Training for free? Yes, you heard that right

Employability Service

Category: Student support services

18 June 2021

Recent Employability Service blogs have included a mention on how to gain or update knowledge that might be useful for your ‘skills database’. Here's one (free) way you can do that.

You may be thinking that this year has been tough enough without further study before you start back in September. But the next few weeks over summer might really give you a great opportunity to learn something new!

We are sometimes asked if we know of any extra-curricular courses that would help CVs stand out from the crowd or make you more eligible to apply for a specific role. If you research typical jobs you might like to apply for and a particular training or qualification comes up time and time again, then it might be worth investigating adding these to your degree study portfolio – but be careful before you spend time, money and effort on a course that might not pay you back. Always check for recommendations, reviews and testimonials before making the decision to enrol on an expensive and timely course.

But there is a training resource you can take advantage of that won’t cost a thing: LinkedIn Learning is available free – yes, free – for current ARU students and easily accessed through the Career Centre.

With over 5,000 courses, it can be a little daunting to start the search, but help is at hand! The menu shows three main categories to choose from: Business, Creative & Technology. You can then search through a list of topics for each category. For example, if you are interested in learning more about Data Analysis, the route is Business > Data Analysis. From there you can select your level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and even the average time it takes to complete a course, although you can decide on your own pace. On your LinkedIn profile page you can access the My Learning tab, which is an online ‘diary’ of courses you are doing and those you have saved or just interested in, so you have an easy to access record.

Student sitting at a computer and taking notes

Learning is through interactive videos and each course has been developed by a subject matter expert (short introduction videos give a good idea of content so you can decide if a course will be the right one for your needs). As employers often use it as a tool for staff training, you can also trust it to be current and fit for purpose.

Simone Campo, BEng (Hons) Computer Science student and Employability Activator, took the ‘Java Essential Training’ course in summer of 2020 and says: “LinkedIn Learning is a great platform to enhance the skills acquired from Uni. Topics are explored in great detail giving you the chance to look at them from different points of view."

Let’s look at an example – let’s say you are interested in finding a job in market research but aware you do not have much experience. A scroll through the courses on offer show a range of titles from ‘Market Research Foundations’ to ‘Advanced Marketing’ and all levels and subjects in between. So, you can decide which level to start and further options to continue your learning or move onto something else. In addition to gaining some practical work experience, a LinkedIn Learning course can:

  • give you a good idea of whether this might be something you are suited to
  • provide further subject knowledge to increase your confidence when applying
  • award a Certificate of Completion, uploaded to your LinkedIn profile
  • be included on your CV and application forms as further training
  • mean no waiting for the next course date because you just missed one, no saving up and the convenience of learning a new skill fast, or at your own pace.

There’s not much you can do for free these days, but whilst you have ARU student access, LinkedIn Learning offers the chance to do just that: the opportunity to take a short course with potential for long-term benefits.

The Employability Service ([email protected]) is always on hand to support you with career planning and job/further study search.

Kim Holbrook, Employability & Careers Adviser

Our Employability Service works with students throughout their time at ARU and after they graduate. The Service offers careers advice, online resources, and help with job searches, applications and interview preparation. Our Employability & Careers Advisers may mention some of these resources and services in their blogs, to give you an idea of the careers support that's on offer at ARU. Some of these resources sit behind a log in and can only be accessed by current students.


The views expressed here are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent the views of Anglia Ruskin University. If you've got any concerns please contact us.