• Nadia Omair

Free training courses and learning resources to upskill during COVID-19 isolation

During this global pandemic, many of us are social distancing or living in isolation. Business is either slow or dead. Instead of stressing about the situation, think about professionally developing yourself and making the most out of this time so that you can hit the ground running once you return to your job or business.

Long working hours, constant pressure and decision-making results in exhaustion and burnout, and many entrepreneurs are not able to take the time out for professional development and upskilling. Consider it a chance to tick upskilling and professional development off your perennial to-do list so that you can get back in action sooner.

Think what you are best at doing and where you need to focus and learn more. For example, you may be excellent in sales and client relationship management but have been struggling all this time with social media management, search engine optimisation (SEO) or bookkeeping. This is the best time to be productive, gain knowledge and and upskill by learning online.

E-commerce and digital marketing are two key areas worthy of your attention and time. The global health crisis has resulted in greater emphasis on the importance of digital skills creating intense pressure to upskill, for example, many business owners had to think about creating a website or establishing an online store urgently as a result of the Coronavirus impact. Some had no knowledge of e-commerce and were clueless. Consider utilising this time to learn about digital marketing, e-commerce, website design, graphics design, social media management etc. so that you can adjust and safeguard your business strategy during this challenging time and utilise digital marketing and e-commerce to sustain your business activity. Gaining knowledge in the field of digital marketing and e-commerce will help you lead your business effectively as you will then know how the digital world works.

It is understandable that you might not want to spend money on training and professional development due to uncertainty in the business environment and its financial implications. Here is a list of some excellent, resourceful free online training and learning platforms for you so that you can learn essential skills that can help rebuild, reinvent or grow your business in the comfort of your home while self-isolating.

1. HubSpot Academy

Marketing, Sales & Customer Service

HubSpot Academy is the worldwide leader in free online training for inbound marketing, sales, and customer service professionals. The academy offers a wide range of comprehensive certifications, singular topic courses, and bite-sized lessons for professionals looking to grow their career and business.

Power your business with remarkable marketing and sales strategy. Use this time, for example, to learn about storytelling, content creation, re-purposing, and promotion to build a marketing content machine and a social media strategy for your business. Learning these skills will help you build loyalty, restore and grow your business during this pandemic or after.

The best part is that Hubspot has a quick and easy registration process. You can quickly sign up here for free courses.

Shopify Academy


Accelerate your success and get free e-commerce training to build and grow a profitable business with Shopify Academy. Power your business with remarkable marketing and sales strategy. Use this time, for example, to learn about storytelling, content creation, re-purposing, and promotion to build a marketing content machine and a social media strategy for your business. Learning these skills will help you build loyalty, restore and grow your business during this pandemic or after.

Shopify Academy gives you exclusive access to on-demand courses, live workshops, and business tools. Get surrounded by other experienced entrepreneur, have your very own virtual business mentor to keep you informed, accountable, and motivated. You can register and create an account here.


Photography, illustration, video, business, and more

Skillshare is another learning platform where you can sign up to a basic account for free - you just need an email address. From your free account, you can access free classes on web and mobile. Explore your creativity with online classes in photography, illustration, design, video and freelancing. Unlock a passion, side hustle, or new professional skill with thousands of classes in design, business, and more.

Skillshare also gives you an option to upgrade to a Premium Membership for full access to over 20K classes in their Premium catalog, along with other features like offline viewing. Skillshare is currently offering first two months of their premium package for free. Since it is a 2 months free trial, Skillshare require you to register in order to access their Premium catalog, which means you need to provide with the credit/debit card details to complete the registration process. You will not be charged for the first 2 months and you can cancel anytime. You can have a look at their Premium membership pricing here.


Digital marketing, marketing data and analytics

Buffer offers several social media, digital marketing, content and blogging, marketing data and analytics courses to help you upgrade your skills across the board. Whether you are looking to enhance brand awareness, increase your website traffic or drive sales, these courses walks you through the process to help you understand digital marketing and how you can create a solid foundation for your business or brand in the digital world.

Here is a list of a few courses created by Buffer. Their resource library is also free to access. If you have any questions and are looking for answers, you can attend their free webinars to get your questions answered. You can use their on-demand option to watch at a time that works best for you if a live webinar doesn’t work for you.


Business analytics, graphic design, and more

Coursera provides you with the opportunity to learn latest skills like business analytics, graphic design, Python, and more. Get ready for a career, earn a certificate or a degree from a leading university and upskill your organization.

You can join Coursera for free. There are hundreds of free courses that gives you access to on-demand video lectures, homework exercises, and community discussion forums. Paid courses provide additional quizzes and projects as well as a shareable Course Certificate upon completion. You can learn something new in as less as 4 weeks.

Facebook Blueprint

Digital marketing

Learn new marketing skills with Facebook Blueprint. Build your digital marketing knowledge, boost your career and add value to your company with free online training, resources and certifications by Facebook for Business. You can build your business through self-paced courses and resources.


Photo, video, art, design, music, audio, and more

Master your craft, your passion, or something new with creative classes taught by the world’s best at Creativelive. You can start learning for free today with their live and on air classes here.

Utilise these resources not only for your professional development, but also for your team. If you had to stand down your employees or reduce their working hours, create a professional development plan for them, shortlist relevant courses for each member and set them a training schedule. Let them utilise this time to learn new skills and develop existing ones. You will have a better and far more skilled workforce ready by the time this pandemic is over and your business will come out stronger and better.

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