These Online Platforms Can Boost Your Resume for Free

BP9XKG Computer Screen, concept of Online Learning

Now more than ever, the job market is a treacherous place. The supply of quality jobs does not match the demand for careers for new and veteran professionals. There are ways an individual can stand out by showcasing the right skills, but getting these skills sometimes costs money many job seekers can't afford. Now a rise in free, quality education has begun to bridge the education gap. If you're looking to boost your resume, consider some of these platforms.


Ruby, JavaScript, Python. Do you know any of these programming languages? If you do, or know other in-demand languages, you have a leg up on the competition. Considered by many as the must-have job skill of the future, coding is a virtual must-have on your resume. With Codecademy, you can put yourself on the track to being more in-demand in the job market -- for free.

As GonnaBe lead engineer and co-founder C.J. Windisch told Mashable last year, "We see it everywhere from statistical analysis in baseball to politics with Barack Obama's data-driven election team," Windisch says. "Understanding data at that scale requires a computer to run numbers, not a calculator. In today's big data world, that means coding."

Codecademy user Liz Beigle-Bryant offered her experience with the website as an older job seeker. "So I'm 55, and I don't have a college degree. That means I need to work out ways to foil the resume algorithms that would automatically discard my resume," she explains. "Key web coding skills such as JavaScript, jQuery, Ruby, HTML, CSS, and Python (PHP & MySQL too) helped shoot me to the head of the queue."

With over 24 million users, Codecademy is one of the most popular destinations for learning programming and markup languages. For those serious about learning a new language, consider their Code Year, which teaches the basics to JavaScript before adding HTML and CSS.

If Codecademy isn't your speed, try some of these other free courses in coding.


Learning a language can be costly. Reputable classes can run into the high hundreds of dollars per class or program. With Duolingo anyone can learn a language for free. The founders believe high-quality education should be accessible to anyone for no cost.

A 2012 census report revealed that 55 millions Americans don't speak English in the home. While some may think the United States recognizes English as the official language of the land, there actually isn't one. That means the job market, and the consumers, may not be English speakers. If you have the skill to bridge the language gap you could be in high demand. Bilingual speakers average 5-20 percent more per hour than single-language employees.

A Rosetta Stone study concluded that average annual incomes of bilingual speakers average $10,000 higher than just English speakers and 17 percent of bilingual speakers average over $100,000 per year. In the health realm, another Rosetta Stone report supported learning a language as a way to combat mental diseases like Alzheimer's. You could be benefitting yourself on various fronts by learning another language.

With a crowdsourced text translation platform, Duolingo has added quite a few languages since its 2011 launch. At this time they mostly offer European languages, but you can track the progress of a language as it's being built. Current courses in the 'hatching' process include Esperanto and Turkish, while you can try the beta courses for languages like Danish and Swedish. If Duolingo isn't for you, there are several options you can find online.

General Education

For anyone in the market for a variety of education, Khan Academy should be one of their first destinations. Created in 2006 behind educator Sal Khan, the educational non-profit provides "a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere."

Originally starting with only videos, Khan Academy has expanded into quizzes and other interactive features that aim to make education addictive. To feed their desire for learning, the platform offers private data tracking that is available to users and/or their educators.

Like Duolingo, Khan Academy makes learning into a game of sorts by letting you earn badges for successful learning. Their coach reports and global classroom appeal also help keep users interested and connected to over 10 million students.

Khan Academy teaches the way the founder wishes he was taught--by a human being with a fascination for the world around him. That's quite impressive for a series of videos originally intended just for Khan's cousins.

Unlike the other programs on the list, Khan Academy offers a wide-array of classes, including chemistry, humanities and personal finance. In April 2013, Khan began a partnership with Bank of America to promote better money habits. This further increased the platform's exposure through a national television ad campaign.

Career Readiness

Coursera and the University of California, Irvine Extension recently announced a series of 12 courses that teach four necessary career specializations.

UC Irvine Extension Dean Gary Matkin felt that, "We were responding to the concern some of our employers have had in hiring recent graduates," explains UC Irvine Extension Dean Gary Matkin."[Graduates] might be smart and know their stuff, but they don't know how to operate in a business setting." The four specializations are project management, business communication, practical management and business tools.

By partnering with Coursera, UCI allows their massive open online course, or MOOC, more visibility to the public. "As a public university, we're interested in serving people's needs," Matkin says. "One of the most appealing things is to try to find deserving audiences, like K-12 teachers or people who don't really have access to education or can't pay for it, and find those and try to deliver them something helpful that will change their lives."

The belief is these skills will make a graduate that much more desirable in the job market--as well as ease their transition into the work force. If successful, more courses may be offered.
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