Got time on your hands during lockdown? Position yourself for success once it’s over, by investing in your skills now.

Here’s our pick of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to learn online.


YouTube: a good place to start, but has its limits

YouTube is perfect for when you need a quick ‘how-to’ for a particular task, like creating a chart in Excel or adding an animation to a slide deck.

But if you’re learning something from scratch, or building on an existing skill, how do you know what you need to know? A structured training course can help you fill the gaps in your knowledge you didn’t know were there – and open you up to new possibilities.


Udemy: our pick for learning online

One of the best places to learn anything online is Udemy. The site has over 150,000 courses, covering pretty much any topic, from yoga to YouTube marketing. In short, if you’ve thought about learning something, it’s probably on Udemy.

What’s more, it’s super simple to navigate and use. Once you’ve bought a course, you have access to it for life, and can complete your studies in your own time and at your own pace.

Courses vary hugely in length, quality and style, but for most topics, you’ll find a lot of choice. Every course has free sample lectures to give you a sense of the content and the instructor’s teaching style. So have a browse and pick a course that suits your level, interests and preferred way of learning.

How to get a deal on Udemy

On Udemy, prices are set by instructors, and they vary considerably. But here’s a tip: Udemy regularly runs promotions where you can bag courses for £12 or under.

Spotted a course you like the look of, but it’s priced in the hundreds? Wishlist it for later and keep checking back. Chances are you won’t need to wait long to see it advertised for much less.


Most in demand: MS Office

The skills most in demand among our clients are in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook – which is why we’ll test you on these as part of your registration.

Udemy has loads of courses on each, but we like the look of these two, which are designed to get you up to speed on several elements of MS Office in one go: Master Microsoft Excel, Outlook and Word 2013 – 26 Hours and Master Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint and Word 2013 – 27 Hours.

Less often, we’re asked for people with Access. Again, Udemy has a range of courses, whether you’re a total beginner or looking for some advanced techniques


Other useful strings to your bow

Knowledge of accounting, expenses and other software can also help you persuade us you’ll hit ground running with our clients. Here are Udemy courses on the programmes that are most in demand:





Lotus Notes




Project management: pricy, but worth it

If you’re looking for a role in project management (or even events), in any industry, a Prince2 qualification will set you apart. What’s more, you can start small, with a quick foundation course, and work your way up to full certification.

The official training and certification doesn’t come cheap, but practice courses and training are available on Udemy for a small cost.


Legal admin skills: always in demand

Want to specialise in administrative support in the legal sector? Or looking to build on existing secretarial experience in the field? The Cilex Law School has online courses pitched at all levels – whether you’re a complete newbie or are building on your existing skills.


Communication skills: a must-have for everyone

In any role, great communication skills are a must-have – especially writing skills, now everyone’s working from home. Doris and Bertie’s, a London-based comms consultancy, works with anyone who needs to write as part of their job. Their online Writing School can equip you with everything you need to know to write clearly, concisely and accurately.

The school’s Netflix-style subscription gives you access to over 300 lectures, in courses on everything from basic business writing to email etiquette to punctuation. The usual monthly fee is £14, but for a limited time, you can get a 50% discount when you enrol with the code ALDRICHREADEROFFER.


Geek chic: consider coding

Have you considered learning to code in the lockdown? It’s not something we particularly specialise in, but tech skills are always going to be in demand.

Good places to start for would-be geeks are freeCodeCamp and, as ever, Udemy. Many of the Ivy League universities in the US also offer free courses you can do in the comfort of your own home.