OpenLearn is the FREE learning platform of The Open University and this collection of content is designed to help you as you embark on your new career, be that providing some ideas as to what that career might be, or helping you get started in your chosen field. Take a look at the FREE courses and guides below to help get your career started, without committing to full-time study.
- We also have a 'Skills for Work' area on OpenLearn to help you enhance your work skills.
Succeed in the workplace
Whatever career path you choose to take, there are skills that will be relevant to them all – team work, communication, leadership… and you’ll find them all in our collection of ‘soft skills’ courses, as approved by Google. You can also check out our full collection of badged open courses on employability.
Succeed in the workplace
Do you want to change jobs, are you just starting in the job market or may be returning after a break? If so, then this free course, Succeed in the workplace, is for you. It will help you explore career opportunities. You will also gain the skills to write strong CVs and application forms, and to handle different types of interviews. By the end ...
Personal branding for career success
This free course, Personal branding for career success, considers what a personal brand is and whether you currently have one. You’ll look in detail at theories and examples of personal branding, and relevant marketing processes and practices. You’ll identify the values, skills, knowledge and expertise that you want to promote to employers, and ...
Effective communication in the workplace
This free course, Effective communication in the workplace, explores the importance of communication as a skill in the workplace. It aims to increase your understanding of communication skills and to help you to consider how your communication could be perceived by others. You'll cover areas such as verbal and non-verbal communication, written ...
Learn a language
Language skills are desirable, and even essential, for prospective employers. Developing your language skills could be the key to landing yourself a perfect job. Foreign language learning can also give you transferable skills such as cultural awareness, communication, and diversity and inclusion. Take a look at the language resources below.
- Check out the Full range of FREE French, German, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Welsh and English rescources.
How to learn a language
Learn about the concepts and skills required to learn languages successfully. This free course, How to learn a language, introduces the skills and strategies for language learning, setting realistic goals when learning languages and keeping motivated, practise speaking skills and vocabulary learning strategies. It will enable you to evaluate ...
How can languages further your career?
Discover how speaking a different language can make you more employable with this short video.
Languages at work
All of us in our working lives increasingly need to work with people from other cultures or those whose native language is foreign, or we may have to go to another country and work as a foreigner ourselves. This free course, Languages at work, is about how to understand differences in culture and how to make the most of existing language skills....
Boost your digital skills
The ability to use information and communication technologies is becoming increasingly important to employers. Learn how to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information with these free courses.
Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online
This free course, Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online, will help you to understand online security and start to protect your digital life, whether at home or work. You will learn how to recognise the threats that could harm you online and the steps you can take to reduce the chances that they will happen to you.
Digital thinking tools for better decision making
Ever since the very beginning of humanity, tools have played a pivotal role in who we are and what we do. Tools for recording, processing and communicating information have a time-honoured history – from the clay tokens used in Mesopotamia to mechanical calculating machines. The invention of the digital computer has boosted the scale, speed and ...
Go after your dream job
Do you want to work in healthcare? Maybe construction is more up your street? Perhaps you'd like to 'nail it' as a nail technician? Just because it’s your first job, doesn’t mean it can’t be your dream job too! We've a range of resources to develop your skills needed for a range of roles...
My career goal: Social care
You can change lives by using your personal skills to aid those in need. Your communication skills, resilience and empathy are key assets when working in social care, a crucial societal structure that matters to everybody.
My career goal: Childcare and education
A career in childcare and education is an investment in future generations. Find out how to engage your strong communication and leadership skills to care for young ones and guide their learning.
My career goal: Creative and design
Bring out your creative flair to its full potential. Find some practical advice for advancing your career in a creative industry, whether that's using your keen visual eye, practical ingenuity, or rigorous technical skills.
My career goal: Construction
Are you driven to find out how things work, and want to know how they're made? Construction could be for you. Here's some advice on using your practical mind and hands-on skills to build bigger and better things.
My career goal: Hair and beauty
Do you have a passion for helping clients to look their best? These resources will help you to perfect your craft and make your mark in the beauty industry - perhaps by starting your own business.
My career goal: Health and science
Whether your interest is in pharmaceuticals, disease treatment or chemical research, you can help break new discoveries and improve our scientific understanding. This page has info on career options from food science to forensics, and working for the NHS.
My career goal: Legal, finance and accounting
If you want to utilise your ability to handle complex situations with moving parts - whether that's balancing the books or assessing the letter of the law - you can hear from professionals in the field and determine your next steps on this page.
My career goal: Marketing
Can your insight and influencing skills be used to build brand expertise and effectively engage consumers? This page's resources will help you to plan your own career strategy.
My career goal: Business and administrative
Do you have business acumen just waiting to be tapped? Find resources below to develop your communication and strategic skills, maybe even an apprenticeship to begin your career in business.
My career goal: Nail technician
Have you ever thought that your eye for crafting fine-looking nails could become your career? Here's some advice on turning your passion into a job - or maybe even your own business…
My career goal: Environment
Interested in veterinary or agricultural work, or more industrial work like food farming and sustainable energy? Find out how you can gather skills and carry out work that will have a real impact on our relationship with the environment.
My career goal: Engineering
In this multi-disciplinary industry, you'll need a diverse range of technical and critical thinking skills to take on complex tasks. Here's some advice to help you get started with building tomorrow's world.
Engineering your dream career
Imagine spending time working on the things you love. Discover engineering careers which match your passions in this short interactive experience on women in engineering.
Women in engineering - interview with Robyn Moates
Hardware engineer Robyn discusses the highlights of her job, plus the misconceptions of her industry.
"Nursing is a fantastic career"
Staff Tutor for Nursing for The Open University, Michael Davidson, explains why he believes nursing can be a rewarding career choice for men and women.
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