13 cheap online courses that will get you ready for today's workforce

Published: Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 3:24 PM
Updated: Thursday, September 28, 2017 @ 3:24 PM

The following 13 classes will help teach you the skills you need for the modern workforce Job Interview Skills Training Course HTML Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models Learning Web Analytics Conversational Spanish Made Easy Learn Adobe Illustrator from Scratch Marketing in a Digital World Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills Complete Guide to Drafting a Business Plan Report Writing Made Simple Introduction to Video Editing Secret Sauce of Great Writing The Complete Presentation and

Whether you're looking for a new career, want to score a promotion with your current company or are returning to the workforce, you'll find that employers' expectations can change quickly.

Many jobs require a broad variety of skills, and the more you learn, the more attractive you'll be to prospective employers.

RELATED: 5 smart questions to ask at the end of your next interview

Online classes can help give you an edge, and some are even prepared by the faculty of prestigious universities. And you won't necessarily have to invest a lot of money, since many are free and many others are quite inexpensive.

The following 13 classes will help teach you the skills you need for the modern workforce:

Ace the interview

This course covers what to do before the interview, how to practice common questions, dress for success, follow up after the interview and more.

Job Interview Skills Training Course, Udemy. Free.

Start to code

Since HTML is the foundation of websites, Forbes recommends this class if you're a coding beginner. It helps you learn how to build a personal or small business website and more.

HTML, Dash-General Assembly. Free.

Use spreadsheets

Learning how to use spreadsheets like Excel can help in many careers, such as marketing and management, according to Forbes. You'll also be able to work more efficiently.

Introduction to Spreadsheets and Models, Coursera. Free for ungraded content.

Learn about web analytics

This course, recommended by Forbes, helps you learn about optimizing your business' online presence with social media campaigns and SEO.

Learning Web Analytics, Lynda. Free trial, with monthly subscription plans starting at $19.99.

Learn Spanish

Learning another language can help in many careers, and Business Insider recommends this course.

Conversational Spanish Made Easy, Udemy. $10 (normally $145)

Create graphics

The Muse recommends taking this course to learn basic Adobe Illustrator techniques for creating graphics and then moving onto colors and patterns, perspective and automation.

Learn Adobe Illustrator from Scratch, Udemy. $12.

Market with digital tools

Learn how to use digital tools – including 3D printing, smartphones and the internet – to market your products, according to The Muse. You'll find out more about distribution and setting the right prices.

Marketing in a Digital World, Coursera. Free for ungraded content.

Negotiate like a boss

Negotiation is an important skill in business and life in general. You'll learn how to plan your strategy, use key tactics for success and create a contract in this course recommended by The Muse.

Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills, Coursera. Free for ungraded content.

Create a business plan

If you've dreamed of venturing out on your own, this class will help you learn what investors are looking for in a business plan and how to create one that's thorough and successful.

Complete Guide to Drafting a Business Plan, Udemy. $12.

Write a business report 

From planning to proofreading, this class helps you learn how to craft a business report. Points addressed include essential questions to ask and how to understand the report's purpose.

Report Writing Made Simple, Udemy. $12.

Edit video

Video editing is its own career, Forbes points out, but it's also now used extensively in the content and marketing world. Learn the basics of good editing, including composition, transitions, pacing and editing.

Introduction to Video Editing, Lynda. Free trial, with monthly subscription plans starting at $19.99.

Write more effectively

Whether you're writing a cover letter, a press release or an email, this course (recommended by The Muse) will help you do it better.

Secret Sauce of Great Writing, Udemy. Free.

Give a presentation

If the thought of speaking in a business meeting makes you break out in a cold sweat, take this course, which is recommended by Business Insider. It covers body language, how to create incredible content and more.

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Job fair Thursday to feature nearly 70 employers

Published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Even after their service is completed, veterans still need full-time jobs. Here are six companies that pride themselves in hiring veterans and provide the best services for them. Booz Allen Hamilton The company has two resource groups for veteran emp

Disabled American Veterans and RecruitMilitary will co-host the Cincinnati Veterans Job Fair at Paul Brown Stadium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, May 24.

The event is free to veterans, military spouses, active-duty military personnel and members of the Guard and Reserves. Nearly 70 employers actively seeking the unique talents of America’s veterans will be on site. At least 400 veterans are expected to attend, according to organizers.

MORE: Packaging company hiring as many as 50 at Butler County location

“DAV is proud to co-host traditional and virtual career fairs all over the country and we’re excited to bring this one back home to Cincinnati where DAV was founded in 1920,” said Barry Jesinoski, the executive director of DAV National Headquarters. “We’ve provided employment services to the veteran community since 2014 and so far nearly 60,000 job offers have been made to veterans as a result.”

MORE: Global health care company hiring at Hamilton facility

Navy veteran Josh Vinson, a highly-decorated Navy recruiter, wanted to find a job that matched his skills. He said he found a great fit with his current company when he attended the Cincinnati Veterans Job Fair in 2017.

“I was looking to go into sales, marketing or recruiting,” Vinson said. “I stopped at Gus Perdikakis Associates and talked to the recruiter at their table. He said he wasn’t for sure if they were looking for recruiters, but he would give my resume to their recruiting folks. I got a call a week or two later for an interview and three days later they called me with an offer.”

Tim Best, CEO of Bradley-Morris and RecruitMilitary, said each year the organization hosts more than 150 hiring events for veterans.

MORE: Butler County RV dealer hiring for new Trenton location

The events provide candidates with opportunities to interact not only with potential employers, but also with organizations that provide services and support to those who served, Best said.

“Our partnership with DAV allows us to meet the needs of veterans and their families by providing access to benefits services and employment opportunities in one place,” he said.

Veterans who wish to register for the career fair and access DAV’s other job related resources may click here.

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Report: This is the hottest (little-known) career in America right now

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 7:34 AM

Employees Say This Company Has the Best Pay and Benefits According to an Indeed report, That company is Costco Employees were more than satisfied with benefits like An employee wrote on Indeed’s website Indeed reviewed employee feedback 2. Kaiser Permanente 3. Verizon 4. FedEx Express 5. Apple

The hottest job in America may be one you've never heard of, but demand for people who can fulfill the roll is very high – as is its starting pay.

If you're qualified to be a data scientist, according to Bloomberg, you may find companies fighting for your services.

Andrew Gardner, a senior machine learning manager in Atlanta at Symantec Corp., an IT security firm, works to fill roles at the company but told Bloomberg he's frequently contacted by other firms who try to hire him away. In an effort to compete for data scientists, Gardner finds that he needs to offer more perks, such as the ability to telecommute.

As if that wasn't enough, data scientist was also recently named the "sexiest job of the 21st century" by Harvard Business Review.

The term data scientist was coined fairly recently, but it's already become an extremely popular job.

Job postings for this career rose 75 percent from January 2015 to January 2018 on Indeed.com, according to Bloomberg. Searches for data scientist jobs increased by 65 percent.

What data scientists do

This might be one of those job titles you hear and think, "OK, but what does this person actually do?"

As we're flooded with data in today's world, the challenge lies in how to best utilize that information. Data scientists, according to Forbes, use statistics and modeling to convert data in a way that helps organizations and companies do everything from developing products to retaining customers.

In practical terms, Atlanta-based Equifax Inc. gave Cornell University data that was scrubbed of personally identifiable information with the goal of determining how customers prioritized paying bills. The company wanted to know whether people placed a high priority on paying a mortgage, car payment or cell phone bill. Data scientists helped them mine and convert that data.

Data scientists can also be involved in a growing specialty known as "sentiment analysis," or finding a way to quantify how many tweets are praising your company versus complaining about it.

Expected pay

Even entry-level data scientists can expect to make six-figure salaries. The average salary for beginners in this field is $115,785 a year, according to Glassdoor.com. The average pay for senior data scientists is $141,257 per year.

Some data scientists who have Ph.D.s can earn as much as $300,000 or more.

Skills you need

Data scientists need technical, analytical and presentation skills, including the following:

  • Ability to program
  • Intense curiosity
  • Scientific background
  • Understanding of statistics and applied mathematics
  • Ability to design experiments to test hypotheses
  • Computational and analytical skills
  • Ability to communicate findings through visualizations and stories

Education and experience

Becoming a data scientist requires a good bit of education and practical experience. The following are some common pathways to landing a position:

Complete a degree – Majors such as statistics, mathematics, economics, operations research or computer science can be helpful.

Enroll in a master's program – Georgia State University and Georgia Tech offer Master of Science in Analytics programs.

Consider a doctorate – Kennesaw State University offers a Ph.D. in Analytics and Data Science.

Utilize MOOCs (massive open online courses) – Coursera, for example, has a 10-course data science series from Johns Hopkins University.

Participate in a boot camp – These accelerated learning programs have projects built into the experience. Georgia Tech's Data Science and Analytics Boot Camp is a 24-week, part-time program with evening and weekend hours, so you can enroll even if you're employed or in school.

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7 of the most popular jobs for 2018 college grads

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 4:06 PM

Over the past four years, code schools in Central Texas have graduated hundreds of students. We spoke to graduates of three different Austin-area code schools to learn more about how they did it. Anthony Pekearo took nursing classes after high school and eventually working as a stagehand and a pedicab owner. He also dabbled in Bitcoin investment, before his account was hacked. “I lost $275,000 in one night,” he said. He discovered the University of Texas’ boot camp program, which focused on teach

It's the ultimate accessory for that fancy diploma they just placed in your hands. Not a frame, no. How about a job to go with it?

Pay attention, anxious parents, recent grads and anyone currently in the process of choosing a college major who would like to earn a healthy income post-graduation.

»RELATED: First job salaries for college grads up 5.2 percent from 2017

According to LinkedIn, the 2018 college graduating class will be applying for certain jobs in record numbers.

There are more students graduating than ever before (according to the National Center for Education Statistics), and hiring authority LinkedIn identified numerous companies, industries and locations where they are most likely to apply based on 2016-17 figures. Experts at the career site picked a short list of popular jobs for this spring's graduating class, including one sought-after job description that pays more than $90,000 annually.

So, if you want to go where the competition isn't, it's good to know that these seven jobs are like magnets (or free pizza, or naps) in their ability to draw lots of recent grads to apply.

Here are seven of the most popular jobs for 2018 college grads, along with the median income to expect:

Assistant media planner

$58,000

New York City was No. 1 on LinkedIn's list of the Top U.S. Cities Hiring New Grads and it hired the most entry level folks in Marketing and Advertising spots like this one. Hello, Big Apple?

Abelardo Asensio Callol, 30, a software engineer from Cuba, fled to the United States and applied for asylum, but has been held in a prison for months as he awaits a ruling on his case. He is part of a group of asylum seekers suing the Department of Homeland Security over their prolonged detentions.

Software engineer

$92,300

Yep, this is the heaviest hitter on the list, offering a $90K-plus income right out of school. Seattle is just one of the cities that needs software engineers–and it's also No. 10 on LinkedIn's list of the "Top 10 U.S. Cities Hiring New Grads."

Graphic designer

$45,000

The Information Age is still hopping, and graphic designer hopefuls must make sure they've got what it takes to convey information across a wide variety of visual communication media. According to LinkedIn, Chicago and New York are both hiring for lots of marketing, advertising and Internet spots.

Investment banking analyst

$85,000

Another one of the top-earning entry-level jobs for 2018 college grads is also a popular job description at some of the companies that did a lot of entry-level hiring in 2017, including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. But you can only fill the investment banking analyst role if your education (like a bachelor's in finance, accounting or economics) has prepared you for duties like performing valuation analyses and building detailed financial models.

Administrative assistant

$38,000

Many different college degrees would qualify a graduate for at least some administrative spots, but one of the top degrees for this position is psychology, according to LinkedIn.

Recruiter

$48,000

It's only a little amusing that one of the most sought-after spots for first jobs involves helping companies hire much more experienced people... According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, human resources specialists who work as recruiters may travel extensively to attend job fairs, visit college campuses and meet with applicants. Applicants usually need a bachelor's degree in human resources, business or a related field, but the BLS said that might vary by position and employer. It anticipated the human resources specialist job outlook overall to grow about 7 percent between 2016 and 2026, which is about average.

Account coordinator

$40,000

Account executive also makes the list, but account coordinator (which pays about 30 percent less) is a bit more accessible for folks with college degrees, client service skills and eyes for detail. Account coordinator was just one example of a job people with a degree in marketing would be qualified for, and Marketing was No. 2 on LinkedIn's list of "The top 10 majors that led to the most varied types of opportunities after graduation."

And whether you're looking for a job with the fewest competitors or are happy to run with the pack heading for the most sought-after spots, make sure you consider this job-seeking advice. (And you thought you were through with lectures.) "Get 'em while they're hot." According to LinkedIn, the best time to apply is "right now." For 2017, LinkedIn identified April through June as the months when the most grads were hired into entry-level jobs.

Didn't march, not quite done, traveling to Europe this summer? "If you're not ready yet, don't worry," LinkedIn experts advised. "August is another hot time to apply."

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7 tips for males who manage or mentor females

Published: Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 1:48 PM

Women are interrupted 30% more than men in the workplace Being constantly interrupted by men, or "manterrupted," quiets women and makes them lose confidence To avoid spiraling into self-doubt, here are some tips to put a stop to interruptions Speak with conviction using words like 'know' instead of 'believe' Use shorter sentences so your breaths in between aren't as long, making it harder to interrupt Lean in and make eye contact Speak authoritatively and don't open remarks with any type of apology Be sur

It's a sensitive time in this #MeToo era.

As Peter J. Strauss described it in Forbes, "Over the past few months, there has been an important and long overdue national conversation surrounding the topics of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior in the workplace." 

»RELATED: 7 ways women can avoid being ‘manterrupted’ at work

And while the movement has generated massive positive change, "some of the fallout from the ongoing discussion has been the expression of caution—and even a bit of fear—around male-female interactions in the workplace," Strauss noted.

One biggie: Since media reports of extensive sexual harassment started surfacing in fall 2017, a survey from women's empowerment non-profit LeanIn.Org and online survey platform SurveyMonkey found that male managers are three times as likely to say they are uncomfortable mentoring women. They're also twice as uncomfortable working alone with a woman than they are working isolation with another man.

Add to that, the statistic that senior men are now 3.5 times more likely to hesitate over establishing a working dinner with a junior female colleague (versus a male at the same level) and five times more likely to hesitate to travel for work with a junior woman, and women are clearly missing out. LeanIn.org is already on the case; it created a #MentorHer program in February that already features many high power male mentors with female mentees.

Strauss also challenged his peers and the workforce at large to maintain mentoring strides and keep pushing for further gains.

"I would like to encourage my peers to change the tone of this conversation and focus on the many successful male-female work relationships we have each seen, fostered and benefited from," he said. "A workplace is super-charged by having a mix of well-mentored men and women. We need more men to mentor women because they'll be helping to positively change the workplace."

Male mentors benefit, too, according to sociologist David G. Smith and psychologist W. Brad Johnson, who described the aspects of cross-gender professional relationships that flood men with anxiety in Harvard Business Review. Many male mentors they interviewed said they often learned more from female mentee than the females learned from them.

»RELATED: These are the top 50 companies for women in the US, according to one site 

What holds men back from becoming a mentor?

"Partly, these guys are rattled by the prospect of close, caring, but nonsexual developmental relationships with women at work," the pair of researchers concluded. 

But when guys back away from mentoring women, "The net outcome is unsatisfactory for women and for the companies and organizations that hire them," they said.

Here are tips from Smith and Johnson and Strauss for men who mentor women, to the benefit of the workplace, the women and the men themselves:

Focus on professional progress. Rules for mentoring should be the same no matter the gender of the mentee. "What's the mentor or mentee's motivation for entering into this mentoring relationship?" Strauss asked. "You focus on skills, talents, goals and competencies."

Give constructive feedback. "Keep it real by not veering off the track of professional growth."

Think of mutual growth. "Focus on developing the women and men on your teams through impactful mentoring that elevates both the mentor and the mentee," Strauss said.

Ask if you're unsure. Colleagues or HR can help you understand what is considered inappropriate behavior and what is acceptable. "Something that was a compliment years ago might be considered an inappropriate comment today," Strauss said.

Practice common courtesy and respect. "Treat a female colleague as you would any other colleague," Strauss advised. "Men should take the extra step of educating themselves on the definition of sexual harassment and what it means to women in a professional setting.."

Learn to listen up. "Men can be more effective mentors for women if they practice listening skills with the goal of showing empathy versus trying to quickly problem solve or 'fix' things for her," Smith and Johnson noted. "In the process of listening, male mentors may find that they develop and appreciate enhanced interpersonal skills, access to larger networks and insider knowledge of their organization that makes them more effective leaders."

Quit worrying about the crying already!  Men must take it in stride if a female mentee cries. In the words of Smith and Johnson, "Get over it already, dudes. Men should appreciate the research showing that greater prolactin levels, human evolution and socialized permission are at play here, not weakness or distress."

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