A screen grab from Microsoft's Learn website..

The world of work is changing rapidly. Long gone are the days of getting a degree and spending your career at a single company. To stay competitive in today’s business world, you need to embrace life-long learning. And thanks to technology, there are plenty of digital tools readily available to add new skills at little or no cost.

Here are just a few:

Microsoft recently began providing free access to educational content on LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Learn and GitHub Learning Lab. Using data collected from LinkedIn, Microsoft has developed pathways for 10 jobs identified as having the greatest number of job openings, steady growth over the past four years, a livable wage, and skills that can be learned online. The self-paced courses are taught by industry experts and organized sequentially to take the user through each skill area.

Pathways have been developed for software developer, sales representative, project manager, IT administrator, customer service specialist, digital marketing, IT support/helpdesk, data analyst, financial analyst, and graphic design. Users can also take online courses to learn how to write a resume, look for work in their new career path and interview. Check it out at https://opportunity.linkedin.com/en-us.

Microsoft also has its own online educational platform called Learn. Learn helps users master any Microsoft product. Courses are available for beginners to advanced users and some lead to professional Microsoft certifications that are required in the tech industry. Courses are also tailored to the user’s role from business user to engineer. They also have live and recorded content from experts who build the actual Microsoft products. While classes are free, there are costs for testing leading to certifications. Whether you are just beginning your career or an IT professional, they have learning paths available at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/learn/.

LinkedIn Learning offers 16,000 classes on just about any topic from managing self-doubt to Photoshop and SQL programming. Classes can be taken on a computer or mobile device. The first month is free and you can cancel at any time. The cost is $29.99 month or $19.99 if you buy an annual subscription. Visit www.linkedin.com/learning for more information.

Adopt the mindset of deliberate and continuous learning and make sure you have the skills for success today and tomorrow.

Michelle Smith is an employer engagement analyst for the South Central Workforce Development Council in Yakima.

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