Short Courses to Boost Employability

Guest contributor, Chloe, suggests a number of short courses that will broaden the mind, boost employability and set you apart from the crowd.
Today’s graduate jobs market is an extremely competitive one. This means it’s no longer enough to achieve a degree in a valuable subject. If you want to stand out above all the other job applicants and you’re serious about making the most of your career potential, you may need to put in a little extra work.
Learning online

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

The following courses could help you achieve those additional lucrative skills that are highly valued by today’s employers. They’re all inexpensive (or even free!), you can study from a classroom or the comfort of your own home and you can get them completed relatively quickly.

Inbound marketing

Health & safety


Social media strategy


Computer coding



Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a technique used by businesses of all sizes to drive traffic to their website. It uses blogs, podcasts, social media and other methods to share their message and get the casual browser engaged and hopefully become a loyal customer.
This new and innovative approach to marketing will pay off massively throughout your career, whatever sector you choose to enter. The content itself is also easily applicable to many careers and your private life, and the insight you get into how it all works is fascinating. If this sounds appealing, check out the HubSpot Academy course, Inbound Marketing. Comprised of 10 lessons, it’s a free course that can get it finished in around four hours. Certification is included.



Health & Safety Certification

A health and safety qualification might not be the first course that comes to mind when you want to make your CV stand out. But getting a certification can really make a difference when it comes to getting hired, especially if you’re aiming for a STEM career. It will also give you an edge when it comes to staying safe in the workplace and progressing up the career ladder.
If you’d like to get certified, the NEBOSH accredited course is a fantastic choice. It’s widely recognised globally, suitable for absolute beginners and can be completed with just 18 hours of study.




Want to significantly boost your employability? Up for a challenge? Then start learning Chinese. Not only will it look brilliant on your CV, but it’s also a language spoken by billions of people across the world.
Even if you can only master the basics of this notoriously difficult language, you’ll reach a bigger global market and allow yourself to shine in the world of business. Again, it’s a skill you can use in your personal life too – learning a language opens your eyes to the world, helps you learn about other cultures and allows you to make new friends.
There are plenty of ways you can learn Chinese, many of which are now online. Perhaps start to use apps like Duolingo and Memrise when you first start and consider borrowing materials for free from your local library. If you want to take it a step further you could check out the free short course offered by the Open University, Beginners Chinese. It’s also relatively easy to find local Chinese language lessons. Many universities offer language lessons on campus that are usually of high quality and very affordable.



Social Media Strategy

Social media skills are crucial for any business in the modern world. However, many employers don’t feel confident or comfortable when it comes to developing a strong social strategy. That’s why it’s worth considering doing a course in social media strategy. This will give you an extra string to your bow, it will look great on your CV, and who knows, you might even discover a new passion.
You can get started by doing a free course with Alison (although you’ll need to pay for the certificate). Social Media Strategy for Small Businesses is very user-friendly and can be completed in a couple of hours. If you like, you can take it a step further and enrol in a more in-depth course such as the 4 week Social Media Marketing course offered by the London College of Communication.



Excel Fundamentals

Spreadsheet software programmes such as Microsoft Excel are used in just about every workplace, yet it confuses and frustrates many people. Get a certificate in Excel and you’ll put yourself head and shoulders above the rest and be much more likely to get hired. And let’s be honest- understanding how it all works will help save a ton of headaches for you too.
By far the best way to get educated is to take the Microsoft Excel Fundamentals bundle course which costs just £205 for the three programmes. You can also do just one or two for free and pay the examination and certification fee of $99USD (about £72) each if you’d prefer to start slowly.



Computer Coding

Knowing your way around HTML (or another coding language) is essential these days in a huge variety of businesses, so it’s a valuable skill to have. You’d also be amazed to learn how useful it can be if you do anything online, such as blogging or selling on eBay.
Surprisingly, it’s very easy to learn to code, you don’t have to be a geek and you can have a lot of fun doing it too. You can get started by doing the free course by the Code Academy and update to the advanced subscription if you’re hungry for more. For something more formal, have a look at the Introduction to Computer Science course offered by Harvard University.

Skills like computer coding, inbound marketing, health and safety, social media strategy, excel and Chinese are all highly valuable for the modern workplace. If you want to get ahead of the game, expand your skills and boost your employability.


Find out more:

The Job Search – Step Up & Stand Out
5 simple but effective ways to differentiate yourself from other job candidates (while you’re still at university, or soon after graduation).


Chloe Walker, guest contributor

About Chloe

Chloe is a freelance writer whose main focus is on working life and the business world. When she isn’t writing Chloe can be found curled up in front of the fire with the local paper and her dog.