The Best Online Platforms For Learning New Job Skills

Whether you’re trying to build new skills to switch careers, looking to get a little more of an edge as you enter the workforce, or interested in improving your existing skills to enhance your current job (or, hell, your life), there are all kinds of platforms out there offering up courses for you. The question is, which ones are actually worth your time? And how much do they cost? Here are some of the best ones by topic, plus their pricing plans.All-around: Coursera

Coursera has an excellent reputation in this niche industry. There are thousands of class options and some of them are free, but Coursera Plus offers over 7,000 classes, projects, and certificate programs for $399 per year or $59 per month (after a week-long free trial). The courses come from companies like Google and universities like Duke and you can learn about cybersecurity analysis, IT support, HR for people managers, and much, much more.Runner up: Alison

The courses on Alison are free, which is a big plus, and you can earn diplomas or certificates in subjects ranging from management to information technology to health. You’ll end up paying if you want a digital or printed certificate (between about $21 to $126, depending on what it is and if you want it framed), or if you want ads removed for the month (about $9). The platform allows you to create a learning plan based on your goals, whether they include upskilling or switching careers entirely, and a lot of the classes are hyper-specific, like those in bloodborne pathogens or hydrogen sulfide awareness. You can sort by career track to rack up classes that are most relevant to what you want to do. Be advised, however, that it’s not U.S. Based, and not all Alison courses are accredited. Many are certified in the U.K. And recognized internationally, including some in the United States .For entering a new job: 360training

360training is geared toward training you for a new job—as soon as you open the site, a pop-up window asks you what industry you’re interested in. Construction, restaurants, and real estate are the most popular options. You’ll learn the basics like compliance and safety through courses that are individually priced. For instance, HIPAA for Business Associates and HIPAA for Dental Offices are $28.99, while a 10-hour OSHA class is $59 and a 30-hour OSHA class is $159.For creative industries: CreativeLive

If you want to take courses in photography, videography, design, or audio engineering, try CreativeLive. Courses are individually priced, so you can pay, for instance, $49 for an intro to Apple Logic Pro, $24 to learn how to market your work on Instagram, or $99 for a complete guide to Adobe Lightroom Classic CC. There are a few free classes, too, like one about how to select your first DSLR camera.To build a coding portfolio: Skillcrush

If you want to build a portfolio of your tech and coding work, try Skillcrush. It costs $2499 (or 12 monthly payments of $229) and you get courses in HTML and CSS, Git and GitHub, visual design, and more. The classes are project-based, so you end up with a portfolio at the end. There’s also coaching on resume building and LinkedIn management, plus guidance on searching for a job, preparing for an interview, and taking your necessary technical tests.To upskill in coding: Codeacademy

Whether you want to switch careers to focus on software programming and data science or you’re already in the field, Codeacademy is a good option. Before you start, you take a quiz to figure out what you already know—and don’t need to relearn. Then you get custom-matched with materials to help you better grasp everything from C++ to Python. The basic package is free, but for $34.99 a month, you can work on real-world projects and take quizzes. For $59.99 per month, you can earn professional certifications, access career services, and more.

Need A Passive Income Stream? Here Are 10 Ways To Make Money Online

 Make some extra money by turning one of your passions or hobbies into passive income. Getty Images

There are lots of reasons why you may be looking for new ways to make money online, and the good news is that there are more opportunities than ever to do this in today’s economy. With inflation high and interest rates climbing, dollars aren’t stretching as far as they once were. In turn, many people have been turning to the internet to add new income streams to help boost their finances and reach their financial goals, and there are plenty of avenues you can take. 

Whether you’re looking for ways to supplement your cash flow or want to find a completely new career path, you can use your existing skills to create a passive income stream. But given the wide range of options you have to earn money online, it may be difficult to determine just which opportunities are legitimate, won’t require a ton of money upfront — and which are right for you. 

To help you get started, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to start making passive income right now.10 passive income ideas to help you make extra cash

Passive income is essentially money you’re making from a source or business other than your direct employer. This type of income is often earned via a task or action performed on the side of your regular job that doesn’t require a lot of effort to do (which is why many of these income sources are found online). 

Still, despite its name, even passive income can take some work, both upfront and ongoing.

“Passive activities include trade or business activities in which you don’t materially participate. You materially participate in an activity if you’re involved in the operation of the activity on a regular, continuous, and substantial basis,” the IRS explains on its website.

Here are 10 ways you can use a passive income stream to make some extra cash.1. Take online surveys

Giving your opinion and taking part in market research can be an easy way to make money online. Some of the more popular survey sites include Survey Junkie, Swagbucks, OneOpinion, Opinion Outpost and Ipsos iSay. 

Find out how you can make a few extra bucks from home by taking online surveys now!

Keep in mind: This type of passive income won’t bring in huge earnings, but it can put some extra cash in your pocket. Swagbucks says its members earn about $1 to $5 per day on average. Just make sure you do some research before you get started or commit to participating in any online surveys. 2. Sign up for a gig-working platform

There are several platforms designed for online gig work. For example, Amazon Mechanical Turk is a site you can use to take on small tasks for businesses across the globe. They might include moderating content, taking a survey or transcribing audio. 

Clickworker is a similar platform, or if you have a specific skill — like copywriting, editing or graphic design — you can use freelancing platforms like Fiverr, Freelancer.Com and Upwork to connect with potential clients.3. Start a blog

Blogs aren’t just for fun these days. They can be quite the moneymaker when done right. The key to creating a successful blog is to pick your niche, build your audience and then monetize. Building a following can take some time though, so be patient.

You can do this through affiliate marketing, which earns you a commission when someone clicks a monetized link or buys a product that’s promoted on your blog. You could also try selling and displaying ads on your site using a tool like Google Adsense. 4. Start an online store

If you’re the creative type, you might consider selling your wares online through a site like Etsy. Sellers on Etsy offer everything from jewelry and clothing to artwork, invitations, yard signs, templates and more. 

You might even choose to start a drop-shipping store, which is essentially a storefront. When a customer makes an order, you order that product from a third party (a manufacturer, vendor, or wholesaler) and ship it directly to the customer. 5. Start a YouTube channel

YouTube creators can make a lot of money, and getting started doesn’t necessarily require much expertise. You can create how-to or explainer videos on virtually any subject, or go more personal and put yourself in the videos. Consider different formats that are successful on the platform, like interviewing subject matter experts, providing tips and tricks, or even just showing yourself playing various video, mobile or board games. 

Like blogging, the important thing is to find a niche and build a following. You can then integrate Google Ads, become a YouTube Partner, and even make money off memberships, live chats and subscriptions.6. Make money from photography

If you’re known as the photographer in the family, you can make some extra money by selling your photos online. There are websites like Fine Art America in which you can upload your images and have them featured on merchandise that’s sold on the site. 7. Become a transcriptionist

If you’re a fast typer, you might consider doing some online transcription for cash. You’ll simply need to listen to audio files and then accurately type out what you hear. You get paid per piece, so the faster you can type, the better when it comes to making money. Rev.Com, GoTranscript and TranscribeMe are just a few of the sites where you can find online transcription work.8. Become a virtual assistant

More work than ever is being done online following the recent rise in remote work. It makes sense, then, that remote help is more common, too. By becoming a virtual assistant via websites like Indeed (just search for “Remote Virtual Assistant”) you can work for a business in need from the comfort of your home office.

The work needed varies — you might find gigs ranging from writing to social media management to traditional bookkeeping — so look around for something that fits your skills and background.9. Test websites and apps

Fancy yourself the tech-savvy type? If so, you can get paid to test out new websites and mobile apps and hunt down any glitches. At UserTesting.Com, for example, you get the opportunity to test new sites and products from popular brands today. 

You just need to have a reliable WiFi connection, a microphone, a computer or mobile device and you can get to work. BetaTesting.Com, UserZoom and Userlytics are other similar platforms.10. Buy and sell domain names

Those with similarly web-savvy skills might consider passive income via purchasing and then selling domain names. Sites like Go Daddy. Com can even help complete the sale via an online auction. Or just simply buy names you think may be interesting in the future (think entertainment, sports and political events) then put your contact information on those URLs and offer to sell them to anyone looking to buy. The bottom line

There’s a side gig for everyone; you just need to figure out your perfect fit. Start with an idea above, then considering branching out even if your first try doesn’t work out. Like any type of income, generating a solid source of passive income can take some upfront time and effort. In the meantime, you can start small and begin making money by taking surveys now. Surveys are one quick and easy way to earn a little extra cash in your downtime.MoneyWatch: Managing Your Money More 


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Online Platform For Female, Nonbinary Tradespeople Thriving

Women and nonbinary tradespeople who want to consult on their craft have a growing online platform to check out.

Matriarchy Build is becoming a significant platform for these tradespeople and those who seek their input, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. As home ownership for single women increases, more are turning to people that look like themselves for help on DIY projects and beyond.

Lacey Soslow and Gabriella Ainslie launched the company last May, shortly after Ainslie had the pipes burst in her home and struggled to find a female plumber, which would’ve made her more comfortable, to take a look.

Matriarchy Build offers one-on-one virtual consultations with female and nonbinary tradespeople. Consumers taking on projects on their own or who need advice can use the platform to talk to one of these tradespeople, perhaps even hire them.

Prices for the consultations are set by the tradespeople. Matriarchy Build makes money by taking 20 percent from each consultation.

The appetite on both sides of the consults appears strong. The company started with 25 professionals, but has more than tripled that number. There are another 300 applicants waiting to join the service.

General contractors and handypeople are the most represented professionals on the platform. Other professionals include designers, architects, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and more.

“There’s just this hunger for community and to be seen,” Soslow told the publication.

Consumers on the platform expressed how empowering it was to see female and nonbinary professionals owning their craft, especially in professions stereotypically thought to be dominated by men. A female plumber initially hesitant to join Matriarchy Build now shares opinions on quotes and walks customers through fixing leaks.

““You get to empower a single mother who can’t afford to hire someone to change her kitchen faucet, and she can do it,” Kelly Ireland said. “So many people in rural areas reach out to me and say, ‘I just want a woman to talk to.’”

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