24 Invaluable Skills To Learn For Free Online This Year Here's an easy resolution: This stuff is all free as long as you have access to a computer, and the skills you learn will be invaluable in your career, and/or life in general.
Become awesome at Excel.
gifbay.com / Via giphy.com
Chandoo is one of many gracious Excel experts who wants to share their knowledge with the world. Excel excellence is one of those skills that will improve your chances of getting a good job instantly, and it will continue to prove invaluable over the course of your career. What are you waiting for?
Learn how to code.
Perhaps no other skill you can learn for free online has as much potential to lead to a lucrative career. Want to build a site for your startup? Want to build the next big app? Want to get hired at a place like BuzzFeed? You should learn to code. There are a lot of places that offer free or cheap online coding tutorials, but I recommend
Code Academy for their breadth and innovative program. If you want to try a more traditional route, Harvard offers its excellent Introduction to Computer Science course online for free.
Make a dynamic website.
Learn to make a mobile game.
Start reading faster.
Spreeder is a free online program that will improve your reading skill and comprehension no matter how old you are. With enough practice, you could learn to double, triple, or even quadruple the speed at which you read passages currently, which is basically like adding years to your life.
Learn a language!
Duolingo, you can learn Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, or English (from any of the above or more). There's a mobile app and a website, and the extensive courses are completely free.
Full disclosure: BuzzFeed and other websites are in a partnership with DuoLingo, but they did not pay or ask for this placement.
Pickle your own vegetables.
Tired of your farmer's market haul going bad before you use it all? Or do you just love tangy pickled veggies? You too can
pickle like a pro thanks to SkillShare and Travis Grillo.
Improve your public speaking skills.
Get a basic handle of statistics.
Understand basic psychology.
FOX / Via
Knowing the basics of psych will bring context to your understanding of yourself, the dynamics of your family and friendships, what's really going on with your coworkers, and the woes and wonders of society in general.
Yale University has its Intro to Psychology lectures online for free.
Make your own music.
Step one: Learn how to play guitar:
Justin Guitar is a fine and free place to start learning chords and the basic skills you'll need to be able to play guitar — from there, it's up to you, but once you know the basics, just looking up tabs for your favorite songs and learning them on your own is how many young guitar players get their start (plus it's an excellent party trick).
Step two: A delightful
free voice lesson from Berklee College Of Music.
Step three: Have you always thought you had an inner TSwift? Berklee College of Music offers an
Introduction to Songwriting course completely for free online. The course is six weeks long, and by the end of the lesson you'll have at least one completed song.
Step four: Lifehacker's
basics of music production will help you put it all together once you have the skills down! You'll be recording your own music, ready to share with your valentine or the entire world, in no time!
Learn to negotiate.
Stanford's Stan Christensen explain how to negotiate in business and your personal life, managing relationships for your personal gain and not letting yourself be steamrolled. There are a lot of football metaphors and it's great.
Stop hating math.
ABC / Via
If you struggled with math throughout school and now have trouble applying it in real-world situations when it crops up, try
Saylor.org's Real World Math course. It will reteach you basic math skills as they apply IRL. Very helpful!
Ben Heine / Via
All kids draw — so why do we become so afraid of it as adults? Everyone should feel comfortable with a sketchbook and pencil, and sketching is a wonderful way to express your creativity.
DrawSpace is a great place to start. (I also highly recommend the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain if you can drop a few dollars for a used copy.)
Make your own animated GIF.
Have you never really "gotten" jazz? If you want to be able to participate in conversations at fancy parties and/or just add some context to your appreciation of all music, try this
free online course from UT Austin.
Get better at using Photoshop.
Another invaluable skill that will get you places in your career, learning Photoshop can be as fun as watching the hilarious videos on
You Suck At Photoshop or as serious as this extensive Udemy training course (focused on photo retouching).
Take decent pictures.
Get started with investing in stocks.
Clean your house in a short amount of time.
Start practicing yoga.
Most cities have free community classes (try just searching Google or inquiring at your local yoga studio), or if you're more comfortable trying yoga at home,
YogaGlo has a great 15-day trial and Yome is a compendium of 100% free yoga videos. If you're already familiar with basic yoga positions but you need an easy way to practice at home, I recommend YogaTailor's free trial as well.
Tie your shoelaces more efficiently.
Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!