7 Upskill Certificates To Improve Your Career

7 Upskill Certificates to Improve Your Career

If you’re unhappy with the jobs you’re qualified for, maybe it’s time for you to upskill!  What is upskilling? Basically, it’s giving yourself a step over the competition in order to make a bigger paycheck and advance your career! Certificates are the easiest way to show on a certificate that you know your topic, and plenty of them are free!


Cost: Free, with a cost for the certificate (handy if you’re not sure you’re going to finish the course)

Time: 1.5 – 3 hours

Good for: Entry-level career certificates

Alison offers three categories of courses for upskilling: workplace, academic, and personal knowledge. FREE courses, often with certificates, Alison.com has a section where you can choose where you are in your career or courses for specific jobs. The free certificate section has useful courses that would be good for furthering a career. With courses that cover food safety, administrative skills, management, manufacturing, teaching, and basic medical courses, it’s clear why this source comes up repeatedly. In order to qualify for the certificate, you will be required to get 80% or higher correct on the exam.

The courses, including the free ones, require you to sign up with your email, so that it can keep track of your certificates and that you don’t have multiple accounts.

Google Skillshop

Cost: Free

Time: Self-paced

Good for: YouTube, teachers using Google, or using Google analytics in marketing or social media

If you’re looking to advance your career in social media, there’s no better place to turn to than Google Skillshop.  You can learn and progress through the levels of classes through videos on Youtube and text.

With an online community for help and plenty of resources from Google, these certificates are designed for those working from home or from a phone.

Certificates are completely free financially but don’t think that this makes them easy. With a tough exam at the end of each course, all applicants are required to pass with 80% or better in order to earn the certificate. Exams are usually 90 minutes long and will start with a timer as soon as you start. Some, like the Google AdWords certificate, require more than one exam. Retaking an exam after the first try is common, still free, and available 7 days after the first attempt. Certificates expire after two years.


Google I.T. Certificates at Coursera

Cost: $39/per month after free trial

Time: Self-paced

Good for: Anyone looking to break into or continue a career in I.T.

Meant to help people with an interest but no college degree, Google has created a series of certificates that are easily accessible. Due to the pandemic and the rising cost of education, there are open IT jobs and potential employees’ skill gap. People aren’t always able to access a four-year college degree, so Google created these certificates. While a six-month or three-month certificate is not a replacement for a college degree in computer science, it is enough to get the basics for an entry-level job.

All coursework is online and was developed with Coursera.  As of right now, the list is limited to UX design, basic IT support, data analytics, project management, and Android development. The first seven days are free and the cost afterward is $39.00 a month by subscription on Coursera and scholarships are available. All certificates are available on Google’s site or through Coursera.


FEMA Certifications

Cost: Free to those who qualify

Time: most are only a few hours

Good for: first responders, emergency personnel, and U.S. citizens

If you already have emergency- management responsibilities in the workplace, you may want to upskill by taking a FEMA certification. This is a great addition to anyone who is looking for more responsibility in the workplace. FEMA has hundreds of courses that cover a wide range of topics and is intended for an audience of first responders, emergency personnel, and citizens of the United States.

Before you take the course, you’ll have to create a FEMA student identification card to prevent identity theft. This process is free and yours to keep. Earning a certificate usually requires passing an exam. The questions on each test are scrambled in order to protect the integrity of the certificate.


Massive Online Open Certificates (MOOCs)

Cost: Free, unless earning a certificate/credential

Time: Certified courses are described in amount of weeks required

Good for: Anyone looking to try new things, a free certificate, or be entertained

MOOCs is a great resource if you’re not 100% certain about what you want to do. You can start a course online and drop it if it’s not interesting, or finish the whole thing and pay for the certificate. Unlike other websites, this one will let you know ahead of time if there’s a cost for the certificate or not before you take the class.

If you’re saying “What is the point of upskilling without a certificate?”, there’s a page for that, too. It does cut your options down to 200 courses, but you’ll have a certificate from a leading company or university in the end.

MOOCs also have the widest variety of all the courses listed here so far. There are ways to learn new languages, watch free movies, listen to free lectures, the list goes on and on and on! You can access free audiobooks, read books online by famous and popular authors like Neil Gaiman, David Sedaris, or Stephen King, or check out art from famous museums all over the world. Watch out: you might end up having a great time with all the other non-career-related things available!



Cost: Depends on which course

Time: self-paced

Good for: computer-based certificates

If you’re looking for something more advanced and related to business or tech, then Udacity might be for you. With programs focused on data science, programming, business, A.I., autonomous systems, cloud computing, and cybersecurity, you’re sure to learn skills employers are looking for.

Udacity also offers a mentor system, which is useful for people not used to working independently. They also offer personalized feedback, which is important when trying to learn a new skill. Once enrolled, you can also get a personalized resume review and a resume template for your industry.

Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional

Cost: Free

Time: self-paced

Good for: Anyone looking to up their Microsoft advertising proficiency

This certificate for Microsoft Advertising is a very niche way to upskill but could be worth your time if you’re in the advertising world. It lasts for one year and both the study guide and exam are free. Earning the certificate requires passing the exam with 80% or higher.

The names of people who have passed the exam can be found in the membership directory, so it’s nearly impossible to fake this certificate.


By now you should know which certificate would help you upskill the most! There’s something for everyone available online, whether you’re looking to improve your resume for a management position or try out a new career completely. Choosing an online certificate to upskill your way to the top is a fast and easy way to make your resume stand out from the rest!

Need some other ways to upskill at home?

5 Ways To Improve Your Job Prospects At Home

3 Easy Ways to Stand Out At Your Job


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