If you want to improve your tech skills and don’t know where to start, this list introduces you to some of the resources out there.
If you’re familiar with our advice pieces, you’ll know that we regularly mention various resources you can use to upskill in tech.
We’ve steered readers towards courses from the likes of Udemy, Udacity and Coursera for learning tech concepts from machine learning to data literacy skills. And we’ve pointed out Python meet-ups run by Python Ireland among others.
But what if you’re not sure what these platforms are? Or you aren’t sure which one is the best one for you and your learning style? Maybe you like the idea of Python Ireland and you want to find other similar groups.
Here is an introduction to some of the best resources out to hone your tech skills.
Founded by two Stanford University computer scientists, Coursera is a global online learning platform for techies of all stripes.
It has partnerships with major companies like IBM and Google, as well as with universities such as Stanford and Imperial College London.
If you need a bit of guidance, scroll to the bottom section of the Coursera homepage and you’ll find articles that provide advice on how you can achieve a career in areas such as data analytics using the site.
In terms of courses, it provides everything from short certificates to longer postgraduate degree programmes.
This one is for anyone who wants to brush up on their coding skills; the clue is in the name. Codeacademy offers free short courses in a variety of languages such as Python, C++, C, C+, Bash, Go, HTML, R, SQL and Ruby.
Codeacademy is particularly useful for people who like interactive learning, as it has links to cheatsheets, projects, video and coding challenges under Resources at the bottom of its homepage.
It has a pretty active online community, too.
This Coursera rival – its founders are MIT and Harvard scientists – carries thousands of courses. Like Coursera, many are university-level, with edX making use of its partnerships with the likes of Boston University, University of Cambridge and Google.
Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and you’ll find boot camp courses in topics such as fintech and cybersecurity, as well as longer courses.
Like Codeacademy, Data Camp is quite hands-on and has a lot of short, free courses. It’s best for people who are interested in data science and related technologies.
You can select a specific skill you want to brush up on (like data literacy, NLP, machine learning) or you can explore different career paths such as data scientist, data analyst and statistician.
If you just want to get to grips with a particular tech tool (ChatGPT, Tableau) you can do that too.
Irish meet-up groups
Going along to events run by Irish tech community groups can be a fun way to keep on top of new tech trends and meet like-minded people.
You can find lots of different events on Meetup no matter what you’re interested in. Dublin Linux Community meets monthly, as does Python Ireland and Kubernetes Dublin.
If you want something more casual, there is a coffee chat for indie hackers in Dublin in early June. And it isn’t just the in capital: there are online events and conferences, as well as things going on in Cork, Galway and Belfast.
Khan Academy is another one to consider if you want to do an online tech course, even though it’s not as well known as some of the other names on this list.
Its short video lessons are good for beginners and it provides lessons and learning paths for children, too.
It is a non-profit organisation and it aims to educate people all over the world for free.
The educational offshoot of LinkedIn has business and tech courses galore for anyone who wants to perfect certain skills.
If you already have LinkedIn, LinkedIn Learning is a good bet as you can add your certificates of completion to your profile.
It’s not free, however, but it does offer a one-month free trial.
Software educational platform Pluralsight provides learning plans for teams as well as individuals. It’s quite skills focused, perhaps more so than some of the other resources that include non-tech courses on their sites.
You can pick up new skills like cloud tech, programming and test your progress using specially designed exercises.
Best for creative techies, Skillshare carries courses in things such as graphic design and photography – but many of these areas are arguably tech focused.
If you’re interested in things like UX and UI design or how tech tools can be used for creative purposes, you may find a short course that takes your fancy.
It’s got a lot of creatives on its books that are willing to, yes, share their skills.
An Irish resource for all things technological, Digital Skillnet is a great site to keep in mind for future educational and upskilling opportunities.
If you prefer the familiarity of an Irish-run organisation, it has plenty of information about the types of careers you can break into.
Whether you’re an employer looking to find resources and courses for employees, or an individual looking to reskill, upskill or find a tech job, Digital Skillnet should definitely be one of your first ports of call.
Udacity is pretty good for anyone who wants to try out a tech course as it has a lot of short and beginner courses as well as longer ones.
It also has an AI chatbot running in beta which offers to assist you when you visit its website.
You can pick from courses on topics such as programming and development, AI, data science, business intelligence and cloud computing.
Scroll to the bottom of the homepage for in-depth career-related resources.
One for bargain hunters, Udemy constantly runs sales on its courses. It has hundreds of thousands of courses, too, so you won’t have difficulty finding something.
It’s good for beginners as many of the courses are short and delivered through video. What’s cool about Udemy is there is so much on the site that you can quite easily find courses on a certain topic from beginner right through to specialist level.