Bridging the Tech Gap Through Online Learning

How do you stay up with the latest in technology and digital marketing when you have a small business to run? You don’t have time to attend classes. But doing nothing means you may become less competitive over time. That’s why more small business owners are bridging the tech gap with online learning. Whether it’s during lunch, after you close for the day, or at 2:00 in the morning, you learn on your schedule, with access to unlimited topics.

Here are just a few of the options available. Staying current is easier (and less expensive) than ever.

Udemy

This online learning platform has an extensive library of 42,000 courses taught by experienced instructors. The company reports that more than 13 million students worldwide have taken classes. There is a specific category for marketing that includes courses in digital marketing, SEO, social media marketing, and analytics. Beyond that, they offer general workshops in finance, office productivity, sales, and strategy. You can even learn how to deal with stress more effectively. Each course is priced separately. The cost ranges from free to $200.

Lynda

As a LinkedIn company, this online learning website helps you gain new business, technology and creative skills that you can use in your business or personal life. It is a subscription service that provides members with a wide library of courses taught by experts. Want to learn how to use Excel or Google Docs? They offer tutorials to get you up to speed. Their library also includes classes in leadership, giving a presentation, and management. You can try it for free for the first ten days. Monthly subscription rates range from $20 to $30 a month.

CreativeLive 

This online company offers content taught by experts in the fields of photography, video, design, business, audio, music, crafting, and software training. They report that over 10 million students have taken classes. Their “Money & Life” category offers classes like: Start a Profitable Online Business, Instagram Marketing for Small Businesses, Social Media Graphics Made Easy. What’s unique about this service is that you can watch their live workshops for free and interact with instructors in real time. The cost for on-demand courses varies, some priced at $50 or less.

Skillshare

This online community has over 2 million students and offers over 20,000 classes. Business and technology offerings include: Get Started with Email Marketing, Turning Ideas into High-Growth Businesses, Creating Marketing Home Pages that Drive Results. Every class has a project that lets students exchange feedback and learn together, and they offer a free trial period. You can sign up for a monthly or annual subscription ranging from $8 to $12 a month. The annual membership also offers discounts on curated services like Adobe or Squarespace.

Alison

This service boasts 8 million learners and offers over 750 free courses. One offering is a Digital Literacy Skills program with classes such as: Creating Your First Website, and Introduction to HTML5. In addition, the Business and Entrepreneurial program offers classes like: Leadership Skills, 21 Days to Building a Web Business. Each course includes a final assessment that can lead to a certification.

Online learning can be a convenient way for busy small business owners to stay up to date in a rapidly changing marketplace. Consider whether these online services are right for you. In addition, your local community college may offer other online learning programs to keep your skills sharp.

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