. When offered an interview, you’ll have another opportunity to display your verbal communication skills.

5. Initiative.

Employers want to hire candidates who are will to go above and beyond in the workplace. This is why having initiative is a trait that makes exceptional candidates stand out during the application process.

Show your initiative to employers by providing accomplishment stories about times where you took action to complete a project or meet a deadline. For example, let’s say a previous manager asked you to put a last-minute report together for a crucial presentation. You can talk about what you did to ensure you met your manager’s immediate deadline.

As you continue to search and apply for jobs in 2015, be sure to keep this desired skills in mind. By adopting some of these skills as a professional, you’ll get noticed by more employers and land a job in the new year.

What are some skills you plan to obtain in the upcoming year?


Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career

508 – How harmony can help your leadership skills

engaging brand podcastIs there a gap between the leader you are and the leader you want to be? Living in a 24/7 world of information, what specific leadership skills do we need?

Stew Friedman is the founder and CEO of  Total Leadership. Stew is recognised as an innovator in both the leadership development and work/life fields, Stew has been a faculty member at the Wharton School since 1984 and in 1991 he founded both the Wharton Leadership Programs.

Today’s listener of the week is – Harry Bowden – who receives a goodie bag to say thank you for sharing this post with his followers.

Today he talks to me about Leading the Life You Want and elements of his first book Total Leadership
and we discuss

  • How to embrace total leadership and learn ways to lead whilst not sacrificing a part of your life.
  • The role of self leadership before leading others.
  • How total leadership leads to strong personal brands.
  • Is total leadership linear or circular with the concept of career success?
  • How do we hold ourselves accountable for our own success?
  • How do we stay accountable to the real you?
  • What we can learn from Bruce Springsteen as a leader?
  • The need to not feel constrained by convention by concentrating on results not how they get done.

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