Skill Development Courses
Before we dive right into skill development courses, let’s quickly cover what is skill development? Skill development is when you actively find out where your skills fall short and work to improve those skills. A skill development program or a skill development course is built to help employees hone in on the skills that need sharpening in an organized way. Certain skill development courses can be completely customized to employee needs while making them totally approachable and trackable from a leadership and training perspective. The types of skill development that fall under these courses are most typically hard skills and soft skills. Not sure which is which? Hard skills are the ones that you can learn on YouTube, in a book, or typically in your job’s onboarding. Think Excel, accounting, yoga, web design, and so on. They’re skills that can be improved with hands-on practice. Soft skills, on the other hand, are the ones that are a bit harder to measure. Think communication skills, teamwork, time and stress management—things that are more rooted in personality traits.
Skill development courses serve a few purposes for organizations as a whole. If you’re in an industry where products and services change often, you likely want your employees to keep a competitive edge. Pressing pause on the pipeline can feel tough as the month speeds by and numbers fluctuate. A skill development course helps hold you as a leader, and your employees, accountable for continually dedicating time to building out their tool belt. Working to stay above the competition and ahead of the selling scripts won’t come overnight, but a skill development course helps to parse that out. Not to mention, employees feel valued when they know their organization is investing in their growth.
The Pros and Cons of Free Online Job Training Courses
When it comes to skill development courses online, there are tons, and we mean tons, to choose from. Your eyes (and budget) may be drawn to the free online job training courses that are the first to show up on the Google search results page. And, while some of these are great, even the best free online courses have cons. Here are a few pros and cons to help guide your decision process.
Pros of Free Online Job Training Courses
- It’s free! Naturally, this is a huge draw for organizations of all sizes—smaller ones that may not have the budget, and larger ones that have to provide skill development at scale.
- Less time is needed upfront to implement this course into your organization. If an online job training course is free, it likely doesn’t come with onboarding meetings or intro calls, or set up instructions. All things that can solely appear as blocks on your calendar that you may not feel like dealing with. On the flip, those are also things that represent a catered program to your organization and what your people need. Is this pro turning into a con? This seems like a good segway…
Cons of Free Online Job Training Courses
- They will lack personalization. Imagine how many people from different organizations, in different roles, with different skills to sharpen take a free online job training course. There’s no way for something like this to be personalized not only to a single organization but to the employee themselves. Going back to what was mentioned above, employees need to feel valued and invested in. Not to say a free course won’t make them feel that way, but a course that lacks personalization to what they need at the moment will stick out to them.
- It’s easy to “check the box.” Usually, free online courses with certificates are easy to speed through, and employees are eager to do just that so they can print a certificate, display a badge, show it to their manager, and check it off their list. But, with a training course that involves a little more time and money, you get what you pay for.In fact, you’ll likely discover a