Gaining skills in lockdown

Written by Sarah Mallen, Information Manager at the Careers Service

Most of you won’t be going out to part time jobs right now and you may be thinking that you missed out on internships in summer too.

However, there are plenty of things you can do from the comfort of your own home to gain skills. Below is a quick summary to get you started.

IT skills

Employers often put basic IT skills on job descriptions even if it’s not an IT job.  Knowing the basics of Excel and how to report data is becoming an everyday necessity in business. So why not brush up your skills, perhaps even learn a bit of coding too.

Think about the jobs you want to apply for – what skills are they looking for?

Free – Digital Skills Workshops, January 2021:

FDM are running a series of workshops in January to support final year students and recent graduates with developing their digital skills:

Click on the title of each session to register.

  • Excel – Part 2, 20 Jan, 2.30pm-4pm: demonstrating the value of various Excel Functions – aggregation functions, logic functions and look-up functions. 
  • Excel – Part 3, 22 Jan, 2.30pm-4pm: cover Pivot Tables, Pivot Charts and how to create your very own interactive Excel Dashboard using Excel Formulas
  • Intro to SQL, 25 Jan, 10.30am-12pm: Think coding is too hard? Think again. This session will provide final year students and graduates an insight into SQL – a coding language any data enthusiast should have in their skillset.
  • HTML/CSS, 27 Jan, 10.30am-12pm: the fundamentals of HTML and CSS by going through the building blocks that make up the websites you visit every day.
  • Python, 29 Jan, 10.30am-12pm: An introductory session for those looking to learn the basics of programming in Python.

You can also find bitesize training on Youtube and LinkedIn learning (if you have access).

Check Twitter or other social media for local groups that offer online training too, you may also find people with a shared interest and learn from each other.

More places to gain skills online here.

Learn a language

There are resources for everyone at every level and price bracket.

You could start with free apps such as Memrise or Duolingo, check Youtube for language learning videos and tutorials. If you enjoy it, you could consider a module as part of your course if it is available to you. Alternatively, there are language schools all over the globe that offer online courses (I did a 5 week Portuguese course from home, with learners from all over the globe, we still keep in touch).

Virtual work experience

Virtual work experience, (online, remote or digital experience) provides the opportunity to gain experience from home. It can help you to develop your skills, boost your employability and explore new industries and job roles.

Most virtual work experiences range from a few hours to a few days, but some may last longer depending on the nature of the work experience.

Don’t let being stuck at home mean being trapped. You can still learn new skills and meet new people. Your body may be at home but your mind can be exploring 😊

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